BOB HIND begins a marathon bus journey around the island of Ireland, starting at Belfast Aldergrove International Airport.

Wright-bodied Pink Metro buses in Belfast city centre.

Idon’t know why I have made so few trips to Ireland over the years despite it being ‘next door’, and despite my wife’s colourful Irish heritage but here, at last, I am going to attempt a journey around the full island, north and south, all 2,000 miles of it.

My original schedule was made prepandemic, but I learned more about Irish public transport during my re-planning and was excited by the prospects of nine days of travel. At least, until 11 days prior when I received an email from Translink, the publicly-owned corporation responsible for public transport in Northern Ireland, warning of ‘potential strike action’ by bus drivers for seven days. The final day of this was to be my first day on the island.

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