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And in the beginning…

And in the beginning…

The lure of the open road…Vanhalla

I have heard it described as a midlife crisis, but nothing could be further from the truth. The lust for a campervan is a childhood dream come true.

It is harking back to the inner child in us all; that unbridled, that yet to be chastised, sense of fun, freedom and adventure. That’s where the love of camping comes from; the desire to hit the open road wondering, but never worrying what’s around the corner or what the next day holds.

It’s about the mystery of the road trip and what may unfold in the hours and evenings ahead. Planning a trip and the mounting anticipation like the delayed gratification of an unopened letter from a loved one, burning a hole in your pocket next to your heart, but you hold off knowing it will be well worth waiting for…

It has taken me 50 years to get my hands on a campervan and even the wait itself has been worthwhile, as if finally hearing and getting excited about a great song for the very first time.

Sure there will be many songs and tunes in this soundtrack that’s the beauty of it all, the variety. Anything goes, everything’s possible, just like when I was a child chasing through meadows with jam jars for butterflies and bumble bees on days so long and sunny that it seemed that chestnuts peeped open those fresh mahogany eyes from their fleshy husks before we ever even thought about returning home, just to sleep and go again across the fields…

And so to Vanhalla where every day it’s the journey that matters; where the pace you set is your own; where every meal is al fresco and every room a coveted sea view, lapping, nursing you to sleep beneath the stars, the days bookended only by possibility, sunrises and sunsets.

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The same stars that guided the ancient mariners; the same sea that saw the adventurers of the ages wash up on these shores; the same lakes, rivers and streams that launched a thousand tale tales, poems, songs and paintings; the landscape of our heritage and our history now ours to explore as we follow in the footprints of fellow travellers and make new ones of our own, hopefully leaving nothing behind only a good impression.

Vanhalla is camper heaven, on earth.

What can you expect on this voyage?

Well, I just don’t know for sure yet…but do come along, it promises to be fun.

About The Author

John Whelan

John Whelan is a vastly experienced midlands based journalist and editor who has contributed extensively to the country's leading national and regional titles, as well as broadcast outlets. He runs the media services company, Communicate Ireland John is a keen camping and campervan enthusiast with an interest in music, culture, heritage and outdoor pursuits. He has written for the Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and the Woman's Way on these topics. He is also an author, and his latest book, The Last Beekeeper, reflects his love of nature, the landscape and our shared responsibility to protect the environment. The Last Beekeeper is available to preview and purchase at Safe travels...

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Portlaoise, IE
12:05 pm, March 22, 2023
temperature icon 11°C
L: 10° H: 11°
Feels like 9.8 °C broken clouds
Wind gusts: 15 mph
UV Index: 0
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 06:27
Sunset: 18:44
Humidity 68 %
Pressure990 mb
Wind 15 mph


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“You write a brilliant account of your trip and the photos are fantastic. I know this area and it really is as you say”
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