Thursday 23 November 2017

Watch: 'A deck of cards, 80 bottles of Heineken and a poo ban in the campervan' - Euro 2016 fans explain the key to happy travelling

Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

The Green army is on the move to Bordeaux and these six friends from Co Limerick have nailed campervan living.

With 700 miles behind them and countless more ahead, the Irish fans told how they have survived so far.

And it turns out that all you need is a deck of cards, 80 bottles of Heineken and a "poo ban in the campervan".

Michael Leahy (29) has borrowed his brother-in-law's' 19-year-old vehicle and we caught up with him and his five friends today on the N118 outside Paris.

They drove from Limerick to Dublin, took a boat to Holyhead before crossing Wales and England to the port town of Folkestone.

From here they took the Channel Tunnel to Calais and drove on to Paris. They hope to reach Bordeaux tonight and will be back up to Lille for the third game.

He is joined on the road trip by pals John Barry (30), Gearoid Kiely (30), Conor Wallace (28), Niall Carmody (26) and Joe Fogarty (26).

Michael explained: “There are three of us doing the driving, myself John and Joe. Conor is the co-pilot.”

Gearoid joked that he has the most important job of all: “I'm looking after the slabs.”

The van, which only passed the DOE test on the day before they left, has been extremely reliable.

“On the way down here it is just the height restrictions on some of the bridges are the only problems we are having so far. Other than that it's all going smooth.

“There are 'two-metre' bridges in four places between Paris and Bordeaux so you have to go around them. It's slowing down the journey a wee bit. We have four days to get there so we will be alright.”

They were hoping to be in Bordeaux by early evening.

Boredom is one factor that the fans have to deal with but Conor explained that this has been resolved with a deck of cards.

“It was probably the best thing we ever got. A couple of us lost a few pounds on the way here but we will get over that.”

Sitting atop the van, Joe added: “We have 80 bottles of Heineken as well so we'll be grand.”

With six grown men in a confined space many could be forgiven for believing that it may start to smell after three weeks on the road.

But it was surprisingly clean and fragrant when our team visited it on the N118 outside Paris today.

Asked what the secret was Michael laughed: “We have a toilet there but it is just for number ones.

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“There is a poo ban in the campervan.”

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