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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 5°C

# The Happy Camper

All time
# The Happy Camper
People are rallying around that little pancake caravan in Donegal after a disastrous weekend
From heartache to hope.
# The Happy Camper
This little caravan sells delicious pancakes in the spectacular setting of the hills of Donegal
Lovely.
# reflections
The Happy Camper: Final thoughts on an incredible tournament
The Happy Camper is home in wet and windy Ireland. It didn’t stop him from penning one last diary entry for RWC 2011.
# check in
The Happy Camper: it's time to go home, Tosh
Cian the van is parked up for the last time and the lads file onto the flight home with plenty of other Irish. It’s been a wild ride.
# Green army
The Happy Camper: home thoughts from abroad
As they point it towards the airport, our man in the van recalls the many Irish friends they’ve made along the road.
# garbage time
The Happy Camper: 'it feels like a one horse town when the horse is out to lunch'
It’s back behind the wheel for the lads after the weekend’s heartbreak before the flight home this week.
# End of the road
The Happy Camper: And now the party goes on without us
“Imagine a junior disco in Ireland. Now imagine it without the tipsy teens staggering from one song to another before a big fight breaks out.”
# End of the road
The (Un)Happy Camper: Bye, bye, bye Delilah
“Before leaving Dublin we asked only one thing of this Irish team; a whole-hearted performance. And, by God, they delivered that in every second of every game.”
# Camper's run
The Happy Camper: watch out Wellington, here comes the cavalry
The greening of Wellington is almost complete. But half the Irish in town have tickets to the wrong quarter-final.
# On The Road
The Happy Camper: the joys of living in a van
“Tosh arrives over to make the deposit in our laundry press. CLICK, FLOP: a pair of boxer shorts lands with unwavering precision in the middle of my bowl, breakfast is over.”
# Reality check
The Happy Camper: 'It's like a deserted city scene from 28 Days Later'
The lads roll into Christchurch, a city still very much recovering from their devastating earthquake.
# Penny Pinching
The Happy Camper: new austerity measures on the road
“Men like Tom Crean and Roald Amundsen have looked into such tracts of the wild unknown and thought ‘onward.’ For us, this will be the southern limit of our lifetime.”
# Business end
The Happy Camper: the long and winding road...
It’s the morning after the night before and the lads head out for a bit of a bird-watch. Literally.
# Sea of Green
The Happy Camper: Bring on the Welsh!
The Happy Camper is soaking up the post-match atmosphere in Dunedin. How we wish we could be there too.
# On The Road
The Happy Camper: we always knew this would define our tournament
“The Dunedin Holiday Park was a hive of activity deep into the cold night as the community gathered to sing the songs that always bring us together.”
# Setting the Scene
The Happy Camper: the calm before the storm
The Happy Camper has arrived in Dunedin and is soaking up some pre-match atmosphere ahead of Ireland’s crunch clash against Italy.
# Going native
The Happy Camper: a leap of faith ahead of Italy game
Some 84 kilos of Irish beef free-falling toward the Heineken-bottle green river below. Checklist completed; seen it, done it got the T-shirt… now for some rugby.
# Leap of faith
The Happy Camper: come fly with me...
The free-fall from 9,000 feet lasts around 20 seconds. It was terrifying, exhilarating and a serious rush for the senses – it was almost as good as beating Australia in Eden Park.
# On The Road
The Happy Camper: head west, young man
“It feels so long ago since the dizzy highs we experienced in Auckland, but you can always rely on the Irish to make you feel part of a group, at kick off 20 people have drifted in.”
# Island hopping
The Happy Camper: southbound and down
“It was another early start in Wellington this morning, 7 am at the ferry terminal. With the Aussies in town, we shacked up on the outskirts of the city, in Porirua, and catch a train to spend Friday evening chanting ‘USA, USA’”