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Driftwood Tour Guides

Every Driftwood tour of Ireland is led by one of our superb team of guides.

They have the best job in the world, roaming Ireland’s stunning landscape, having a great laugh with like-minded people and sharing with them their knowledge of the Island’s history, culture and landscape. People are amazed at the knowledge and enthusiasm of the guides and how much information we pass across to our passengers.

The guides also work very hard to answer your queries, and they make you feel at home throughout your trip. To ensure this, our staff are carefully selected and trained (to be naturally funny and entertaining) to make sure you’ll never forget Ireland or Driftwood.

Meet the team:

vagabond team dancing small 

Left to right: Mark, Dee, Wendy (dancing), Larry (almost dancing), Emmet, Nick, Mia, Russ and Aidan during pre season dancing training.

Guides Profiles:

Rob

Rob Rankin – Founder and owner of Driftwood. Originally from Scotland but has lived in Ireland for many happy years, he started Vagabond after travelling in Southern Africa and thinking that a more active, adventure tour of Ireland would be a great idea. Rob is an outdoor enthusiast and also a keen amateur historian (with an MA in Modern History), so this is the perfect job for him.
Please do not ask Rob to sing on tour, for your own sake.

 

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Mark

Mark, from Naas Co Kildare is a true Vagabond, having travelled and cycled almost all over the world, including Iceland (with his bike) and Antarctica (without his bike). In fact in 2009 Mark embarked on amazing journey to be the first Irishman to cycle around the world, which he duly completed. It was an amazing achievement. Since then he has gone on to get married and become a father and he recently completed the prestigious National Tour Guide Training programme. Mark once had a job as the lion feeder in the circus, a job many would give their right hand for. Mark’s humour, charm and attentiveness blended with his enthusiasm for Ireland (and for most things, actually) will make you feel that you arrived home in Ireland and are travelling with an old friend.

“Dear Mark, Thank you for a wonderful 5 days. You can’t control the weather but you made the best of every day. Vagabond tours are a great way to see the off track parts of Ireland. We really enjoyed the history, the stories and the songs as well as the the laughs and companionship of our fellow travelers. Great tour. Keep trekking, cycling and sharing your wealth of knowledge and love for travel with everyone.”


Ian and Karen  Melbourne, Australia.

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Wendy

Wendy is  the musician of the team, a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, and when not Vagabonding she works as a musician, and runs a professional music management business (Wendy Jack Music: www.wendyjackmusic.com ) And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy she is also working on a long-term project restoring a traditional Irish cottage (very slowly). Plus Wendy has a BA Business and an MA International Relations and is also fluent in history, politics, geology, archaeology, myths, legends, fun and adventure, indeed everything you’d expect from an Irish tour guide.

“Just a quick note but thank you, thank you, thank you! We had a wonderful time on the tour. Wendy was brilliant – she was so knowledgeable about the geology, geography and history of Ireland, so much fun and pleasant, so patient and considerate – a really, really wonderful guide.” 
Colleen Schiefen

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Mia

Champion sportswoman, world traveller, holder of a degree in Business   – Mia has many talents. With a blue-chip company background Mia is extremely professional, and has a wealth of information on Ireland and on life here, which she relays to her passengers in a relaxed and amusing fashion. Mia was recruited through the Tipperary witness protection scheme, and her real name is a closely guarded secret, but she might tell you on your tour!

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Russ

A guy that people tend to look up to , standing 6’5″ in his socks, Russ is a fully trained ambulance medic, and is also handy enough with a chainsaw (he has trained in horticulture and worked as a landscape gardener). Having travelled extensively through Europe, North America and Australasia, Russ now loves showing people around Ireland and sharing his passion for, and knowledge of, his country. Russ’s calm and professional style instantly makes his passengers feel at home and welcome. We know you will have a great time with the Big Man.

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 Dee the vagabond guide

(pronounced ‘Dee’)

Recently described by a passenger as ‘the heart and soul’ of their tour, Dee is a qualified hill-walking, kayaking and mountaineering instructor, and a true outdoors person who also enjoys surfing, painting and yoga. She combines these passions with a wealth of knowledge on Ireland, and her friendly and bubbly personality to make her tours a fantastically fun, quirky and adventurous experience for all her passengers. D is also building a growing reputation for her art work, and last year her exhibition at the Cliffs of Moher visit centre was the highest selling exhibition ever held there! Click here to read more testimonials

 

 Larry for website

Larry

Larry came to Vagabond after a (really) long career in public service, which included working in Namibia and Bosnia Herzegovina. His last position was in a public order role, but since joining Vagabond we have completely re-trained Larry and his use of the taser with customers has reduced significantly. An enthusiastic singer and supreme teller of jokes, Larry also has a fantastic first hand knowledge of Ireland and its past. Recently Larry finished his exams for an honours degree in Law, and we wish him the best of luck with them. Larry is originally from County Clare in the West of Ireland and is a keen supporter of their gaelic games teams, just warning you…

 

 

 

sean for website

Sean

Special Sean is from Galway, the city of the tribes (and hippies).  He attended college at West Wales school of Art doing an honours degree in photography but got restless with wanderlust and hit the road. Since then he has traveled to 22 countries and counting (despite being scared of flying). Sean’s passions aside from wandering around the world are film/photography, surfing and mountaineering. He has surfed, hiked, kayaked and climbed all over Ireland and you may even spot him trying to climb up a cliff face on tour. Sean’s favourite part of Ireland has to be Connemara, it is a photographers dream location and is also the birth place of his father who never learned English until he started in school. Sean also enjoys a good musical.

 

 

Steve

Steve (Sarge) is the action man of the team. When not leading a Vagabond group he is often found with the part-time Irish Defence Forces with whom he serves. And when he is not doing that, he is working in computer science and speaking German. Calm and collected, nothing is a problem or too much to ask for the Sarge and you know that when you are on his tour, you are in safe hands. “Steve – I want to thank you for making our trip that much more enjoyable. As I told you, I had planned this trip for years and it was very important to me to take Erin to see Ireland. I had plenty of time to have a lot of images in my head of what I expected it to be like. You helped make that dream come true, with your friendliness, easy-going attitude and knowledge of the country and its history. Thanks again for all you did for us.
”  Mary
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 emmet for website

Emmet

An archeologist by trade, Emmet is truly one of the most knowledgeable, professional and engaging guides we have ever worked with, he is also the best in the team at wiggling his ears. From Wexford, in the south east of Ireland, Emmet is a father of three boys and in his spare time is currently restoring an old farmhouse. He also enjoys eating seaweed.

 

 Aidan for website

Aidan

Aidan’s file is currently classified.

 

 

 Henry for website

Henry

Bear with us, we are just making stuff up about Henry. But he is now known at Vagabond as ‘The Hoff’…

 

 

 tim for website

Tim

Tim (far left) has mountaineered across Europe, America, Middle East, Nepal, Ireland and the UK and has worked as a Mountaineering Instructor / Guide for over 20 years. He loves coffee and and can eat seafood chowder 7 days in a row for lunch when touring the west or south west of Ireland. He has a Great Dane that he would love to bring on tour with him…but he would take up at least 3 seats. As will Tim if he eats seafood chowder every day on tour. Tim also trained as a luthier (musical instrument maker) under the famous Paul Doyle of Galway City, making mandolins, mandolas, bouzouki’s and classical guitars. Recently a customer suggested that Tim looked a bit like George Clooney. A bit.

 

 

 

 Nick for website

Nick

Nick has recently returned from his travels around the world, and decided he wanted to keep on moving and sharing his love of Ireland with visitors – so working as a driver guide for Vagabond seemed a logical step. Plus Nick was brought up in a Bed and Breakfast in his native county Wexford in the south east of Ireland – so customer service and hospitality comes naturally to him.