Today marks the end of my first week in the Republic of Ireland. Time for a quick update on life on the road here. I’m adjusting well, and more importantly feeling healthy and alive.
Landing in Cork after an beautiful evening flight from Bristol, I made my way to a pre-arranged bed and breakfast close by. It was a comfortable place to spend my first night, and adjust to being somewhere that isn’t my homeland. It may not be far away, but the roads are all marked differently andit felt foriegn. The lady who ran the B&B couldn’t do enough to help. Not only did I get a lift to the pub, but the next morning saw me getting ready to leave, along with a big bag of freshly baked, home made scones.
The weather was warm and drizzly, and from then until now has proven to be totally unpredictable. Every day has been one of more than one, and often all four seasons. I’ve made my way around the peninsular’s of Mizen Head and Beara, and the scenery has become more engaging and breathtaking with every mile.
Yesterday I rode to Kenmare from Aliihies, which lies at the western end of the Beara peninsula. I started out in torrential rain, and then spent the rest of the day stripping off layer after layer as it warmed up. The scenery stole my heart, and the hills my breath, as I came to terms with big climbs I had to undertake first thing in the morning.
They werent the first hills of the trip. Everyday has had big climbs, and I’m just beginning to feel strong on them after several weeks away. The rewards, as ever, was stunning views and panorama’s across this penninsula, and the Ring of Kerry, where the Macgillicuddy Reeks held curtains of rain, and showed glimpses of the beauty to come in the next few days.
I feel relaxed and happy to be on the bike again. Trevor (the trailer) is winging his way to Castlegregory on the north coast of the Dingle peninnsula as I speak, and I’ll be glad to have him back again. I wont go into that story now, but living out of panniers is fine until it pisses down and you have to store four wet bags in a one man tent. I could just leave them on the bike, but that means unpacking everything first, and I’ve been spoiled with the trailer. Trevor also has all the logo’s and stickers that tell people why I’m riding, something I need to promote the journey as I go.
Camping here has been a real pleasure. Not expensive, and variable, from immaculate sites with lots of facilities, to a paddock by somebody’s house. All have been enjoyable, and the owners have all been friendly and helpful to boot.
I’ve slowed down for this section. It’s too beautiful to rush through. I’ve three days on the Ring of Kerry, and then another three days where I’ll be touring Dingle at a leisurely pace with Michele, who’s flying out to meet me at her friends house in Castlegregory. It’s down to her effort that Trevor is returning to the fold, and I can’t thank her enough for it. Other Sustrans volunteers have provided helpful knowledge and advice, and Mark from Barnstaple even managed to remove the wheels, so big thanks to him.
Today is a rest, not because I need one, but because the weather forecast was appalling, something the weather has actually lived up to. High winds and driving rain on a cycle, or a day spent with people I met at the appropriately named Barley Cove last weekend. No contest really. I’m happy to share food and tea and talk the day away.
I have to sign off now as the library shuts for lunch. How quaint is that? I’ll be back as soon as I can, sooner if I ever sort out the data connection on the iPad, lol.
You take care and I’ll be thinking of you all as I pedal through this remarkable country forthe next month or so. Until then Please do donate to Mind at www.justgiving.com/Riding2Recovery