Ireland the South. Day 11

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September 20th 2016
Published: September 20th 2016
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Day 11
Weather good today as I set off from Carrigaline after a good long sleep. The only trouble was Cork. As you can guess with any big city the traffic, especially early morning is here is horrendous. I managed a minor route along the banks of the river Lee past the impressive Blackrock Castle. It was built as a fort in 1582 to defend the port of Cork and later made into a castle built of limestone, which had to burn down every hundred years, as they did in those days. Damn it, there was enough water surrounding it. Eventually I got to the bridge and wrestled with the traffic to get to the north bank. I think my wide,yellow panniers and flapping jacket helped to clear a swathe through the mayhem. One on the north bank I trundled eastwards along the mighty N25 shoulder oblivious to the speeding cars and lorries on my right quarter. I stopped at a gas station for a coffee and five sausage rolls which were on offer for 2 euros - bargain - and sat down at a table to eat in luxury for a change. Once on the road again the traffic lessened a little and the margin at the side of the road became almost a full lane width so felt much better. The contrast with the west coast of Ireland could not have been so stark. There are some good seaside towns here with busy harbours but the roads inbetween are not conducive to pleasant cycling. I stopped to eat my sandwich on the harbour at Youghal and got talking to a lady on a coach trip from Daventry who left Ireland when she was 21, and the Troubles were on, and now wishes she lived here again now that it appears to be doing so well. My plotting will have to improve as I went up a narrow country road today only for it to end abruptly at some thorn bushes. Luckily I scraped through and found s bridle way beyond which was just rideable. I also passed a crop today that I thought was beans at first but on closer inspection were the size of black currants but sweeter and softer very much like a blueberry but they were on a big field and harvested with a big machine taking the stalk complete and removing the berry. Any ideas anyone, since the farmer was not present? I am now at Barnawee Bridge 3km from the town of Dungarvan where I will have to cycle tonight to prevent starvation. My lights are at the ready, but are my legs - 105 km today and 850 m of climbing. Time will tell. My bedroom window overlooks the estuary, which is mud at the moment but is reputed, according to my landlady, to be spectacular at night when the tide comes in. We will see when I return.

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