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Published: September 16th 2016
Ireland Day 7
Last night I had to cycle 3km to The Anvil Pub in Doolpools for a meal. Stuffed lamb with mash, broccoli, carrots and gravy. Divine. Washed downed with a red wine and The Guinness, of course. Being a country/folk lover it was nice to be serenaded by piped Irish Folk Music. Not as good as live, but beggars can't be choosers. Funny how you get used to a loaded bike, I was wavering about for balance on the way back on what had become a lightweight bike (or was that the Guinness?). I woke up to a great mountain view from my French Windows, complete with the low cloud hanging over the upper reaches. It looks like I may have a dry day today, but you never know around here. It often begins dull, breaking out with sun mid-morning, drizzle, or rain mid afternoon for an hour and then sun again in the evening. When the sun is out and a tail wind you can ride in just a shirt, otherwise a thin gilet or thin long sleeved jacket ( or even the old trusted cape). I always have my bright yellow pannier covers on to make myself
visible to the traffic which I find most courteous, giving you plenty of space when overtaking. We are commuters, not polluters.
Today set off dull and contrary to the forecast it started to rain within 10 minutes only to stop after 10 minutes. This occurred about four times during the course of the day making my cape do overtime. However, despite the contrary weather it was a great day with some stunning scenes. I hugged the coast most of the time ignoring the Ring of Kerry signs, which I have discovered is more of a coach circuit using wide N roads. The Wild Atlantic Way route also takes you away from the coast at times. One of the best routes was the Skellig Ring, although it entailed a hard climb out of Portmagee of about 1 km at 15% - tough. A car passed me half way up and the occupant was at the viewpoint at the top. I jokingly accused him of cheating using a car. He said when I get to his age he will get his bike out and do it. I said you had better start now since he was only in his mid 50’s. Due
to the scarcity of cafes the fuel stations with stores came into their own again with specially made sandwiches and brews. Firstly at Glenbeigh and then at Caherciveen in early afternoon where a lady from Longridge, which is 12 miles from Clitheroe, came up to me and introduced herself since she had seem my Clitheroe Bike Club top and was amazed at the coincidence. I was intrigued to see a couple of large home-made machines on tracks with augers and big chains and sprockets with wide wooden slatted tracks. I found out that they were used for extracting Peet, which is very prevalent around here and big piles are to be seen at houses ready for winter fuel. I was intrigued at Caherciveen where there is a sculpture of four monks with a tall cross sat closely together in a very small boat shaped like a banana. I will have to research this. If you want to make money in Ireland you could do worse than to be into paint manufacturing and property painting since the bulk of the houses are painted quite attractively in all colours, yellow, orange, blue, pink and red etc. The hostel I chose at Ballinskelligs
is quite nice with a double bed to myself and modern, clean room. The drawback is it is self catering. This is ok for breakfast but I was not prepared for the evening meal bit. The two pubs in the small village stopped doing food for the winter and the only store was at a fuel station 2km away with a very limited range. I bought a packet of chicken soup and mixed it with some rice and made a chicken risotto special. Ready Steady Cook here I come. Hunger is never far away.
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