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Published: September 25th 2016
Overal view of Ireland Trip 2016
I rushed around Ireland from Galway following the coast back up to Dublin in 12 cycling days. In hindsight it was a marathon and more time should have been allowed. Luckily the wind was mostly in my favour and I did get a few days when rain persisted at least half the day, which I suppose is inevitable in Ireland, especially on the West Coast. I stayed in hostels on about 5 nights, which are not the best places if you have had a hard day and want some sleep. I used them mostly because of the high cost of accommodation in Dublin and Galway. Costs could have been kept lower if I had had a travelling companion to share the costs of the double rooms I occupied. The west coast was the most rugged and had the best wild scenery with many roads hugging the coast. The downside to this was that these roads had some very steep hills which were hard when carrying loaded panniers. This would hand been acceptable if the daily distances were less. The south coast was also very pleasant, although many roads were a bit further from the coast
and there tended to be more sandy beaches and less of the big rocky, dramatic shorelines of the west. This was even more pronounced on the east coast where you have less opportunity to get close to the sea without going down a cul de sac and back up again to the coastal road. In general the accommodation was very good, although pricey at times, and the people were very friendly. If I were to do a short trip I would definitely go for the west coast and do it more slowly with no more than 80km per day and 1000m of climbing. If the climbing worked out more than this then a reduced distance would be required. I enjoyed County Clare, the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry, although I ended up doing most of the Wild Atlantic Way which took you off this route. The Atlantic Way should be the route to take since it follows the coast better than the Ring of Kerry, which is more of a coach route. Keep away from cities such as Cork, if possible, which is a nightmare, as most cities are. You can miss Waterford by taking the ferry from
Passage East to Arthurstown. Wexford is ok since you can follow the coast and over the bridge without too much hassle before an ’R’ road following the coast to Arklow.
Overall, there is much to see with thatched cottages and loads of old and modern houses painted in glorious colours. Towns full of businesses painted in blue, purple, yellow, orange and any other colour inbetween to brighten your day. Pubs with either live Irish Folk Music or piped music of all types and not forgetting the Guinness and great seafood brought in locally. Farming has the whole spectrum with sheep and beef farming in the remote and poor pastures with milk cows on the better grasslands, although some herds are quite small, which would not be viable in England. Further south you find more arable crops such as barley, beans and maize. Ireland also has a fishing fleet, which is more than can be said of England now, bringing in some nice fresh fish for the hotels and shops. The whole of Ireland is full of visitors of all nationalities, especially Germans, French and the English of course. The drivers are very considerate of cyclists, especially on the narrower roads,
and give you a wide berth , holding back if this is not possible or if they cannot see far ahead. There are signs at the roadside asking drivers to give cyclists 1.5 metres clearance and is something we should consider in the UK. Another sign I saw in County Clare said ’Cyclists are Commuters, not Polluters - great saying. No signs of graffiti, little rubbish at the roadside and very few potholes. Great respect.
Go to Ireland, you won't be let down.
Tot: 0.511s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 10; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0212s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb