Republic of Ireland cycle tour.

September 3rd 2017
Published: September 3rd 2017
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Guinness Guinness Guinness

Old wooden barrels
Republic of Ireland 2017
Day 1 Dublin
Four of us set off from Clitheroe in the mist, which soon became a brilliant sunny day. Four more intrepid cyclists met us at the ferry terminal in Holyhead before we took the ferry to Dublin. One more lady from Scotland met us at the first hostel ready for our first evening meal together. Unfortunately a lady from San Diego in the US was unable to join us following an accident which left her with s broken ankle. We hope that this tour goes without incident and that with ever more hope that the weather is kind to us.
It feels strange to ride a fully loaded bike again, yet quite comfortable and satisfying with everyone riding at a steady measured pace.
The sea was quite calm so we did not need to spend time at the toilets praying for death,as I have on at least one occasion in the past crossing the Irish Sea. The Avalon Hostel is quite good as we have our own rooms and some of us our own shower, but alas only one single socket for our multiple chargers so a strict alternating queueing system had to be implemented.
Guinness Guinness Guinness

Steam loco
Dublin is buzzing,as usual, and everywhere was full of people eating and drinking and generally having a good time.
The Hairy Lemon was a great place for an evening meal of Irish Stew made with lamb and the obligatory pint of Guinness at 5.40 Euros. We had to wait for 20 minutes for a table for 10 to be available but it was worth the wait and would have been the same anywhere else. It was just starting to rain as we walked back to our hostel at 10pm, so good timing. Bed then for a 7.30am breakfast and on the road at 9’ish assuming the weather has improved. Slept like a log, unlike some our group who heard the night birds in the street until after 2am.

Day 2. Dublin to Galway.
Breakfast of cereal and toast with jam before setting out into the drizzle of Dublin. By consensus we agreed to abandon the city bike ride and rode to the Guinness factory for the tour. 22 Euros for the old guys which included a pint of Guinness, which is not a good thing on an empty stomach midday. However we managed to ride to the cafe in
Phoenix ParkPhoenix ParkPhoenix Park

Lunch stop
Phoenix Park without falling off, or falling foul of the Garda. The tour was very interesting and encouraged me to drink more of the stuff in future. The weather was dry and warm,at about 19 degrees, when we went to the cafe in the park and we sat out in the sun getting every opportunity we could. Just in case. At 1445 we got the City Link coach to Galway along with our bikes and bags. It was a bit of a squash to get them all in the luggage bay underneath but with a bit of teamwork and with Robert crouching and praying inside the hold we did it. Our journey took us along the Motorway and I must admit it is the first time in 10 years that I have not been held up by roadworks on the M6. We travelled through a working peat bog on the way and wondered how the road was holding up without sinking - perhaps laid on branches and mesh.
Arriving in Galway bus station we retrieved our bikes and set off to find the Galway Arms hotel in brilliant sunshine and very warm weather with hundreds of people lining the harbour

City Link office
and streets and rejoicing in Galway’s win over Waterford at the World Hurling Championship today (the world is obviously Ireland, as I suspect no other country plays hurling). The mayhem was increased by car drivers blowing their horns and generally making a racket that us oldies suffer rather than love. The hotel bar was very busy with some inebriated souls, one of whom saw me with my helmet on and thought he was being funny by asking how I had got there. He was a bit put down when I said ’By Bus’. There was nowhere for the bikes so we fastened them to the railings of the car park behind the pub next to the Garda Station. The rooms are nice and recently decorated but the shower has only one setting, scalding. The town was that busy all night that we decided to go to a quiet restaurant, Pearla na Mara,near the harbour for some haute cuisine, which was not really cycling food but which was sufficient for the little work we have done today. Tomorrow could be a different matter.

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