Friday June 8th
Dear Family & Friends,
Today was about as close to perfect as you can get on a motorcycle trip!
I got up this morning after a good nights sleep, had a good Irish full breakfast and got on my motorcycle ready to explore…
I had no particular destination but I thought the city of Cork was at least the right direction.. So I set the GPS in my phone for Cork and started up my bike..
Well I guess my nasty comments last night about my bike’s GPS hurt it’s feeling because this morning it sprung to life and performed perfectly all day! The nice thing about the Garmin is it has an option to avoid freeways, highways, and major roads. So I took that setting so I would see the country side…
I left and started following the route as directed by the GPS and it wasn’t exaggerating when it said it was going to avoid highways.. I was soon riding down back country roads that to say they were two lane roads would be a gross exaggeration! Even a small car coming the other way required me to ride so close to the edges that I was scrapping the hedge rows…!!
Luckily in two hours there were NO cars I had to pass and only a few coming from the other direction..
I wandered through the country side until I suddenly dropped down to the coast and the road dead ended at a small ferry crossing that crossed a narrow but long bay. As I waited for the ferry a local man waiting got to talking to me and recommended a great coastal road. Since he was going that route once we got off the ferry I followed him for a few miles until I got on the coastal road.
The coastal road was a great two hour ride along stunning cliffs, ocean views and through local fishing villages and occasionally inland through local farms.
After about 4 hours I ended up in Cork. A direct route would have been less than two hours but I would have missed so much! Cork was a big city and very congested. I pulled into a gas (petrol) station to fill up my bike and to see if there were any good touristy areas in Cork..
Again a local young man came up to me and started a conversation.. I am not sure if it was me being an old man, with shaggy hair, on a motorcycle with California plates that makes people so curious or just that the Irish are a very friendly people. I think the later.
He said you don’t want to go to Cork, it is just a busy big city, ride another 12 miles to the coast and go to a town called Kinsale..
It was a terrific recommendation! Kinsale is basically like an Irish version of Carmel, California. A quaint town built around fishing and tourism. Lots of shops, great restaurants, and LOTS of pubs!
I took a walk around town and did some exploring.. As I walked by one pub they advertised real Irish Coffee. Now I really like Irish Coffee but I was always told they were invented by the Buena Vista Bar in San Fransisco. So when I went in and sat at the bar I asked the bar maid if they were invented in Ireland or SF? She looked at me like I was nuts. I’m not sure she ever heard of SF or the Buena Vista Bar but why would an Irish Coffee come from anywhere buy Ireland?? Seems to make sense.
I don’t have the definitive answer as to where Irish Coffees come from but this was the best I ever had…. So good that I immediately went back to my room and took a late afternoon nap.
Between the drink and the heat here the nap was great.. I was so worried about the cold and rain in Ireland that I never expected to see hot summer days.!! It was close to 80 degrees today!! Everyone tells me this is the exception and rain is around the corner..
After my nap I took another walk around town and tried to decide where to have dinner. There were so many places that looked great. My general rule of thumb in a tourist town is not to eat right in the high traffic areas because those restaurants have so much business they don’t have to try hard so I walked up the hill a couple of blocks and found an excellent diner house..
I went in and was warmly greeted by the manager / waitress. I would guess an mid 30s local that was warm and friendly.. Great service.
First diner started out with some very good crusty country bread with real Irish butter. The butter was so much better than ours..
Then a bowl of seafood chowder with mostly crab and some other shell fish. Again excellent.
And finally Irish Roasted Pork Belly that was to die for..
And of course all topped off with some red wine..
After dinner the waitress asked if I would like desert.. I told her I was allergic to deserts, they made me swell around the middle.. She laughed and understood…
A totally satisfying motorcycle day.. Good weather, good roads, good scenery, a good place to stay, and great food. What more could you ask for.
Tomorrow another adventure…
To call this a two lane road would be an exaggeration!
Waiting for the ferry…
Wonderful curvy roads along the coast.. Perfect for motorcycling.!!
Irish rolling hills.. A major dairy farm area with lots of green grass and the smell of cows everywhere…
What a great way to start the day… my morning coastal ride.
My “Noble Steed”
Arriving in Kinsale…
A walk around tour of Kinsale, lots of pubs.. Must be an Irish thing.. 😉
The local bar maid……
A real Irish Coffee..
A few of the locally brewed beers….
Time for dinner below…
It is certainly a colorful town..