Sunday June 10th
Dear Family & Friends,
I missed last night’s blog for a very good reason…. Ireland is a small country and everything is close by. Since it was the weekend Bonnie and her girlfriend and her husband (who was visiting her) decided to take a weekend drive. When Bonnie and I talked Friday night we discovered we were going to be in the same town the next day! So last night I spent the evening with my sweetheart and was way to busy to write…..
Yesterday’s ride was another terrific day.. Almost to hot, at least for Ireland, close to 80.. I am sure sometime during this trip I will be wishing for the clear and warm days, but now it just didn’t feel like Ireland.
When I left Kinsale I took the coastal road which just winds it’s way along bays, cliffs, and quaint villages. I felt like I spent the day in a post card!
Along the way I went through the town of Clonakilty, who’s main tourist attraction was a giant model railway of all the historic train stations in the County Cork. Being one who loves anything with wheels and a motor I had to stop and see it. I was quite spectacular and I have posted lots of photos of it in my blog.
From there I kept riding down the coast. At one point I came to a small village where they were paving the one main road through town so traffic was quite backed up since it was one way at a time through the town. As I sat on my bike there was an elementary school next to the road with lots of kids playing soccer(football here). Suddenly one of the balls came sailing over the fence and into the stopped traffic. The ball wedged under the front wheel of the bus behind me.. Since traffic wasn’t moving I stopped my bike, blocked the bus, got off and got the ball and tossed it back into the school. Sometimes the small actions have the biggest rewards… The kids and teacher all lit up with smiles and cheered thank you to me, and the people in all the cars stopped there including the bus gave me a big cheer.. If felt so good to give such a modest kindness.
From there I continued down the coast taking pictures here and there until I got to the town of Skibbereen. I nice average small town in Ireland, but what was special is I met Bonnie and her friends there. Before they arrived I checked into the B&B where we were staying and walked next door to a small coffee shop run by a couple and we were the only ones there. We got to talking and the next thing to come up was Trump and USA politics. An hour and half later I left. It was interesting and enjoyable to learn about other peoples perceptions of the USA, and right now it is not good…..
By the time I got back to the B&B Bonnie and had arrived and we warmly embraced after not seeing each other for over two weeks. We walked into town and met her friends at a local pub. After a good Irish gin we went out for an excellent dinner a highly recommend local place called The Church.. An at least 17th century church that had been converted into an excellent restaurant.. It was a wonderful meal.
The next morning Bonnie and I had a passionate “Irish Morning”, I am not sure if it was being in Ireland or just not seeing each other for so long but it was a great way to start the day…
After breakfast we said our good byes and each set out in our own directions..
I continued south to CrooksHeaven.. As the name suggests it was a far away hide out village. It is also at the very tip of the south western point of Ireland.. After that is was just the open water of the Atlantic. Quite dramatic views..
From there I started back up the peninsula but on the northern side. My
GPS took me onto a narrow narrow road, more like a trail. In fact within 20 minutes there wasn’t even pavement and soon the GPS said I was not on any known road.. I could see the bay that I wanted to get to off in the distance but with no idea how to get there so I just followed this dirt trail down the mountain until it suddenly was blocked by a large farm tractor. I got off my bike and waked around it and found that the trail ended there at an old barn. Out front was a farmer that looked at least 100 years old. I asked him directions and he was friendly enough but his accent was so thick I didn’t understand a word he was saying! After a few uh huh’s and shrugged shoulders I could see we were getting no where. Luckily just then what looked like his grand daughter came out and spoke very clear English. She explained to me how to get back to civilization…
I turned around and continued on the dirt road for another mile or two when it suddenly became paved, still barely wider than a single car but definitely an improvement. After another few miles it because a paved two lane road! And when I say two lane it was still no wider than my driveway but it was still better. And finally I found the main road. What a relief.
I continued riding along around the bay and then the road went up into the hills above the bay and the views were spectacular.. Great roads and no traffic. Quite a few motorcyclists too so I knew I was in the right area!
At the top of the mountain there was a tiny stone building with a coffee shop in it so I stopped. There again my bike covered in stickers drew lots attention and questions. I met one friendly couple from Canada who also road a BMW motorcycle back home so we had a long talk.
After that I rode another 45 minutes to Kenmare along the Ring of Kerry.
It is a small town but obviously caters to tourist since the main street is lined with out door pubs, cafes, and B&Bs. I found a really nice room above a pub and checked in.
I walked the town, did a bit of exploring, had a tall glass of wine and went back to my room for an afternoon nap…. life is good.
After I awoke I started writing this blog. I was writing away when I got a text.. Bonnie and her friends had been driving through this town, saw my motorcycle out front and stopped at the pub across the street from me! I told you it is a small country…
So I couldn’t let my sweetheart come to town without a visit. I ran downstairs and joined them for another gin and tonic…
We had a nice visit and they got back on the road. By then it was around 7pm and they still had a couple of hours to drive to get back to their place. Luckily this time a year it stays light past 10pm!
Now I am back in my room finishing up this blog then it is back down stairs for an evening meal of Irish lamb stew and a good glass of wine.
Tomorrow is another adventure..
The “FUEL” that powers a good motorcycle trip!
An afternoon gin and tonics with my sweetheart and friends..
Here are some photos of the beautiful coast line and countryside of south west Ireland.. Great motorcycling!
This is a human graveyard from 2000-3000BC with human remains still in it.
Lots of twisty roads that are great for a motorcycle or sports car.
Technically this is a two lane road…
A very nice local coffee shop where my motorcycle acted as a gateway to several good conversations with locals and people from all over the world.
The model train museum I wrote about. All out door replicas of famous Irish railways..
Man does not live by motorcycles alone.. A quick stop for lunch..
Below is The Church restaurant
Below are photos of the very south western tip of Ireland.. very remote, but they still managed to have a pub…
Getting lost and coming head to head with this tractor. He wasn’t going to move so I had to turn around this big heavy bike on a very narrow dirt road… part of the adventure.
Below is Kenmare,,, where I am tonight..