The Celtic Tiger years have long gone in Ireland now, but this Tiger did the Celtic coast of both the Republic and Northern Ireland. So why did I do it? Well I didn’t do much the year before so I was having itchy wheels to do something this year. I’ve been to Ireland so many times before but there's a lot I hadn't seen and it just seemed like a great thing to do, just bugger off on bike with tent! The seed was set early in the year, days booked off from work and ‘planning’ started? Well I didn’t plan a lot, in fact I wish I had done more but that was that. I only planned getting as far as Rosslare and didn’t plan any of the overnight stops because I had no way of knowing where I would be one night from the next. The general idea was to ride as close to the coastline as possible, stop somewhere at night then carry on until I was all the way around.
The trip to Rosslare was 365 miles and the most I did in a day in Ireland was 233 miles, but mileage doesn’t really mean a lot when you on the bike up to 10 hours a day for 2 weeks. It’s amazing what you learn along the way, things that work and the ones that don’t, what's waterproof and what isn’t! Some days weren’t very pleasant mainly due to the rain and wind but most were excellent. The randomness of it all helped find the more interesting places. The roads go from smooth twisting, scenic, car-less go-on-forever to what can only be described as sheep tracks along cliff edges where you wished you were riding a real off-road bike. But the people of Ireland made this trip, treated like a friend first, a foe second. Riding a bike here you are just a person riding a bike like a car or taking the bus… mainland UK take note!
But the Tiger did OK, despite nearly coming a cropper on many occasions, sometimes my fault – don’t stare at the map whilst riding! Others people pulling right out in front of me because ‘nobody’ usually drives down here! And meeting cars coming at you on mountain passes because they've overtaken a tractor on a blind bend! But all in all the riding in both the south and the north are fine… compared with the driving (racing) back here. The scenery was just wonderful and being alone on the empty roads just added to the magic and mystery.
Do it again? – Yes but a little different in the way of a smaller capacity off road bike so some of the more challenging and remote areas could be investigated like residential islands that have no bridge or causeway so cut off by the tide. Also staying in hostels more. They are great places to meet other fellow travellers. Of course this would take longer, at least a month or four. I missed so much by constantly moving but I achieved what I intended to do and enjoyed the experience.
So hopefully the pictures will tell my story of this 3137-mile mini adventure...
Thank you for viewing,
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