Ireland Tour May 2012

 Saturday 19th May

Left home at 5.00 am for early train

Got trains to Holyhead and ferry to Dublin

Cycled around the city and to Camac Valley Campsite on outskirts of Dublin.

24 miles

Sunday 20th May

Left campsite at 9.00 am

Cycled into Dublin to have a further look at the city.

Made my way to Drogheda via Skerries and coast road.

Arrived at Anthony's just after 4.00pm

53 miles.

Monday 21st May

Day off being shown around Drogheda by Anthony.

Tuesday 22nd May

Anthony’s son Noel drove us down to near Mizen.

Camped at Barleycove campsite 5 miles from Mizen Head.

Met up with Louis and took an instant dislike to the man. He was doing a sponsored charity ride but was obviously cheating his sponsors. Fortunately he was only going to be with us for one night.

Wednesday 23rd May

Anthony and me rode up to Mizen Head to start E2E.

Damp in the mist at Mizen Head.

Rode via Bantry to Glengarriff.

Stopped for a cuppa and mysteriously Louis arrived at cafe a few minutes after us.

Camped at O'Shea's Caravan and Camping Park where the facilities were poor and midges were prevalent. Not recommended.

Surprised to see Louis turn up again.

45 miles

Thursday 24th May

Went via Healy's Pass which was followed by another long climb.

Discussion with Anthony revealled things with Louis not what I was led to believe.

Louis was waiting for us in Kenmare after taking another short cut.

Had argument with him when he started bragging about it his route.

Anthony seemed to side with him and sat down at a 2 place table with him, couldn’t take the situation any longer so I left and rode on alone.

Enjoyed the climb up to Molls Gap and to Killarney.

Friendly lady in Bike Hire shop in the town looked after my bike while I shopped for food and a road map.

TI recommended Fleck campsite which had excellent facilities.

56 miles

Friday 25th May

Rode mainly busy roads into and out of Tralee.

Tried to find quieter roads to Tarbert, arrived just in time for the Shannon Ferry.

TI at terminal sent me to a campsite no longer there.

Did a few extra miles following instructions from locals to find a campsite.

Near Killee I camped at the Pure camping site and Yoga centre.

Very friendly owners new facilities being built.

69 miles.

Saturday 26th May

Ten miles after leaving passed a campsite at Doohbeg that would have saved a lot of miles.

Red hot day with strong wind against so an all day battle.

Followed coast and cut in land after cliffs.

Stopped for the day at Corrofin.

Nice campsite in middle of village with a well equipped camper’s kitchen.

54 miles.

Sunday 27th May

Easyish ride through the Burren, except for heavy traffic in last 20 miles.

Looked around Galway and wasn't impressed.

Cyclist guided me out of town and along coast to campsite at Salthill.

Salthill a seaside resort was packed with people and cars.

Camped at O'Hallarons campsite, very friendly guy looking after campsite.

Good facilities and chairs loaned to cycle campers and backpackers.

56 miles.

Monday 28th May

Photo of me leaving Salthill campsite by Emmanuel Sarraco. A French fellow cycle camper we camped on the same site two nights running.

Had to go back through Galway, roads into and out of were busy and chaotic.

Nearly got crushed by lorry on road out and forced into ditch.

Did eventually find some quiet lanes

Headed for Knock where I was told of a campsite.

Last 5 miles was on busier road but had good shoulder to ride on.

The campsite just up from church, a holy place for Roman Catholics.

Really nice campsite next to the famous religious site.

Wondered around the church and grounds after getting pitched.

54 miles.

Tuesday 29th May

Eaten alive again by midges so packed up quickly.

Kept on main road with wide shoulder all day as my map didn't show any lane alternatives.

Got into Sligo, TI gave me campsite details.

I also booked return ferry on Sunday from Belfast to Liverpool, at Travel Agents.

Got supplies in Tesco and rode out to campsite a 5 mile detour but no alternative.

Camped at Greenlands Rosses Point, very nice campsite with really comfortable lounge area for cycle campers.

52 miles.

Wednesday 30th May

Good early start with a dry tent (hurray).

Main road again to Bundorant just before Ballyshannon.

Left coast and headed inland passing by large loch I stopped to eat at picnic spot.

Made my way through quiet roads towards Castlederg but could not find a campsite.

Local cyclists took me to a farmer friend near Strabane who let me camp.

Nice patch of grass, an outside loo and a water tap.

66 miles.

Thursday 31st May

Feeling very queasy but decided to carry on.

Rode to Derry took picture by Peace Bridge then on to Malin.

Very misty and disappointing, couldn’t see much.

Made my way back to Foyleside campsite at Quigley's Point.

Excellent site run by very nice gentleman aged 73.

66 miles

Friday 1st June

Made my way to Loch Foyle ferry to head along Antrim coast.

Still not feeling 100% I had very gentle ride through Colraine and Bushmills.

Visited Giant's Causeway and was very disappointed.

TI at GC got me a pitch although campsite had said they were fully booked.

Camped at Ballyness Caravan Park, Bushmills very nice but busy site. It was however a bank holiday weekend.

43 miles.

Saturday 2nd June

Set out for Antrim still not feeling too well.

Decided I was ready to go home with objectives achieved.

At Ballymoney the lady in the TI helped me change my ferry booking to tonight.

So I headed for Belfast and ferry.

Lumpy ride with wind against but had plenty of time in hand.

Stopped at Ballymena for a bite to eat.

Had a sausage and chips in park near to port. Not very nice.

Got to ferry terminal early and was able to sit in lounge area.

Boarded ferry, bike went on special trailer . On board I found a nice place to sleep.

67 miles.

Sunday 3rd June

Ferry docked in Birkenhead not Liverpool at 6.30am

Still not feeling well with stomach aches, I decided to go home by train.

Being Sunday had to wait for station to open.

Most trains cancelled so made my way to Chester to get Birmingham train.

Got home just before 4.00 pm.