30 days around Ireland week 4
Although being closed, we could have breakfast at The Smokey Pickle Café. There were even a few cakes, including the "death by chocolate" cake we could taste for free. A good start for the Healy pass awaiting us.
It was a rainy day again. Fortunately we could sleep at Cathriona, Liam, Conor and Mary-Kate in their recently built garage. They invited us for diner and we could use their shower.
Linda got her first flat tire in Skibbereen. Ben could hardly believe it. Fortunately we were in a village where we could put our bikes under a shelter at The West Cork Hotel. Before dealing with the flat tire we went inside for a cup of coffee. Soon we started talking to a man who turned out to be the owner of the hotel. We were offered a scone by Tim when he heard our story and plans and saw our flat tire.
Ben went swimming in Sandycove. The water was too cold for Linda. It was a sunny day. We took some beautiful photos at the sea.
At Minionbridge we were both tired. We didn't want to climb another hill. By changing the route a little bit, we soon found a place to sleep. This time in the joint garden of 5 terraced houses. Across the street was a small gas station with a supermarket where one of the residents, Kinga, worked. In the morning her husband Gregor invited us for a cup of tea. They and their children Oscar and Hannah were all big fans of Game of Thrones. In the living room, we saw pictures of the family on the throne made of swords. Part of the series is recorded in the North of Ireland and a replicate of the throne has been transported throughout Ireland.
In Ardmore, Ben had a conversation with the gardener from the graveyard at the large round tower. He showed us an open space next to the graveyard with a water tap and where we could safely pitch our tent for the night.
The route to Tom and Fiona in Rivendell was hard to find. The owner of Dunphy’s showed us the way and treated us to a Guinness. A motorcyclist passed us and said we were on the right route. Afterwards it turned out to be Tom. We were still looking for the way for a while. Finally we arrived at our last Warmshowers address in Ireland. Tom showed us some nice places on the Copper Coast route by car. In the evening we had a delicious diner together and drank a glass of wine.
The next day we completed our tour around Ireland and we were back in Waterford. It was around 11 o'clock when we were looking for a place to eat. Blackfriars appealed to us and still had its terrace in the sun. We wanted to take it easy the next days until we could take the boat to Cherbourg again. So we were looking for a B&B for 2 days. Soon we met Donal, the owner of Blackfriars and also a true cycling enthusiast. Next to us were two men having breakfast who heard our story. At a certain point everyone was thinking about where they could send us to spend two nights in Waterford. After our adventures by just knocking on people’s door randomly, we no longer wanted to pay the top price for a B&B. Donal advised us to inquire at the hotels along the main road for possibilities to spend the night for free. We liked that idea.
Next Leslie came to us unexpectedly and said he wanted to put us up in the Greenway Manor Hotel. Together with Sean he was the owner of this hotel. If we followed him in his car, he would show us the way. Pretty tough to keep up with a sports car, but we did our best and Leslie gave us the necessary breathing breaks. We were offered a super nice hotel room with a bath and a wonderful bed. We spent the afternoon relaxing and eating good food. We didn’t leave the hotel for that day. Check the video on our YouTube channel
The next day when we were having breakfast the waiter told us Leslie was on the phone for us. Leslie asked if everything was okay and if we wanted to go for a cycle trip with him, a maximum of 10 miles. We actually planned to have a resting day, but didn’t want to decline the offer. Leslie might also have an entrance at a radio station where we could tell our story. Exciting! The 10 miles eventually became 60 km. We’ve made a nice tour around Waterford, to Tramore and Dunmore East. With a delicious lunch at The Lemon Tree. Unfortunately, Suellen, Leslie's girlfriend, was unable to cycle with us because of a hip injury. She accompanied us every time during our breaks. That was fun.
We could not have wished for a nicer end of our 30 days’ tour in Ireland. Eventually Leslie arranged that we could go "on air" the next day. You can listen to the broadcast here. The next day we all had breakfast at Blackfriars again. What a lovely people! When we got home, Leslie also sent us a newspaper article.
Thank you Guillaume, Nathalie, Dennis, Liam, Patricia, Terry, Lisa, Ephraim, Jean, Family Hunter, Malcolm, Martina, Max, Tony, Nyssa, James, Pauline, Tasman, Alex, John (hay barn), Ann, John (flutist), Cathriona, Liam, Tim, Sean, Leslie, Suellen, Kieran, Monika, Kinga, Gregor, Tom and Fiona for your hospitality. We would also like to thank everyone, we have not met by name, who helped us find our way, a place to spend the night, the nearest shop and so on.
You have made our test ride in Ireland
an experience to remember.
We learned a lot from this test ride. We dedicated a blog to this experience and the things we are going to change during our world bicycle tour.