After driving from the Scottish highlands to Holyhead, enduring a 3.5 hour ferry crossing, negotiating Dublin city centre at rush hour we managed, more by good luck than anything else, to find our hotel.
A very pleasant lady checked us in and told us we’d be in Room 308. Since we had three panniers each we decided we’d take the elevator, but once inside we noticed that there were only two floors. We looked at each other and came out with exactly the same comment, at exactly the same time – “We are in Ireland!”
The hotel was very close to Heuston Station so we tottered round there first thing this morning and caught the 9am train to Cork. The guard actually met us on the platform and directed us to where we should load up our bikes, then suggested we take a couple of seats close by. Indeed, everyone we’ve met in Ireland has been super-friendly and helpful and I have this theory that folk see two old guys in bollock hugging lycra and feel a bit sorry for us. They see two oldies having a late life crisis. Like the Cork bus driver who ran after us to tell us we were heading off in completely the wrong direction. Thank you sir.
So, once we were turned around and shoved off in the right direction we made it out of Cork without any problem, the beginning of a superb 40 mile bike ride hrough the delightful countryside and coast of West Cork. The highlight was probably riding in a peloton of French cyclists for the last few miles into Clonakilty. We sat in the slipstream and were literally pulled along.
And then, in an amazing coincidence, we discovered we were all staying in the same B/B. Bon chance!
Went looking for food and ended up in a pub called Mick Finns, would you believe. Hamish really pushed the boat out and had a half of Guinness which he eventually struggled through. I’ve told him Guinness is an acquired taste and he’ll have to stick with it. A couple of pints a night and he’ll be fine. I don’t think he’s totally convinced…
Tomorrow – Clonakilty to Goleen via the magnificently named Skibbereen!