See I missed out day 10!!! So I have 2 day 12’s. How daft can you get.
We were up early and it was sunny to start with but did cloud over before we left just after 7.00am. I made scrambled egg buns for breakfast while DH rolled up the bedding.
We rode along the A22 to Downpatrick. This is the town where St Patrick had so much association. we then picked up the cycle route, following the Mourne coastal route. The sun had comeback out and it was lovely to feel the sea breeze as we gently climbed to Clough before getting to Newcastle.
I was a bit a apprehensive about the coastal route and would it be very hilly so called into tourist information and they told us it would be reasonably flattish? It did not disappoint and there was light traffic. We climbed up to Bloody Bridge and stopped at a picnic site for 2nd breakfast. There were quite a lot of youngsters going off to be assessed for D of E expedition stuff. The older assessors came over to ask where we had been/are going. The wife of one of them had similar voice problems to my own so I gave her my card so we can keep in touch. She has swelling of the vocal cords but hasn’t been able to pinpoint the reason. She too can no longer sing in her choir. There was also the crew of an ambulance supp!y vehicle told us about the way ahead.
So off again, the road switchback around the coast in a semi circle to go to Warrenpoint. We were joined by a roadie who rode alongside us chatting for a bit and then zoomed off as only those on a very lightweight cycle can. We stopped again for more refuelling in a picnic area near to a castle where there has been one for thousands of years. The roadie told us they had been going to put in a bridge but were £1m short so funding was withdrawn.
So there’s no other way than along to Newry. We rode along a cycle track on duel carriageway and it felt safe and fast for about 5 miles. Then we called at a local cycle shop to ask about the road ahead. A new motorway was built to take traffic from Newry to Dublin, so the old road is quiet. Great apart from the long hill with all the traffic to get to it. I confess to walking a part of it but just because once I stopped peddling , I couldn’t start on the hill again.
Just under a railway bridge , you get onto the slip road for the M1 but keep left and you are straight onto the old road. Part of bit has a well surfaced cycle track which comes to a sudden end. We turned left when we should have gone slightly right and across a mini roundabout and rejoin the old road. There’s a huge hotel called Carrick something on the corner just after this and its more or less straight into Dundalk.. By now we had ridden over 60 miles so we asked about campsites. Nothing within 20 miles so I made an executive decision. A B&B was needed. Who to ask? A taxi driver. So off to the other side of town we rode to the GlenGat House and asked if there was a room. Hallelujah she had a double and on the ground floor, and a yard to store the cycles.
So that was it. DH asked me how much it cost, being a Yorkshire man, and I hadn’t even asked. Turned out great at less than £60 for us both including breakfast!. We went and had a nice meal in the local pup but I was sooooo tired I nearly fell asleep and try as I might I couldn’t finish this write up. Just short of 65 miles for the day