Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 3, 2022

Summer Tour 2022 part 3

Leaving Scotland I frantically tried to find us a B&B for the night and was so glad my friend Margaret, who I was in Portugal with in February, showed me how to use a booking site.

Welcome tonBelfast

Arriving in Belfast, we followed Komoot to get to a lovely little place a few miles in the north of the city. We got a pizza from a place within walking distance and were soon tucked up in bed.

Next day , we set off South and picked up EV1 on the river Lagan. This is a lovely route that winds it’s way out of the city and through the beautiful Lagan meadow where we saw swans with cygnets.

River Lagan
Millennium post waymarker
Swan family

By now it was beautifully sunny and warm and we wound along the Lagan valley into Lisburn with its arts centre. Here we had a break for second breakfast before continuing to follow EV1 part of the Atlantic coast route. We came across this little place.

Lisburn arts centre

We were so pleased to get ice cream from the little freezer with its honesty box. So lovely to be trusted.

Eventually, we came off the route to get to Lurgan where DH’s cousin lives and had offered a bed for the night. We had a lovely time catching up as we haven’t seen them in about 5 years.

June 8th was another sunny day to start and we had a route planned to go to Oldcastle to visit fellow cycle tourer Jill again another companion in Portugal. This was our longest day and possibly a bit too much. Komoot planned a fairly straight but hilly route which meant we used more battery power than usual. It was so pretty though cycling through Armagh county and then into Eire. When we got to Castle Blaney, we found a cafe and had a lovely lunch while we were allowed to plug the batteries in to get some more charge into them.

It was a bit of a struggle up and down and I can remember going “Oh No!”. DH wondered what was wrong as he was behind me and hadn’t seen yet another climb. There was one point when I was ahead and didn’t realise DH had exhausted his battery and rode about 3 miles without assistance. I felt impressed to stop and he caught me up. Then we were able to share my spare battery and we were soon at my friends. Phew nearly 75 miles and 4525ft of climbing.

J was in the throes of wedding preparations for her daughter but gave us a bed for a couple of nights

. She suggested going to Lough Crew which is a group of megalithic tombs with some rare art work. We cycled up to a campsite and then had to hike up the hill as it’s the highest point in County Meath. There were a few guides who told us about the site and it was brilliant as it was totally free.

J’s house
The walk to Lough Crew
Old castle

In the evening , J contacted another cycle tourer further south, who was actually on her way back from the Wild Atlantic way and she and her partner were willing to accommodate us down in Allenwood.

Greenway

This was another super day, although on road they were quiet. This route kept us west of Dublin so it was all new territory to us. Second breakfast was in Raharney and then we stocked up in a little store that sold everything. A bit further on , at D’Arcy’s Bridge we picked up EV2 on the Royal canal for some pleasant miles before heading further south towards the grand canal to be welcomed by Sam who showed us where to camp in their garden and then fed us the most delicious home made soup. He used to be a chef!!

Vee arrived a bit later than she expected so we didn’t have much time to talk.

During the evening, I made arrangements for a pod outside Graiguenamanagh. So after breakfast we set off in a southerly direction through Kildare and Athy on minor roads. Then we got onto a busier road until we came to a likely looking spot for Second breakfast was at but it was quite cool so I was glad of the decision for the pod and there was the odd bit of rain. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we expected though so what a bonus.

There was an interesting sign board that showed that clay and coal slag had been processed here and in the local area to provide fuel for the poor. The way things are going , we might need some like this again.

culm Crusher

As per usual , at days end there was a climb but the pod was ideal and so cosy. There was also a very convenient Aldi in the small town.

Pod
Cozy bed

Today would be hopefully the end of the Eire part of our trip as we made our way South eastwards through County Wexford again on minor roads in a fairly straight line. It wasn’t so hilly which was so good. We had a stop in Taghmon but continued on to Rosslare. We saw a cross up on a hillside south of here.

Getting to the port, I was able again to get tickets for the next ferry which was supposed to leave at 5.30pm.

Vintage Riley

As we queued up we were with motorbikes and vintage cars which were Riley’s from 1930-36. Great they are still going.

On the ferry with the

I tried to get a B&B but no luck but I did contact a campsite who said they would stay open for us. As it was the ferry left over an hour late and as we didn’t get off the ferry until nearly 11pm we were a bit concerned but had faith everything would work out.


Responses

  1. You certainly covered a lot of ground on your tour. I take my hat off to you.

    • It’s possibly the last time we will do such long tours with these mileages


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