Bantry - Just For The Craic - CycleBlaze

August 1, 2009


We have our second cooked Irish brekkie in Annie May's dining area - a full monty of eggs, bacon, black pudding, fried tomatoes and toast plus coffee - then carry our panniers down from the room, wheel the bikes out the front and load them up. 

The sun is sort of out. At least its stopped raining.

We cycle along the R 593, in the general direction of Bantry, and make a turn off as soon as we can, onto a farm lane that a yellow sign tells us is Cycle Route R4. Well I never.

These farm lanes are great. Singletrack. There's no traffic. Four-inch-high grass grows along the middle, reminding me of a Mohican haircut à la Beckham. The tarmac has aged, but it's quite smooth; no real frost in Ireland to destroy it.

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On one of the myriad of routes, we undulate and veer across the rolling landscape as the morning gets sunnier with us riding by hedges that are dotted with blackberries. We stop to pick and eat. 

This is a first for Debbie; you don't see these growing in Taiwan. Free, healthy food: she's ecstatic. I think about the blackberry and apple crumble my mother used to bake, warm out of the oven and covered with custard. Heaven.

Bantry isn't too far. The road drops down to it. The sea is shimmering in the sunshine. There are visitors walking around. What shall we do?

There's accommodation here and smiling people sat outside the pubs enjoying pints of Guinness look content. We should join them and so get a room above a bar/restaurant even though it's only around four o'clock in the afternoon.

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It would have been okay to have ridden some more kilometres, but we're on vacation. 

Dinner is fish and chips from a few doors down. We then sit and have a couple of pints - Murphy's and Guinness.

It stays light until gone nine and we sit at an outside table to watch the world drift by.

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Today's ride: 30 km (19 miles)
Total: 132 km (82 miles)

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