Ireland 1997

Rob arrived in Dublin 1st September and met Mary who had been staying in Westport, Co.Mayo, since May 97 whilst Rob was in New Zealand.

We stayed at Jury's Hotel on the Liffy for four nights catching up on things and waiting for the bikes and gear to arrive from Chicago. A big mistake was made by sending the pallet load of gear by KLM freight as it cost a lot. I should have taken all the gear as excess baggage it would have not only cost less but would have arrived when I did rather than four days later.

The Mural of the Irish scene
See some shots by clicking on mural ..See below for the story.

Getting a cab here is really funny because as I needed a station wagon of van cab one cannot go anywhere in the cue of cabs and pick out the one you want, oh no! you have to take the first one in the cue, however once again I was very polite and wow I was allowed to get a beaten up old corolla but at least it was a wagon.

The next day after slipping the bikes and all the gear up the back stairs of the Hotel it was one bottle of bourbon pack the gear set the bikes up and the next day after Mary had finished her five minutes practice with new bikes, and clip in pedals and 100lbs of weight, we took off down the main streets of Dublin. Well what a hoot, not! Only in Ireland do all the huge trucks and semi trailers share all the roads with all other traffic and of course the roads a not exactly wide.

My god Dublin is squashed with traffic. After a bike bag fell off and in front of a large lorry we finally started to get the hang of it. The next problem was my navigating as I had taken us the wrong way round so three hours later we were still in Dublin. Ok first lesson, do not use free tourist office maps when cycling as they are loopy.

We did finally enter the countryside and found a lovely public domain where we sneaked in and set up camp.What a relief except that by now Mary had the flu but in her usual positive and hugely strong way she accepted that.

What a lovely area the south of Dublin is, very wealthy people live around Bray, the house prices are out of this world.

Onward down the coast to Brittas bay and Wicklow heading towards Kilmore Quay to meet up with a kiwi fisherman, well that was the plan but Mary got talking to a chap at Brittas bay who asked us back to his place in Aughrim so we diverted somewhat and four days later after many good meals and fun times we moved on. The countryside is great and the small old towns really tickle me especially when they are all only about 20km apart from each other and so busy compared to the quiet countryside before and after.......

After traveling for a another day and spending the night on a public park by the sea in Wicklow Town, we cycled down to a lovely fishing village at the very south of Ireland, called Kilmore Quay. We caught up with a Kiwi fisherman called Marty Hennessey who had been living there for the past seven years and was known affectionately around the town as "kiwi". Staying with Marty for two days in this traditional old thatched cottage was a buzz, well actually we slept in our tent but had cups of tea in the cottage. Moving on to Dunmore East to spend a week with Mary's family in a new holiday cottage was a bit of a drag as it was hard to fill in the days, however, onward along the south coast through various villages we entered Cork. Stayed in Cork for another four days at a great hostel where we met some terrific people from all over. Now this diary is a practice run for the real diary of the main trip so all I can say, now that your getting really bored reading all this, is to say that we cycled in and around the peninsula's on the southwest and west coasts, getting lost quite often due the bad or non existing road signs, Eventually after seeing some beautiful scenery, we arrived at Galway where we honored ourselves with a cheap hotel.

From there, in the pouring rain we headed for Westport where we were to spend the winter and sort out the finer points of planning, so now that that is all done we will not be waiting till the end of winter as it seems to go on forever so we're off to Morocco in late January and will continue the diary.