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 To Donegal and back - through the British Isles

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LizSTripleR
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BerichtOnderwerp: To Donegal and back - through the British Isles   vr 29 jul 2011, 22:26

Ben 'n beetje moe om alles nog eens te vertalen, en dan, jullie zijn allemaal zo goed in engels - je kan daar tegen Laughing Als iemand zou willen meer uitleg in het nederlands, ik zal dat natuurlijk doen - met plezier! Dus, voilà:

Days 1 and 2
2 bikes well loaded (at least, the Tiger was, the Striple remained elegant ;-) Off to Coquelles against the wind to use the oh-so practical Tunnel! Beautiful route to Tunbridge Wells, courtesy of Red, only problem was sun in eyes – and that's hard to complain about this summer! Found a Fawlty Towers like hotel, but thankfully not the personnel or the breakfast!
Next day, going through England, on ace roads, only hassle was Sunday traffic and a cycling event, past interesting things to see:


Found ourselves in the beginnings of the Brecon Beacons, at the end of quite a long day .... 60km too long, as dipstick here thought that the satnav was being stupid, and only realised that we'd overshot the B&B 30km later – ho hum! Had luck with the weather all day; met bikers who talked of having to shelter under bridges from downpours – shrug?!

Day 3 Abergavenny to Holyhead

Once more on Red routes – bow down and worship, coz going from the Brecons to Snowdonia, through the Wye valley, the Elan Valley and then up to the north, allowed us to enjoy some of the best biking roads I have ever seen.



Sometimes hard to stay together on such twisty roads – if I got past, then Marc didn't have much opportunity to do so too – but I didn't mind slowing down/ stopping to take photos ;-)) Arrived on Anglesey early evening, and found our B&B on Treaddur Bay, with the authentic “Room With a View”:


Day 4 – Holyhead to Annalong, Northern Ireland
Thankfully for me the Irish Sea was just about as calm as it ever gets, so the 2hr fast ferry wasn't too much of an ordeal. The trip out of the Dublin area was tedious though, with motorways restricted to 100km/h, and too much thereof. Marc's Tom Tom came in handy with it's “bendy roads” choice, and we only had one big detour to do for Orange Day stuff, and that was peaceful – oof! Glad to see the Mourne Mountains rise up in the sunshine – and even gladder to ride into and over them ;-))



Lodging for the night was excellent, with view from front to sea, and back to the mountains – delicious resto too!

Day 5 – Annalong to Ballykelly, via the Antrim Coast Road
We can confirm all the recommendations and write-ups – this is certainly one of the best roads to ride a bike on .... at the right time of day and year – NOT the sunniest day of the NI summer so far, when everyone has decided to go ou for an extra holiday after Orange Day – gggrrr!!! Extra aggravation caued by the horrendous driving levels shown by the local population – noide of their cars width, no idea of where to put their tinboxes on the road at a junction, or change of direction, and absolutely NO idea of other users needs/wishes – ie bikers!
However, faced with such beauty:



it seems churlish not to enjoy it! Bit hot for walking down, but especially coming back up from the Giant's Causeway in leathers – but well worth the visit. It's a remarkable sight, and the whole coast is lovely. Too many photos for here, just a couple:



Day 5 Ballykelly to County Sligo
Mid morning coffe and tea with Streetfighter – cool! However, he jinxed us by saying how lucky we'd been with the weather – it was all downhill from then on! So, sadly, we passed through one of the most beatiful regions of Ireland in mist, rain and wind – so couldn't see too much – loads of photos from the rare drier moments, but it's hard to convey how awful the road surfaces are here, it's even worse than Belgium – and we thought that was impossible!
Saw some alternative means of transport:

and some unforgettable coastline:


The Crow Valley Road, despite the surface, counts as one of the most-fun-for-a -Striple road:


and the exra loop suggested by Streetfighter was well worth it, although we did'nt enjoy he 5km of loose gravel there :-( The guy who lives up in this castle is lucky to have this kind of a view:


Arrived that evening pretty much knackered, and glad to enjoy a bit of luxury:


Day 7 – County Sligo to Ennistymon
A day full of bad surfaces, bad drivers, rain and wind! If the going got better then you could be sure, according to Murphy, that we were stuck behind people who hated driving – obviously, coz if Marc had been on four wheels there, there'd have been no catching him! ;-) Miffed to find a coldish B&B room, and difficult to dry out all our stuff – ho, hum, the life of a biker!

Day 8 – Cliffs of Moher to Tullamore
Quick visit to the Cliffs before setting off for the day – and how much has it changed since I was last there? Tons! 21 years ago I was able to lie on this ledge of rock to take photos vertically to the sea – now it's 15 safe metres away!



It's still a spectacular site though, and I guess the improved infrastructure must be protecting the place better than ever before. Set off relieved to be out of the wind, and gald to see more of the Burren as we passed – fascinating place, as are the turf cuttings that seem to be abandoned nearly everywhere.

Day 9 – Tullamore to Blaenau Ffestinniog – or so the plan went ....... but it turned into a black day in the Liz-Marc biking holiday history: loaded up in the morning, only to hear in the Scala “Houston, we have a problem” - flat as a pancake back tyre! Rolled 100m to the petrol station to try and pump it back up, but I could hear it coming out again, and felt the air before seeing the tear (poetry could be about something more lyrical!). So, back into hotel reception to see what could be done! Thankfully, the local bike garage man had decided to come home early from his hols on the Shannon, and was with us 4 hours later! I followed the white van – had a déjà vu feeling from the French trip some years ago – and he replaced what was in all honesty a very worn out tyre, in about 5 minutes flat! So, off we went to Dublin Port – changed the ferry for another one 8 hours later – and had to stop in Bangor – it was already 1 a.m in the driving rain – a hot bath has never been so welcome!

Day 10 – Bangor to Symonds Yat West
One of the best biking days ever for me – Marc was a bit miserable 'coz wet early on in the day, but after a stop for change of clothes, then it got better for him too. Not many photos really, coz enjoying the ride too much to stop when it was good weather, and too much rain for photos earlier! The road surfaces were so great compared to Ireland, a joy for suspension and tyres! The rain created this kind of sight:


Days 11 and 12 – insignificant in terms of biking, great to meet up with best girlfriend in day, and godparents in evening, but the call of home was strong, and we were glad to arrive, safe and sound, after our 3380km, 11 day trip. Mostly fun, some tedious things like the tyre, but great memories of some great roads! Now to plan the next one ;-)

Voor meer foto's kan je direct op de Photobucket link:

http://s575.photobucket.com/albums/ss198/LizStocks/To%20Donegal%20and%20back/?start=all

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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: To Donegal and back - through the British Isles   za 30 jul 2011, 06:46

Mooi reisverslag Liz!
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ggfh
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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: To Donegal and back - through the British Isles   za 30 jul 2011, 09:52

Mooi.
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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: To Donegal and back - through the British Isles   za 30 jul 2011, 09:53

Prachtig,Liz

Ik wil ooit nog eens naar het plaatsje Avoca(Irland) gaan,waar de opnames plaatsvonden van de tvserie Ballykissangel.

Als ik hulp nodig heb ivm ferry's en zo mag ik je dan pm sturen?

Greetz Francis
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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: To Donegal and back - through the British Isles   za 30 jul 2011, 10:52

nice liz
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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: To Donegal and back - through the British Isles   za 30 jul 2011, 12:02

De fotos spreken al voor zich ...prachtig ! Very Happy
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LizSTripleR
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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: To Donegal and back - through the British Isles   zo 31 jul 2011, 01:10

@Csiko - zeker!
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