Luke, Mark and I decided to take a few days out for a side trip to Ireland. Me on my lovely shiny new (well 4 years old) Triumph Sprint ST1050,
Luke on his..yellow "push me pull me" chopper, and Mark on his smooth comfy Harley Davidson. We Left early in the morning from Luke's house, intent on getting to the Fishguard ferry in plenty of time. The ferry left at 2pm prompt and Mark wanted to get as many miles under our belt so as to take the pressure off us, and we left at 7am.
Luke gingerly stepped aboard his steed, turned the key, and nothing happened..he had that look on his face that said, i knew this would happen..so after a few attempts, Mark and I pushed him down the road and eventually got him bump started. To a loud crackling roar. Mark and I hopped on our bikes which started first time and whizzed off up the road after the demon yellow machine.
We drove to Chippenham, where we decided to fill up..Luke's fuel tank being woefully small and only capable of getting him a few miles at a time. Once again, after filling up, Luke's bike failed...but this time he spotted the problem, something had knocked an electrical cable off his alternator and it was not charging his battery. So Mark and I bump started him again. At he next stop (McDonalds in Bridgend = we knew how to live it up) Luke's bike did start. and we stole off towards Fishguard. Luckily I had the lead, and had also hear Mark mention that the ferry port was at Pembroke Dock..not Fishguard, so I duly navigated us that way much to Luke's surprise who was a bit concerned we'd gone the wrong way.
We arrived in plenty of time, after encountering our one and only rainstorm on the trip (this was Wales after all)
The ferry trip was calm and we arrived in Rosslare early in the evening, where we had the most expensive fish and chip supper, before ensuring Luke's bike was parked at the top of a hill by the B&B.
We bombed off the next day, after Luke had bump started his bike down the hill, toward Cork, in the groove, 3 bikes abreast, eat your hearts out easyrider !
We stopped in Cork for our first pint of the black stuff (Beamish( and a spot of lunch. Then we headed South West towards Killarney along the coast road via Bantry, and eventually arrived at our base in Kenmare. The Kenmare Bay Hotel was perfect. Juts outside town, pool, jacussi, steam room and sauna, (and on a hill so Luke could sleep well knowing his bike would start) Just what we needed after a long ride. In the evening we went into town to a local Italian (very good) restaurant called Pergio's. Then topped it off with some guinness. The next day, we hit the road and did the ring of Kerry. A great coast road that loops around the Kerry peninsula.
Before getting back to Kenmare and then the ring of Baer..a fabulous find. We found the best pub in the world,
with the best mussels, murphys
and the best view
Then things got even better when we discovered the hidden gem of the Healy Pass.. a stunning road over the mountains that had awesome views and sweeping bends, perfect for bikes.
That day made my trip..and in the evening, we had dinner at The Lime Tree restaurant (very good) retired to a local pub where much Guiness was had to the sound of a local 3 piece band (1 x bass guitar and 2 x acoustic) who were fantastic.
Then, on Saturday, we headed back in one hit to the port of Wexford (a dump but with one gem , a great Indian restaurant called "Spice") before catching the early morning ferry from Rosslare back to Wales. In Wales we diverted over the Brecon Beacons to meet up with bike No.4 my brother in law Malcolm on his Harley Davidson,
and we had a leisurely ride back to Andover..we all arrived back tired, saddle sore but in good spirits. All in all, a good few days out for the boys, and yes, we did put the world right a few times in the pubs.
My impressions of Ireland..lovely people, lovely scenery, but EXPENSIVE..they have to cut their prices or they will begin to feel the pinch soon as people shy away becuase it costs so much for everything.