Final Day - our last day of the trek. We left Killarney in the morning from our hostel (which had the sign “the only Lord Of The Rings themed hostel in Ireland”). It did feel like a hobbit house.
The train on the way back went quick - 3 hrs from coast to coast - and we then spent most of our time running between cycle shops to get our bikes boxed.
The last stop - The River Dance show at the Gaiety Theater - very fancy but we are in our cycle outfits.
27 July 2018
Day 11 - our last day of riding. And what a great way to end. Went through the Gap of Dunloe which was breathtaking. We managed to get to the top with little rain but it was wet all the way back down and to the destination.
We are now in our final stop at Killarney and will take the train back to Dublin tomorrow.
What an amazing experience.
26 July 2018
Day 10 - today was sort of a rest day before our final day tomorrow. We made it out to Skellig Michael the island where the last Star Wars was shot. It was breathtaking. We didn’t get to climb it because of bad weather but the boat ride to it was quite an experience. Very choppy waves and great sights. I did have to nap all the way back on the bus.
Tomorrow is our last long ride after which we head back to Dublin via rail and then home.
25 July 2018
Day 9 - so the bicycle finally decided it had had enough and came to a screeching halt (the gear mechanism failed) right outside a bicycle shop.
It couldn’t have failed at a more appropriate location. Brian (the shop keeper seen in the pic) came out and hooked me up with a rental bicycle. Then Joe (seen in the next picture) came to the rescue by taking my bicycle to our final destination. What an amazing string of events - all within a matter of 20 mins just before we left Kenmare.
So with the new cycle I continued the journey and it was even more scenic than yesterday (if that is even possible). And with the worry of the bicycle gone I could ride with ease.
Tomorrow we head over to Skelig island where Star Wars was shot (as long as it doesn’t rain). That will be an epic finish to this whole experience.
I’m grateful to Brian and Joe who embody the true spirit of this country - they love people and only want to help.
Now time to sleep.
24 July 2018
Day 8 - today was a day of hills and views. We made it through Healy Pass which is one of the most spectacular roads in Ireland. And riding by the ocean was magical. Plus the bicycle behaved well and I could get to all the gears I needed for the uphill and downhill.
We ended our ride in Kenmare a nice little touristy town.
Pretty wiped but surprisingly the next day goes well after a good nights rest just like the last few nights.
23 July 2018
Day 7 - today was a long ride mainly from Cork to the Atlantic Ocean in Bantry. Saw many small towns and castles. Our camp site is on the waterfront which is great but we got here late so will only see the ocean in the morning.
The bicycle continues to bother on terms of gears but one of the riders on the team continues to fix it till we get got the next big town tomorrow. Though the issue was resolved by Louish but it came back. Let’s see if the next town has a good bicycle shop.
22 July 2018
Day 6 - Active Rest Day. We rode into Cork today, the second biggest city in Ireland. And then went to Blarney which is 8 miles from Cork where we have our camp site. Got the bicycle fixed up as best as we can. The guy said it will work as long as I change gears with care and ride a bit slower. Great.
And we then went to the Blarney castle to do a bit of sightseeing. It rained a bit so we got back to the camp early and will relax and prepare for tomorrow. Some tough rides coming up over the next 3 days but apparently more scenic than the prior ones so should be good.
21 July 2018
Day 5 completed. This was our longest and highest climb so far. Went great. Riding on country roads that have no traffic at all and green fields on both sides. We are now in Blarney which is right near Cork, the second biggest city in Ireland. Tomorrow is a rest day mainly touring Cork. Will go get my bike fixed tomorrow. Ok tent is up and bed is made. Time to sleep. What a great adventure so far.
20 July 2018
Day 4 - and another amazing day of riding and pictures. Had some moments of clarity and also rode at my own pace. Bike worked well but tomorrow we will be at Cork which is a big city so I’ll take it in to get it fully fixed.
19 July 2018
Day 3 - another super eventful day. Spent a long time in the town of Kilkenny and still rode 54 miles and 2000 ft. Only issue is the bike tipped over at one point and the gears bent so I couldn’t use some of the lower gears for the steeper climbs which made it harder. But we will get it fixed tomorrow. Otherwise a long and exciting day. Now time for bed to do this again tomorrow.
18 July 2018
Day 2 completed. 54 miles 2400 ft and some amazing pictures. Plus I rode in the zone for many stretches which felt effortless. Now need to do the same tomorrow.
17 July 2018
Just completed Day 1. It was tough but amazing. Saw so many amazing views and cycling through the fields was incredible. Luckily we are staying at a hostel instead of tents today so that helped. Now we prepare for tomorrow which is longer but not as much elevation.
16 July 2018
Just took a nap in the Park. Bought a few more items and then walked around central Dublin.
15 July 2018
Got the bike assembled and then rode around the largest park in Europe - Phoenix Park. Great way to spend the first day in Dublin.
Made it to Dublin. Sitting in a cafe on the street and just got caught up with Layne. Shared my story of madness over the last few days and that I almost bailed on this trip - and he said he had planned it all to test my ability to resist escaping.