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Thread: Tour of Ireland part 2

  1. #1
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    Tour of Ireland part 2

    Following last year's 3 day tour of the south and part of the Wild Atlantic Way (W.A.W.) when we were blessed by the weather gods and the "3 amigos" enjoyed a great break in 2017 (RR here http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthr...land-weekender we decided a return trip was in order, we eventually arrived at a mutually agreeable date and offered the idea to others in the group we sometimes tour with, only Oscar could make the dates work so we were the 4 amigos this time.



    For this our second visit to Ireland's West Coast and W.A.W. we decided to start in the North and follow the coast in an anti clockwise direction, we decided on the Liverpool-Belfast overnight crossing for the outward leg and the Rosslare-Fishguard crossing for the return journey, by leaving on Wednesday night and returning on Sunday morning we had 3 full days of riding to get as far as we could, given the distance involved and the type of roads we would be riding we held out little hope of finishing where we had left off previously in Killarney/ Ring of Kerry, still we might have to return again.........
    Mark Sean and myself took a leisurely afternoon ride to Liverpool via A & B roads through Mid Wales, traffic was light and the weather perfect, Oscar would be joining us at Liverpool as he had to leave later than us due to other commitments, the 3 amigos stop for late lunch at The Nags Head
    Sean was having tech issues and couldn't get his music to talk to his maps.....or something like that, being sympathetic sorts Mark and I laughed, often



    Suitably fed and watered we made our way to the ferry port at Birkenhead, not a place I would want to ride through after dark without an armoured tank battalion for protection We were early, very early and had time to spare, Oscar meanwhile had just left the Newbury area and was looking forward to an all motorway journey, eventually we were checked in and parked waiting for Oscar........



    Across the Mersey........


    Soon enough we were 4 and we boarded the ship, we stayed on the car deck whilst the bikes were tied down and then went and found our cabins and spent a couple of hours in the bar-as one does

    Day 1

    We were due to dock at 6.30am so at sparrows fart the ship's wake up call swung into action and a sunny Belfast greeted us from the outside decks.


    Sean had insisted we make one brief visit to The Titanic quarter before pressing on, our route today was around 200 miles and we had booked rooms in Dungloe via booking dot com

    Our visit to Titanic quarter, I last visited in 2012 and it's changed a lot in those 6 years, a return visit minus the bike and the amigos is on the cards.......





    Our intended route for today was something like this;


    We hit the road and after a couple of hours we stopped for fuel and a coffee, we made good progress and were soon enough off the main roads and heading for the coast, we stopped at Ballycastle harbour, apparently Game of Thrones fans will recognise this place, I didn't but it was lovely







    We continued along the coast road and observed these small helicopters near Carrick a Rede



    We passed by the site of the Giants Causeway (no time,sorry Sean maybe next time.......)

    We paused briefly for a couple of pics at Bushmills
    (rare pic of all 4 bikes if you look carefully)





    I had planned a little nautical diversion for the route and we headed for Magilligans point at Limavady to get the ferry to Greencastle


    Unfortunately the ferry wasn't running and would resume it's summer sailings tomorrow so after a coffee we retraced our steps and headed for Londonderry and Dunfanaghy, where we stopped for lunch, and delicious it was too, sorry no food pics


    Suitably fed and watered we followed the coast and marvelled at the ever changing scenery.


    We arrived at The Midway Bar in Dungloe and checked in, parking was around the back and out of sight of most passers by but not what you might call the most secure, the rooms were clean and recently refurbished the staff friendly and helpful and the Guinness spot on



    Sadly Daniel's visitor centre was closed, so we made do with a couple of Cold ones and a good steak



    [B]Our day 2[/B] route to Newport looked like this and was around 240 miles



    Before breakfast I took a stroll down to the harbour to blow away the cobwebs.


    Breakfast was great, the rooms were very reasonably priced so we settled and loaded the bikes and set off again, we had 1 or 2 navigational errors and at one point ended up on what felt like a boreen run


    We pressed on and enjoyed a spirited ride south via Ardara and Donegal and following the coast to Inniscrone for lunch passing the Sligo coastline along the way, the weather remained bright and sunny and the scenery ever changing and beautiful, which is more than can be said for lunch.........
    The beach at Inniscrone.



    In the Ballycroy National Park I spotted a tourist sign for a site to commemorate the Spanish Armada so we headed off piste and followed the broken tarmac and gravel road to the spot, where we found;





    Along with the ruins of an old church and a largely forgotten graveyard.



    We pressed on past Achill Island and stopped for a cold drink at Malaranney before heading into our digs at Newport, except we didn't because our digs never got our confirmation due to a booking dot com error with their system, we found alternative accommodation in the town in rooms above a bar, I haggled the price down to 70 euros per twin room with breakfast included, again the rooms were clean and spacious and we were offered secure and out of sight parking for the bikes, win-win
    We stayed at Brannens of Newport, highly recommended https://www.booking.com/hotel/ie/bra...s=1&#hotelTmpl

    The sun going down in Newport;


    We took a stroll and happened upon a great restaurant and managed to get a table, the 4 amigos having a few cold ones at The Grainne Uaille



    The food, the Guinness and indeed the craic....was good

    Day 3
    The boss cooked and served us breakfast and very good it was too, he honoured the deal I had made with his son the previous night but I felt like I had robbed him and it was worth every penny of the 80 euro he had been asking
    We had a route for today and our plan was to follow it until around lunch time along the coastal road before setting off in the direction of our rooms for the night in Wexford as we were getting the 7.30am ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard the next day (Sunday).
    The day dawned bright and sunny (again) and we pressed on in the direction of Westport, the views and the scenery were stunning-possibly the best yet, we stopped for a couple of pics at Luisburgh Oldhead



    Again, all 4 bikes in this pic........



    We continued along the W.A.W. (the route is regularly signposted) and passed through Cegganbaun past the Loch at Leenane-Teevnabinia (according to my phone.......)


    We followed the winding single track road down to Aasleagh waterfalls


    Before heading toward Galway where we decided it was getting late in the day and we really ought to be heading across country towards Wexford, the scenic roads were largely done it was time to get a wriggle on.
    We stopped for lunch at Shannonbridge at Luke's riverside cafe/restaurant and enjoyed a great lunch and a view of the Shannon



    When we went to settle up I spotted this sign on the bar



    We enjoyed a final evening meal together at a hotel barely worthy of a mention, the food was so so but the beer was good as was the company-as it had been for the past 4 days, we endured the mother of all thunder & lightning storms during the night and had an early start to ride the 15 or so miles to Rosslare for the ferry, last check in 7.15am
    The return crossing was smooth and uneventful and rain greeted us as we sailed into Fishguard the only rain we'd seen since we set off on Wednesday, the rain stopped as we disembarked and we made our way home. Great trip, great roads and great company-thanks lads and we still haven't finished the W.A.W. sp we'll have to go back at some point
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  2. #2
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    Great report Steve.
    Many thanks for everything.
    O

  3. #3
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    Great write-up! Next time yer over this way let us know and we can point you in the direction of some nice roads, sights and things to do. Achill island is one spot that's well worth a visit if you do make it back over !

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oie View Post
    Great report Steve.
    Many thanks for everything.
    O
    Thanks Oscar and thanks for the company

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatcho View Post
    Great write-up! Next time yer over this way let us know and we can point you in the direction of some nice roads, sights and things to do. Achill island is one spot that's well worth a visit if you do make it back over !
    Thanks Hatcho will do, we arrived at Achill quite late in the day so decided against a trip around the island but it looked very tempting, I was blown away by the scenery I’ll definitely be coming back at some point.
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  5. #5
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    Enjoyed that. Great report and pics

  6. #6
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    From one amigo to another. Great trip and great craic. Part 3 to be arranged. Thanks for you hard work in planning Steve. Great write up.
    Notice you didn't mention the Garmin VII we got you but successfully navigated Oscar home 😂

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicbike View Post
    From one amigo to another. Great trip and great craic. Part 3 to be arranged. Thanks for you hard work in planning Steve. Great write up.
    Notice you didn't mention the Garmin VII we got you but successfully navigated Oscar home ��
    The Garmin VII......what goes on tour stays on tour
    Visit our web shop for stickers/graphics/pannier wrap kits for your GS/Adventure bike
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  8. #8
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    Cracking piccies Steve..
    Lucky with the weather methinks..
    Perfekt ist nicht gut genug.

    UKGSER-A place where I've wasted so much time, learned so much, laughed a lot and cried a few times.

    Every bed of roses has pricks in it!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    Cracking piccies Steve..
    Lucky with the weather methinks..
    Thanks Ash it was a great trip and we were lucky with the weather, the sun shines on the righteous
    Visit our web shop for stickers/graphics/pannier wrap kits for your GS/Adventure bike
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