Day 1 - Arriving in Dublin
I packed my bags and flew to Dublin, Ireland to ride around the country in memory of my mom, who passed away last year. I assumed it would be green, I would get rained on, I would drink beer, eat stew and converse with many strangers. I DID!
Forgetting that flight attendants don't speak Dutch once you board an Aer Lingus flight...only Gaelic and English
Finding my way to the first Dance Monument with relative ease before sunset to take photos
Look both ways until you are conditioned to walking, driving, bicycling on the "other" side of the street
DAY 2 - Dublin to Dundalk via New Grange
I made it from Dublin to the New Grange Neolithic monument and then to Dundalk on day one. Long day, but worth it. I did well over 100km due to getting lost and was out for about 9 hours. Cycling in Ireland is challenging and a real adventure. This day was good for getting a feel for riding on the other side of the road and figuring out my distances with the weight of my gear in the panniers. I was thinking of my mom and my family heritage as I was riding here. The people are amazing and I had so many great interactions with people I can't even count them. The one that stood out most was a local woman named Susan bicycle commuting to work who gave me her neon vest at a red light after I briefly told her my story. She insisted I have it so I tied it on my panniers and left it on the entire ride. Dublin has an excellent cycling culture.
My rental bicycle that I pre-booked turned out to be a brand new, Giant Escape 3 with everything I needed. Perfect weather this day.
Riding a heavy touring bicycle setup in traffic congested Monday morning Dublin is "interesting"...
DAY 3 – Dundalk to Armagh
I had great, quiet, cool, windy and dry ride from Dundalk for a couple hours and found a Neolithic Monument and beautiful scenery. A heavy rain hit and I decided to just move on through it for a couple hours hoping it would stop but it did not. I stopped in the town of Armagh, which is in Northern Ireland, so I got some UK pounds, rented room, and got dry. Then I found an Irish pub with no tourists. I couldn't really understand anyone, but we were all best friends and drunk in a short while! No pictures in there because this was too perfect for cell phones and Instagram. Afterwards I got my usual pizza fuel!
Figuring out how to plan routes through the countryside using maps and luck
Drinking my first real Guinness
I should have purchased shoe covers as I could have ridden longer with dry feet even if soaked everywhere else
Thank you for following me during the ride on Facebook and Twitter, I hope you enjoy these recaps!
The post for Days 4-6 will be up in the next few days.