07-31-2012, 12:40 PM
2 scoops of stupid
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
From the beginning..
Dublin to Belfast to Bushmills
For years I've been hearing the same rumors about Ireland and it's people. The landscapes are staggeringly beautiful, the people are warm and charming, and that Guiness tastes way better then the states. Determined to discover these truths myself, I use the excuse of flying to Europe for family purposes to swing wide and finally experience Ireland first hand.
16 hours of flights, one lay over in London and a lot of coffee land me in Dublin spinning like a crackhead. The immediate goal was to get to the bike shop in Northern Ireland to pick up the bike and get to it. Fortunately for me, throughout my entire trip serendipitous dumb luck shined on me on a regular basis. No sooner had I walked out of the airport then I stumble on a bus ready to go to the train station. I arrive at the train station just in time to stumble on the train to Belfast as it's leaving. I jump off the train at Lisburn just outside of Belfast to grab my first beer and wait for the taxi that Sam sent.
Son of a bitch, it really IS that good!
I had been shooting emails back and forth with the Sam, the manager of Phillip Mcallen motorcycles who had a slew different bikes waiting for me to chose from for my rental. Sam is a foul mouthed, quick witted and very funny retired police officer that's spending his retirement playing in his own favorite toy store and getting paid for it. Great guy and a helluva shop. To give a well deserved shout out, I could not have been more impressed with the people at Phillip McAllen. As part of my piss poor planning habits, I showed up on short notice with not a single piece of riding gear in my bag and they managed to get me outfitted for the trip in about 30 minutes. They were prompt to respond, flexible, accommodating and above all else they had one hell of an armada of rental bikes to choose from. Still kind of wish I rented the KTM. I chose a 2012 Tiger 800 because I was thinking about buying one. Now I own a f800gs. Go figure.
After an hour of swapping maps, ideas and stories, I asked Sam if I could rent a GPS for the trip. In his Irish accent he said something along the lines of "sure I'd be more then happy to take your money and send you on your way, but keep in mind every time you stop to ask directions you're going to make a new friend. So do you really want a gps?" ...Well, I guess not.. And so begins the adventure of getting lost every day and finding something amazing in the process.
As stated last time, I took off like a bat out of hell, hit the coast by Belfast and turned left. The coastal riding in Ireland is like nothing I've ever experienced. Aside from the whole wrong side of the road thing, the roads were built for motorcycles. The roads are smooth, twisty and beautiful enough to make a grown man vomit in his helmet. I rode for half the day, had an oh shit learning experience and wound up calming my nerves at a pub in Bushmills. Just my luck! Come to find out, apparently most of the pubs in Ireland are taverns and offer B&B rooms. I now officially have a game plan and a new purpose in life. 1)Ride till you're hungry then stop and eat. 2) Ride till you get lost and talk to someone who looks Irish. 3) Ride till you're tired then find the closest pub and get a room and start drinking asap. Done. Here's a few from the disgusting ride to Bushmills.
It's enough to make a grown man nauseous.
It's springtime so these little snuggle turds were everywhere. Apparently they have a bit of a problem with vandals spray painting graffiti on the sheep.
Finally made it to my Pub/B&B in Bushmills. Had a leg of lamb with gravy that could have fed an army of angry midgets. I would show you pictures of it but unfortunately I have a little problem with getting so excited and emotional about food when I'm traveling that I forget to take pictures before I stuff my face. All I have memories of sobbing while eating and almost choking on a femur. The B&B was somewhere around 30 euros, clean, quiet, and it has free wifi reception in the bathroom... So I emailed until my legs went numb.
Time to make use of a good beer buzz and finally hit the sack.
Next - Bushmills to Donegal.