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Old 06-09-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
shay OP
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Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Ireland
Oddometer: 233
A Castle, Ambush sites & mountain passes, SW Ireland

Glorious weather this weekend so I packed the bike and headed south, taking the motorway towards Cork:



I didn't stop at Cashel, as I had photographed the Rock earlier this year:



Cahir Castle was where John Boorman filmed the castle battle scenes in Excalibur





The staircase is clockwise to force attackers to use their sword with their left hand:



The Irish War of Independence was particularly bloody in Cork, where Tom Barry led flying columns in attacks on the British forces. The film, "The wind that shakes the barley" is loosely based on his life and his biography, "Guerilla Days In Ireland" is worth a read:

Amazon link

The first ambush Barry's flying Column saw action in was at Kilmichael,

Wiki link



View from the hilltop behind the memorial:



The next ambush memorial is at Crossbarry. Wiki Link





My next stop was Beal na mBlath, where Michael Collins was killed during the Irish Civil War, which followed the war of independence.





Wiki page on Collins life and death

I had set my Garmin 350lm to avoid unpaved roads, Garmin don't see this as unpaved?



I was staying in Kenmare tonight and wanted to ride over the Healy Pass, which was on the way. Sunshine transformed the countryside:



To my shame, I've been over the Stelvio Pass but this was the first time I rode over the Healy Pass:



It is spectacular and the views from the top are worth the journey:





I had pre-booked a room in Kenmare and needed a long, cold shower after 10 hours on the bike in 25c+ temperatures.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
shay OP
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Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Ireland
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Day 2: Kerry to Clare

I left Kenmare around 9am and made my way to Moll's gap and to a waypoint I had saved on the gps which should lead me over the Gap of Dungloe. I rode 15k on roads like this:

and really thought I had made a mistake. But, with views like this, I wasn't too bothered:





I was regretting the amount of beer I had last night when I had to concentrate so hard on these tracks:



You can imagine my relief when I crested the top and started down the Gap of Dungloe:



It is a "must see" if you are ever in the Cork / Kerry region:





The next stop was in Adare, after taking the main road from Tralee to Limerick:



I stopped for lunch and cooled off for an hour:



I took the motorway through Limerick and turned off after 60k or so, heading for the house used as the parish house in "Father Ted". The roads and weather were still amazing:



"Drink, Feck, Arse"



The temperature, according to the bike, was 28c and the tar on the road was melting:



I headed for Lisdoonvarna, keeping a wary eye on the road surface, but there was time for one more photo:



Dinner and a shitload of pints followed
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
shay OP
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Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Ireland
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Heading home

I packed up and was on the road by 8:30 am, very hungover!

The hangover didn't last too long as I was on great biking roads. The corkscrew hill is on the road towards Galway:



The road followed the coastline, allowing me to capture views like this:





I hit the M6 motorway a few miles from Galway and spent the next 2 hours+ sitting at 130k, as the hangover returned with a vengance
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:10 PM   #4
jmcg
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Great RR + pics.

Thanks,

JM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
Kinsman
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Beautiful views of your fair land, and some history to go with it.
I hope to visit there someday; I'm told that I have some Of the blood of Eire in my veins.

Thanks for the report, and post up some more!
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:45 AM   #6
luloadventure
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Great Photos & Beautiful Places

Thanks for sharing mate
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:11 AM   #7
shay OP
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Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Ireland
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equipment: what worked, what didn't

This was the first overnight on my 1190 loaded with luggage and a new gps so thoughts on what worked and what didn't:

The roll bag is a SWMoto bag, it took clothes, macbook, cables, charger, runners. I secured it with Rok straps, which were brilliant. I packed my 13" macbook pro in a Tom Bihn brain cell, link;

http://www.tombihn.com/PROD/TB0300.html

and highly recommend it. I use the brain cell with two Tom Bihn backpacks I own for work and travel and it does an excellent job protecting the laptop. I used Tom Bihn snake charmer for the myriad cables you need nowadays to charge iphone / scala headset / lappy.

The kTm tankbag was fine but I have ordered a touratech tank bag which is larger and has a much larger map pocket and a side mesh pocket for gloves, which is so handy at toll stations.

I had packed my stuff into the side panniers but decided to use the dry bag as I didn't need the extra storage.

The gps I used was a Garmin 350lm and, tbh, wasn't impressed. It linked fine with the scala headset but it kept sending me down boreens:



I had the gps set to "fastest route" which should have kept me on tarmac but the gps sent me on the shortest route every time. I have emailed Garmin about this and will be interested to see their reply. The same route in Google maps would keep me on tarmac / main roads.

The only addition I need for the 1190 is a side stand extender. The factory side stand sinks into loose gravel / grass and I couldn't find a side stand puck when packing the night before leaving. I have ordered the kTm extender and it should stabilise the bike when parked on rough surfaces.

The bike was comfy for 10 hours a day, the saddle isn't the softest but it certainly wasn't uncomfortable. The bike was stable at speeds up to 160k and petrol range was good, I filled up when I stopped for food, so the tank range was longer than my appetite :)

The camera was a Canon s100. I carried an extra battery but didn't need it. I have turned off most options on the s100 to improve battery life, especially the gps feature which murders batteries.

I use Lightroom to catalog the photos and upload them to my SmugMug a/c and nik software's silver efex plugin to convert some of the photos to b&w.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
slashtommy
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Nice trip. The West of Ireland is great riding country - and so much better when there's good weather.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
jdn
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Cool pics and nice information about the history. ;) In two to three years I want to travel through Ireland, need to stop by in that area.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:29 PM   #10
Blader54
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Very nice RR...thanks so much!
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