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Old 03-18-2010, 10:56 AM   #1
Frey Bentos OP
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Location: Fermanagh. Ireland
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Big Lap of Ireland

Long time lurker eventually decides to gety finger out and post something..
This report lives in another form on another forum but I will re write it here to comply with swearing and stuff.

This journey was a few years back. I had been farting around the house, knew that there was a week or two of holidays coming up and wanted to get out on the bike somewhere.

I had an early 1100GS that had a few miles on the clock and decided to drop a bollock a few weeks before the holiday. As chance so often does in these situations, a friend had an rather spiffing, clean and fresh 1100 GS but really wanted an 1150Adv. I advbised him that he should get the Adv and lo and behold an imaculate and fresh 1100 was on the market.....

Now that the budget for any big road trip had gone up in smoke, I knew that I had to play nearer home. I am from the top west of Ireland and have a brother living down in Cork. The bottom middle bit. I have often spun down to see him and his family but never really had the time to explore that neck of the woods much. I would take a few days and follow the coast down to him and then up the other side of the country.

Superb plan I thought. How long could it take anyway. And it's summer. It won't rain.

Here's a picture of how intelligent I look(ed) ...

So, the day of departure dawned and it was damp. No problem really. It was summer after all..
I headed west towards Sligo. My plan was to west asa far as I could, then turn left and then keep going until I came back around to a small town called Ballyshannon and a roundabout there that I had gone straight through. At journys end, I would approach said roundabout from another road, hence completing y lap of this fair, green land.

Anyhow, as the god of best laid plans seen to, it pissed rain. ALL DAY. I hit Sligo in a steady drzzle and sallyed forth for County Mayo. This sticks out into the Atlantic somewhat and as I rode down the coast, gales tried blow me home. The rain turned torrential and not for the first time that day laughed rather too maniacally into the chin bar of my helmet and tried to curl up out of the weather.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:04 PM   #2
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Subscribed. I'm particularly enamored of the west of Ireland, but to be fair,
it's all I've seen.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:38 PM   #3
Irish John
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Location: Lawrence, KS but I'd rather be in Ireland
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Nice to see someone from home, posting a ride!! Moar please!
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
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Hi people. So that's two T-shirts I have to print up.

Anyhow, where was I?

Oh yeah. We join our intrepid hero as he wades down along the coast of Mayo. The rain and wind were something else. You wouldn't throw a fox out of a hen house on a day like this. At least when I got to the shelter of the Connemara mountains, the wind dropped. But the rain remained my constant companion.

There was no point in taking photos this day as it was just too wet. And the sky was about three feet off the ground anyway.

My target for the evening was a wee place called Cliffden. A lovely small village set on the edge of the west coast of county Galway. As they say in Clifden, "the next parish over is New York."

As I motored down I reached a village called Newport. I knew a good pub there that done a pretty good meal. I rolled up beside the biulding and discovered that because I had sat in pouring rain, in the one position for most of the morning, when I took my hands off the bars, water poured out of my sleeves. Much to the amusement of half a dozen or so American tourists who were watching this cabaret from the warmth of the bar.

Anyway, I dismounted and john wayned my way into the pub. I exchanged a friendly nod to the tourists and then , after annexing a corner snugg to myself, spread out like only a wet biker can.

The gortex liner of my Rallye jacket was doing a fine job of not letting the rain through. Unfortunately, this being west of Ireland rain, it wasn't going to be beaten so easily and instead went AROUND the Gortex. I sat slowly steaming in the heat as pools of water gathered on the stone floor from various garments. My considerable belly steamed the most.

After a hearty meal of soup so thick you could trot a mouse across and several door stops of home made bread and a huuuuge pot of tea I could delay my departure no longer.
So into the wet gear, (is this one of the worse feelings known to biking man?) and slurp my way out to the bike. Nodding to the table of Americans as I went. I could see the bastards(no offence) straining their necks to get a good glimpse of this shmuck pulling a wet helmet on over damp hair. There seemed to be a lot of nudging and laughing as I made sure all pockets were closed and thumbed the starter.

I swung around and disapeared into the rain in a sea of spray. I am bound to be on youtube somewhere....
And on I rode into the west. drsaming of my home, and a warm wife and a hot bath and a sofa beside the fire and the rain on the other side of a window.

As Clifden got nearer I started to get seriously worried that they wouldn't let me into the B&B. Seriously.
I knew the place I was going to stay in. I had been this way before a few times and the house was large, modern with a good place to park the bike around the back out of the way.
ANd the landlady was a fox......
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:20 PM   #5
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I spent a couple of days in Shannon and Limerick in my younger days. I really should go back and visit Ireland again
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
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Subscribed. Had a week long solo ride in Ireland two years ago. Great trip.


IslandMonkey screwed with this post 03-18-2010 at 01:46 PM
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #8
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So I rolled into Clifden and up to the B&B. I parked up and removed my helmet. The rain was still pissing down and I performed the comedy emptying of sleeves for the amusement of a small dog that looked just how I felt.

As I rang the doorbell I prepared the old "These aren't the droids you are looking for." Jedi Mind trick, in a "this person is dry as a bone and won't drip half an ocean across your nice clean house", stylee.

The door was opened, not by the fox but by her Mother. That's okay though, she was hot for an old bird. I smiled and tried to convey "dryness" as water ran down my face.
"Room?" I enquired, trying to look like the cat from Shrek. She smiled and beckoned me in.

What a strange feeling. Dryness. I checked out the room she offered, knowing full well that even if it contained several lions and a shark or two, she didn't have the physical strength to get me out into the rain again.

I went back to the front door to collect my back pack and coat and saw that it was lying in a pool of water. She saw it as well but didn't say a word.

The one good thing about the house is that there was a large hot press that served as a drying room. I deposited the coat, gloves and trousers and then retired to the room for a shower.

Several hours in torrential rain does strange things to a man's body. All I can say is that if I were to have dropped dead there and then, somewhere on the autopsy report it would have said " No visible sign of external genitalia."
It took a half hour in a steaming hot shower for anything to put in an appearance. And even then it was the size of a tom cats nipple and a worrying shade of grey..

Clean, dry clothes are a luxury that seperates us from the Apes. I had a power nap after phoning home and telling The Waife all about my exploits. I had made up my mind that if tomorrow is as wet, then I am heading home. There would be no point in going on as I couldn't bloody see anything today.

The rain abated enough for me to stroll the half mile or so down to Clifden's main drag and have a steak the size of a small dog. I staggerd home holding my belly button in and slept the sleep of a sleepy thing.

Hopefully tomorrow would be better.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
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Aaaand it was. Thank christ. The rain had stopped and there was the faintest hint of blue sky above Clifden. There was only one thing to do. Postpone the return home and get on the bike. Two things to do then. So I gathered my gear from the hot press, Mmmm toasty and strapped it all on. Including the ten tonnes of camping gear that I knew I was never going to use.
I left Clifden by the back roads and headed on my merry way.

What a difference a bit of dry weather makes. The roads were bendy and yumpy. Perfect for a heavily laden GS. I was tootling along at 40 or so, this seemed to be the safest speed to keep between the hedges and gawk around me.

I headed for Galway City. I have to admit that it's not my favourite place. I feel that what ever charm it once had, it has lost as it lay back, spread it's legs and displayed it's gaudy knickers for the coach loads of tourists that flock there every year. Just my opinion folks, don't want to upset anyone.
Anyway, I scooted through it and then headed for the coast of County Clare to Loop Head.

I got onto some seriously minor roads. Roads that only small town Ireland can serve up. Three feet wide with the middle two feet covered in grass. It hugged the coast and gave some great views of the sea.

I stopped off in Doolin. Where a ferry runs out to the Arran Islands. There were a lot of tourists here and it had a nice, happy vibe.

This place is the ferry office. It was also in a pretty good sit com called Father Ted. They dressed it up as a local shop run by a couple who were always at each others throats.
Let's see if this works..

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Old 03-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #10
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Nope. Lets see now....
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:03 PM   #11
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Hiya Frey Bentos (I love your pies,by the way )

It`s looking good...cheers.

You may enjoy my Ural Adventure around some of Ireland a year or so ago.

I'd only waste my money if I didn`t spend it on all my bikes......
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:33 PM   #12
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Onwards around the coast. I passed by the Cliffs of Moher. I didn't stop as I had been there a few times and to tell the truth once you've seen one set of thousand high cliffs you've seen them all...
Here's a pic from an earlier visit. They are pretty feckin good though.

At the time I went past them on this trip they were starting to biuld a new visitors centre so if I were you, if you are going now, brace yourself to get absolutely fleeced by the tourist board for entry..

I wobbled on. The sun was out by now and the last of yesterdays rain had evaperated into the ether. I headed towards Limerick City. I didn't want to go through the traffic and endless amount of shite that cities have so I made a dive for the coast to a wee place called Killemer. From here there is a short ferry ride across the mouth of The Shannon and over to the shore of County Kerry.
And besides, it isn't a real trip unless you go on a boat, is it?

Now we were sucking diesel. As I rolled off the ferry I actually felt that I was on holiday. Before the ferry ride I was going over ground that I had often reached on a long day trip. Now I was forgeing ahead into the dark continent of Kerry.
And the Ring of Kerry. This is simply a lap of the coast of the county. It's a big draw for tourists and as I was rideing along I remembered why. The day was beautiful by now. Blue skies had replaced the grey battleships of yesterday and everywhere was fresh and green.

Every ten yards there was another picture to be taken. I stopped for most of them but it started to get ridiculous. If I wanted to make any kind of progress I would have to be more disciplined.

This old church though got my attention for easily an hour. I pulled over, killed the bike and helmetless, wandered through the grave yard. It was a real sun trap. No breeze, just bird song and insects buzzing.
It really took a lot of effort to pull the helmet on again and leave on a dirty, smelly motorbike.

The day wore on and I eventually made it onto the Dingle Peninsular and the pretty little port village of Dingle. It was late in the season, the second week of September and the plac ewas still jumping with tourists. I had been down here a few years before and had found it impossible to get a B&B, eventually settling for an over priced hotel and mediocre dinner.
This time would be different though. I saw a B&B abd started a search for a room.
At least 20 houses later, after following leads and directions from one full to the brim guest house to the next, I eventually found one with a room going spare. Amuseingly, it was twenty yards from the first place I had asked in.
Here I am, sexing up a bed.

Great wind blown dry skin action there but never the less I had a shower, a power nap and then sauntered into the village in search of authentic Dingle fayre. Seeing as it is a working fishing port, there is an underlying theme of fish in all the resterants.
So I had a set meal for two in an indian place, staggered home holding my belly and slept until the next morning.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tarka
Hiya Frey Bentos (I love your pies,by the way )

It`s looking good...cheers.

You may enjoy my Ural Adventure around some of Ireland a year or so ago.

Coolio Tarka. Shall enjoy looking at this.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:46 PM   #14
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Yeats country boy signing in

Subscribed. I grew up in Sligo and miss it...well except for the rain

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:04 PM   #15
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Nice sceneries and report.
Thanks for the sharing.
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