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Old 04-08-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
Dellis OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Cheshire, England
Oddometer: 71
The Irish Photo Rally - Our Rally

Details of the rally here.

Well here we go. Sandra and I did the Photo Rally in 2007 and enjoyed ourselves doing it in bits and bobs adding a few points to other trips and finishing off in the October. After doing it like this I thought I'd like to have a go at doing the rally in one go taking a week or so to get round and 2010 was the first opportunity to get on and do it. So I set on with planning a nice route round with some, hopefully, nice places to stay.

The plan was to ship Holyhead - Dun Laoghaire on the 10:00 hrs crossing the Wednesday before Easter, head off in a clockwise direction and finish off with the central(ish) locations and head back on the 13:00 hrs fast boat the Tuesday after Easter with the rally completed. The plan started to look a little shaky when two days before we were due to set off the 10:00 hrs boat was cancelled due to the poor weather forecast. Not a problem we thought and changed to the 08:20 slow boat which docked in Dublin around the same time as our original crossing leaving us time to bag our first days locations. To make sure we weren't going to be worn out after the first day we booked the Travelodge at Holyhead for Tuesday evening planning on setting off after we'd both finished work.

The weather forecast got worse, gales were promised for the Irish Sea and heavy snow north of Dublin which I cheerfully ignored. Tuesday evening came along and we headed off to Holyhead, booked into the Travelodge, dumped our gear into the cell like but clean room and went for a pint. Not good, we ended up in probably the worst pub we've ever been to (and we like basic pubs) had a pint and went off to bed. Getting up the next morning we rode the few hundred metres to the port to be greeted by a port official telling us that all the boats were delayed and the boat coming in from Dublin couldn't dock due to the high winds. The news from Stena Line (the shipping company) was thin on the ground but the upshot was we didn't sail until 19:00hrs meaning we had no chance of taking any photos and putting us a day behind our plan before we started. We cancelled our B&B and found another place nearer to the port.

O'Laughlin's Hotel was where we found ourselves, 70 B&B clean, comfortable and a decent breakfast. Thursday morning was soon with us and we set off to Dingle where we had our next B&B booked via 17, 18, The Healey Pass and the Ring of Kerry. A good days riding was head with the highlight being the Healey Pass, simply stunning! We arrived at our B&B Bay Watch to a very warm welcome and then I broke the bed.... Tom, the owner, soon turned up with a couple of bricks to prop up the leg I'd broken off saying that the bed had been iffy for a while.

17 Waterford

18 Cork

Friday and after a particularly entertaining breakfast we headed off calling at 19, 15, 14, 20 (take the road marked "Private") and 24. During the day we were heading for the Tarbert - Killimer ferry which we knew was an hourly service but had no idea if it went north on the hour or half hour, it was 12:15 with 15 miles to go and we arrived on the half hour go on the ferry which left within a minute of us getting on, our first bit of good fortune.

19 Kerry

15 Limerick

14 Clare

20 Mayo

24 Galway

Landing at our B&B Waterside in Westport we discovered that Good Friday is dry in Ireland - not good - anyway we survived. Another decent B&B with a another good brekky.

Saturday came and this was the first day that we were actually going to ride to our plan to this end we visited 21, 1 (where the rear pads gave up the ghost) and 6

21 Sligo

1 Donegal

6 Fermanagh/Tyrone

Saturday night saw in in Ramelton, off route but we like the Bridge Bar which we've been to before on a UKGSer weekend. We had dinner in the Bridge Bar followed by a few beers hic..... The B&B was great with a suite of rooms all to ourselves and a decent breakfast.

Sunday came round all too soon and off we went to bag 2, followed by a visit to The Giant's Causeway, 3, 4, then a visit to Aidan and Mandy's place to collect and fit my new rear pads (thanks again to both of you) and finally 8. O'Connolly's B&B was our home for the night and very nice it was too, fab rooms but the brekky although not bad wasn't as good as the others on the trip.

2 Derry

3 Antrim

4 Down/Armagh

8 Louth/Meath

Monday morning and we had our biggest number of pictures to take 5 which we couldn't quite get to due to the snow drifts as encountered by others, 22, 7 (we found out why a windmill was located here - it was blowing a gale!), 23, 9, 16 and 13. 9 was added in due to the delays at the beginning of the trip, we had initially planned to get it on the way to the boat but we needed to catch up which we did on our last day. The end of the day saw us booked into The Slieve Bloom Inn in Kinnitty which looked great but in the flesh had not not water no food and not much else going for it so we carried on to Roscrea and stayed at the White House B&B, it was crap but in my defence it was pouring with rain and we needed somewhere to stay, dinner was rubbish and we skipped breakfast other than toast which they managed to burn. On the plus side we had a good laugh in the bar which sort of made up for the rest of it.

5 Cavan/Monaghan

22 Letrim

7 Longford/West Meath

23 Roscommon

9 Dublin/Kildare

16 Tipperary

13 Laois/Offaly

We'd rebooked our boat to the Tuesday 19:30 fast sailing so we could take the last the pictures and finish the rally off we set in the pouring rain to 12, 11 and 10. 10 Wicklow Old Lighthouse was great, we stopped on the road by a gate to take to picture as the road to the lighthouse was marked private etc etc and a chap came out of his house and said to go up the private road which we duly did. We parked the bike to take the snap when a lady who happened to be in the building came out to ask us what we were doing. We explained about the rally and she turned out to be really nice inviting us into the lighthouse to have a look round, we declined as were were dripping wet but she invited us to go back next time we were nearby which we will.

We then headed off to Dun Laoghaire to discover that the weather had got the better of us again and that our boat was cancelled so we ended up on the 21:15 Dublin to Holyhead which saw us home just before 3 am which was fine for me as I have the day off but less so for Sandra who's been to work today.

A great way to spend a week....

Dave & Sandra

12 Carlow/Kilkenny

11 Wexford

10 Wicklow

The Route

Ya bugger...........
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:07 PM   #2
Celtic Canadian
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I am loving the pics from the rock .......please continue
***My thoughts go out to KneeDrachen , his family and his beautiful Daughter Juliet who is a fighter ......stay strong
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
Joined: May 2009
Location: Meath,Ireland
Oddometer: 46 and v.well done,we'll try to organise better weather for you next time!
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:54 PM   #4
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Lexington, Virginia
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I've always wanted to visit these areas... Maybe after I win the lottery! And hey, the sun was even shining in a few of those shots!

Thanks for sharing!

"If it doesn't blow smoke and make noise, it isn't a sport!" - radio ad for shop in Bozeman, MT
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:52 PM   #5
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Beautiful ride! Thanks for taking us along
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:47 AM   #6
Joined: Aug 2008
Oddometer: 85

some great pics!
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:53 AM   #7
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Chicago Suburbia USA
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taking pictures with your helmets on is a cool twist and even with them on you seem to be smiling>your eyes appear to be smiling
1995 BMW K75RT
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:14 AM   #8
Oman Dirty Biker
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Sultanate of Oman
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Awesome, thankyou!

This is brilliant, thanks for taking the time to put the report togeather. Visted Ireland in 2007 on the bikes, Northern Ireland was my favourite. Thanks for the tour, on my list of to do again at some point in the future

Offroad Riding - Lap of Oman for Mary 2008:

The 8th Wonder of the World Discovered in Oman:
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:35 AM   #9
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Location: That big Island Down Under.
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Great report - picture 11. Wexford: Could be wrong but it looks like the North Slob Bird sactuary pump house, near Ardcavan beach (I was born 10 minutes away!). Now that's a cold windy spot, with lots of geese in from Canada getting an Irish Tan . Good on you for braving the soft Irish weather!
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