(In June 2016, I wrote): Started early cycling from Antrim along Lough Neagh. The first 5 miles or so were spent skirting the walled and moated estate that is Antrim castle. My first close up of razor wire with towering dark green steel walls surrounded the modern encampment nearest to the town. The towns have a definite, borderline grim, garrison feel , while the countryside is lush, green and mountainous. (I stopped here, but took some pictures (below) on a day that ended at the old judge’s residence in Omagh, now a faithfully restored Georgian masterpiece: the actor Sam Neill was brought up in this house but now lives and makes wine in New Zealand ).
(1 year ago, I drafted this, now it needs posting…and more memories from last years brilliant trip to Ireland to follow) So what happened to my blog? I’m back with a head full of memories, a phone full of photos and nothing written down. Antrim in Northern Ireland to Westport in the Republic : 200-odd miles on my old faithful 1980’s hybrid in 5 precious days in June, never dry in the island of Ireland, but always mild and sometimes even warm.
An unforgettable trip. And lots to share for others interested in making the trip.
So, I’ll get down to posting some tales of the days on this lovely section of Paul Benjaminse’s round Ireland cycle route, once I’ve hopped off the back to work treadmill at the end of the week. (But that took a whole year..!)
Seen today, free hard hats on wall next to entrance plus disclaimer about injury. Torched in 1715 apparently and a few large loose stones high up. Shame. But like the personal choice approach to risk.
‘Drive efficiently’ was another non nanny suggestion on a road sign we saw earlier in the week.
National speed limit on single track roads with passing places perhaps taking this approach a little far, but makes for sporting contests flooring the accelerator/standing on the pedals to make the next passing place in time.
It’s different here, maybe even more different after today’s General Election.
Skye gave us more mind blowing skyscapes than superlatives could describe today.
A golden eagle sighting was thrilling. Maybe more eagles at Glenborrodale tomorrow.
Speed bonny boat…! Downwind rapid sail from North Uist to Uig, Skye today. Passed the Ferry Inn where we had a family holiday many moons ago. Looks the same, road just got bigger. Few pictures to follow now I have some super wifi. This was being laid alongside the lanes of S Uist as we rode through earlier. But until then! Charming islands with a messy agricultural feel and lots of wildlife including seals, corncrakes (heard not seen), cuckoos (seen ! and heard ) short eared owls and lots of sea birds. Sad to leave. Back again one day.