My First Mini Tour on the Motorbike

Way back when (August 2003) I got my Bike License and then a bike [see Bikes menu option for more details]

Now it's been great fun having the bike, but i've not spent more than a few days away on the bike yet so...

As i was going to head off home [see Where to see where this is] for my Birthday i thought i might take a long way home

The Story

Friday 27th June

Leave work bang on 4pm, rush home, put all my packed bags on the bike and start on my way.
Catch the late ferry and stay in a B& B just south of Dun Laoghaire overnight.

By about noon i realised that i wasn't going to get away from work and worse than that it was really pissing it down.
I got in tired, wet and not in the mood for a ride in the rain through rush hour traffic.
That decision made... Unpacked some of my essentials and dived into a lovely long bath with a cheeky glass of wine - a good start to my holiday :o)

Saturday 28th June

Plan 2:
Get up early - Catch the 1:45 PM ferry, ride down the east coast and find a nice place to stay late in the afternoon

Up late!!!, Oops
Realised i'm not going to catch the 1:45 ferry so i'll not rush around
That's it! i'm not making any more plans for a while! LOL

Packed up the Bike and got ready to go
Left the house eventually at 12:30 - it was such a beautiful day I really enjoyed the ride... well except for getting lost in Manchester
On the way I spotted a wonderful castle in the side of a hill (somewhere in North Wales) I must go back and see that properly but that's for another trip.
Got to Holyhead in plenty of time for the ferry which was late anyway - oh well, there were 2 other bikers on the same trip, both were great and we ended up chatting while waiting for the ferry to turn up, and I stayed chatting to one of them all the way over - a really nice guy who said he knew a little short cut out of Dun Laoghaire - got into Ireland at about 8:40 PM and it was such a beautiful evening, perfect for a little buzz down the coast.
I had tried to book a place in a nice hotel just down the coast but they were full, but the recommended a place called Tinakilly Country House and me not knowing what to expect I decided to "give it a go", when i turned up i was VERY pleasantly surprised

What a wonderful place, i think i'm going to like it here LOL
after checking in and a quick shower it was straight to the bar

My First Pint in Ireland!
Before i had enjoyed a few drinks of my pint i was already chatting to a few of the people there - The barman was ace, i really got on with him and one thing he said was that if i was looking for a nice place to visit locally i should check out Glendalough

Sunday 29th June

Woke up late (this is getting to be a habit) at least i was not too late for breakfast

Looked out the window and the weather was stunning, i made up my mind to check out Glendalough and some of the country roads round about

What a day - The sun was shining, the birds were singing - all was right with the world - a wonderful ride up there and when i was there everywhere was so serene i fell in love with the place

I took a lot of pics of the place, there were hundreds of things to see (churches, grave sites, lochs, waterfalls and a lot of other stuff) i may put a little slide show of all the pics of there but none of them do justice to the place.
I sat by the loch and just enjoyed the place, daydreaming and reading [i had just bought the latest Harry Potter] and even tho i was careful to stay in the shade when i got back i was doing a good impression of a cooked lobster LOL
wandered back at around 5ish and took a long route back to tinakilly [i had already decided that i was going to stay another night there]
Just in time for a shower and down for tea - oh WOW lovely i has a 5 star chef mmmmmmmmm :o)
got a touch of hay fever that evening which was a bit annoying but it was nothing a few glasses of wine won't fix <Cheers>
I'll miss that place, i love being pampered and having a few people around to help out - i think i need to be "Stupidly Rich" LOL

Monday 30th June

Up late again - this time it was by plan coz it was absolutely chucking it down, i was very cozy in this nice old house listening to the rain falling outside, i was seriously considering spending another night there - but the call of the big city was stronger so i packed up, had a stupidly big breakfast and hit the now very wet road for Dublin
Luckily it wasn't raining much by the time i left the house and headed off, but still enough to nice and wet.
Got into Dublin about noon, straight to a hotel [what a disappointment from the previous couple of nights, this place was the same price but just a standard hotel, clean enough, just not very attractive] dropped off my bags, put my clothes to dry and had a shower - all ready for a day of the tourist thang LOL
First stop the book of kells and the long room - WOW! what a stunning place worth a visit if you're going to Dublin - you're not allowed to take pics in the whole place so i've not got any, but there are tonnes of pics on the web if you're interested. But all the pics i have seen don't show what it's like to be staring at so much history or the unique smell of old books you get in the long room [a really old library]. I would have loved to have just pulled up a chair and quietly read a book there but alas that wasn't allowed and i think i could hear another bus load of tourists
Now to the Only place to get my first pint in Dublin - the Guinness Storehouse :o)

The tour was not up to much, but it was worth it to be sitting on the 7th Floor looking out onto the Dublin vista sipping a pint of the finest black gold straight from the brewery. Writing this and making plans of where to go and see - oh dear there goes another pint - maybe i'll just find a good pub and settle down for the evening.
Left via the gift shop LOL

Ah Mulligan's, this used to be the best pint in the world [before Guinness opened the Storehouse] - and in my book there's not a lot between them and i had quite a large sample :o) - it got very busy latter on so i decided to drop off my tourist stuff and get changed for the evening.
Found a nice little Italian and an even nicer old style pub with a friendly barman and a few chatty people - looks like i've got my evening sorted

Tuesday 1st July

OH DEAR! the bear monster has attacked me and i have come off a lot worse then he did. Stumbled into the shower - that didn't help much - breakfast helped a lot more "more coffee please!!"
After a nice site seeing afternoon and a light lunch i needed to head back for a nap before heading out for the evening, it's going to be hard just having a couple of pints LOL. The fact that it's still raining doesn't bode well for tomorrow, i am planning to head up to the north.

Wednesday 2nd July

YEY it's a great day! perfect for the bike. A nice run up to the North is exactly what i fancy.
What a ride up, beautiful scenery after i got past belfast and headed further north - i was heading to Bushmills [a place they make one of the best Irish Whiskeys]

Dropped my bags off and went straight out for some sight seeing - big chunks of rock [giants causeway] and coloured water [bushmills itself] - then when it was getting to the evening, headed back for a few glasses of the black stuff
Before i had taken 2 drinks in the bar of bushmills inn i was chatting to a couple of guys that were also enjoying a little drink. As it happens they are Tour drivers and were full of interesting places to go [i have taken a few notes for my next trip] - one of them (Noel) said he knew a great place to have a nice steak - and boy was he right mmmmmmmmm. The other one Frank Fitzpatrick was mentioning places left right and centre - what fun it was - a very pleasant night in great company.

Thursday 3rd July

Coming down the stairs for breakfast - I think i may have had a pint too many, Oh well at least the weather is perfect for a wander in the countryside down by the coast to clear the cobwebs - then a nice pint by the open peat fire, and a wonderful meal at the hotel [it seems it's another 5 star restaurant - i really can pick 'em]

Friday 4th July

I really could get used to being waited on hand and foot, but i have already spent longer in Ireland that i had planned [i don't think a single plan will work LOL]
The draw of home is getting strong and i have to get home for my birthday LOL
A nice early start and a quick ride to Belfast to catch the ferry - i was nice and early as usually, and the ferry was late [as usual] and a couple of bikers were there so another nice friendly chat all the way over the crossing :o).

The rest of the holiday was wonderful - catching up with a few of my closest friends - and family. My Birthday was a lovely quiet affair and i had a perfect chance to totally chill out - Bliss.........

I was going to split the journey back to Sheffield with a visit to the Lake District, but i was having a nice ride and missed the junction [by quite a lot LOL] so i decided to find a nice restaurant have a nice relaxing lunch and go all the way

Got in and put the water on for a nice relaxing bath - ahhhhhhhhhhh :o)