Bicycle touring through Ireland

This was the first country we cycled through on our cross European cycle. It was a blast. It wasn’t just cycling, we’ve met a lot of unique characters that we will never forget. It’s pretty long so grab a tea and sit back

Day 1 – Ennistymon to Ennis

The first day we decided to only go 25km. It took us hours to pack our bags and it took us forever to reach our destination- Ennis. We were both exhausted at the end of it. We both wondered how the hell are we going to reach the end. We both had little to no training on the bikes prior to the trip. After we arrived we shortened our journey by cancelling out England. There is a lot of cities in England that could be a nightmare to cycle through. We will backpack through the country when if we want. We also had to end the trip by the 20th of August for Martin to get back to college.

Day two and three

Sometimes Ireland seems like a scene from the Wild West with a bit more forestry, colder weather and occasional showers. We are extremely grateful for moments such as this.

Old abandonment farms and castles made our trip visually interesting. We always wonder what happened to them and why they remain ruins

When looking at a road like this you can’t help but wonder about life. Sometimes you can’t predict what is going to happen and life throws you a rough turn and you can’t see what’s ahead of you. All you can do is keep going…

This is what most of the Irish roads looked like, narrow roadside and tall stone walls, most of these walls are right beside the road so there is no opportunity to stop, we are delighted that these roads are a memory.

 

 It’s interesting to see what we can come up with. For those confused, it’s an anchor and the front of a big ship

 This sign entertained us a lot. It was slightly uphill but with fully loaded bicycles we were happy to make it up.

 This is a very interesting thing that we only found in Ireland so far. Signs like this appear near schools and playgrounds.

We were loving the beautiful nature but we were even more curious about the Apple Farm behind the hill where we were meant to stay at, we didn’t have a clue as to what would happen next.

We finally made it to Apple Farm camp. This gave us an amazing opportunity to look at the beautiful camp surrounded by fruit trees and strawberry plantations. It has an amazing history, it was established about 50 years ago with the founder coming from Holland. The nicest thing about it was that his wife and kids were still running around the farm. You would never guess that she is 75+ years old! They provide a great service

 
We received an amazing 100% apple juice from the farm. After all the pedalling it was exactly what we needed.

Finally a chance to put down all the stuff we had to carry…

 This is what it looks like when we set up our office on the road. While Pavol was editing videos Martin cooked dinner. It wasn’t anything special but warm food is always good.
Our usual dinner. Nothing special, before we had the pictured pasta with meat we had instant soup from a Polish shop. No need to lie this is as good as it gets on the road.
Only because Google Maps has let us down we were able to discover this beautiful viewpoint rather than the Apple Farm where we were meant to camp. The amazing feelings of solitude were more than welcome.We had no idea that we would also lose a power bank to keep our phones charged.
 Our first stop in the day at this interesting place. We are not sure what it’s called but they are all around Ireland.

Day 4 – Toughest dude on the road and our first experience with couch surfing

Our day started at the Apple Farm. From there we went downhill to Clonmel. Of course, the Irish weather didn’t disappoint and it started raining. This beautiful church gave a bit of shelter.
 Not only did the church give us a much-needed shelter but it also gave us an astonishing view such as this.
Like we mentioned earlier Irish nature is really varied and offers amazing views.
 This is Juan, This “dude” is 65 years old and came from Holand on his bicycle. He decided to cycle around Ireland’s coast. We have to mention that he only had paper maps. No smartphones or “smart” devices of any kind. All we have to say is that he had style and his bike was around 16 years old. Juan is proof that a person doesn’t need a whole lot to see the world.
We met Juan the night before at the camp. We also met him in the morning as he was coincidentally entering the same shop and a couple hours later we caught up and passed him on flat ground. We said that if we meet him again we will invite him for a beer or at least take a picture with him, We are of the same blood. He is an adventurer.

Irish roads are truly amazing. You can see a countless number of these “tunnels” created by trees.

 This is another photo that proofs that the Irish nature is diverse, this passage is really reminiscent of rain forests.
Because Ireland is full of cottages such as these, we sometimes stumble of some that are currently being renovated.This one seems to take longer than expected. A lovely cottage is always pleasing to our eyes.

If you can remember in the previous album we wrote about the Irish roads being very narrow with high walls on both sides, well this is a perfect example of the better ones. After this “little” hill we joined a really steep downhill in we flew down at 58km/h. We wish it could be like this all the way to Slovakia…

These photos hold a lot more than you can imagine. This was our first official experience with couch surfing. The guy that opened his home to us is called Walter. He worked at wind turbines somewhere in the middle of the ocean. He is a great guy with an awesome home. He had an awesome spray painted woman on his living room wall that another couch surfer did to practice his art. This showcases his personality well. Since he opened his home to us completely and left us the keys while he went to play squash. He just said to lock the door after we leave in the morning and to leave the keys on the table. We loved our first experience with couch surfing as it ended very well. We had no idea what our next one is going to be like…

Day 5- Day before the storm

We started our day quite late since it was raining until lunchtime, after a number of kilometres behind Waterford we got another look at the wild nature of Ireland
Our day started with rainy weather, morale was low because of the regular showers. However, this changed once we saw the first stand with strawberries. We didn’t want them at all. When we saw the second stand shortly after we started to get hungry after them. When the third one came along we couldn’t help each other but stop and buy some. So we improved our mood greatly and filled up some much-needed energy for the hills coming up…
We were just approaching the ferry near Waterford when the horizon opened up and we got a magnificent view…
For you to believe us that we are honestly pedalling on the bicycles we had to take a picture…

I made it in time, the harbour atmosphere was irresistible, I had to take a few documentative photographs. Pavol didn’t notice that I wasn’t behind him and got on the ferry. Ferry just about wanted to leave when the ticket collector noticed me and opened up the gate.

In the end, I wasn’t the last to arrive. Right after me, 4 other cars showed up. The actual ride wasn’t longer than 3 minutes. It was nothing compared to our ride to France
This is exactly the reason why he hung back on the other side, we don’t know why but the ships on dry land have something about them…
The Irish weather didn’t want to improve at all, the picture shows a typical Irish road with typical Irish weather …
We can’t just complain about the horrible weather, combined with the beautiful scenery it looks magical

These ruins represent one of the first towns in Ireland.

 Not far behind this hill, we will encounter a big number of hilarious situations since we are on our way to an Organic Farm in a village called Duncormic which was run by Bill. He is a guy from Couch Surfing that allowed us to stay at his home for the night. We had no idea what was in store for us …
We finally arrived, the funniest part of our trip was about to begin… we waited for about 30 minutes before Bill picked up the phone and navigated us to his farm
While we waited until we hear back from Bill we decided to look around Duncormic when I noticed this graveyard…
After about a half hour of waiting and another half hour of getting lost we finally found the right direction towards Bill’s house. We had no idea what was going to happen behind the next turn and that instead of one night we will stay two…

 Day 6 – Wild Bill

Our first day at Bill’s farm started off better than we expected, it was our second last day in Ireland and that’s probably why the weather decided to improve our mood. It wasn’t only the weather that improved our mood it was also classical music that woke us up playing throughout the house, we had no idea what an amazing day it’s going to be. 
Our second surprise was that Bill was making breakfast, he said that the day can’t begin without quality oats. home-baked bread, jam, yoghurt and honey also wasn’t missing. However, two things were missing: strawberries and milk. We would hang back with the Woofers while Pavol was supposed to go and get milk. However they somehow misunderstood each other and instead of getting milk from a nearby farmer Pavol bought milk from a shop in a PLASTIC container, I laughed from the hearth but Bill’s expression was the direct opposite.
 
 This is was our breakfast looked like on both our days, oats with homemade yoghurt, honey and strawberries. Who didn’t have enough got some additional homemade bread with some homemade honey?
Initially, we were meant to stay at Bills for only one night and move to Rosslare where we would get a ferry to France, however as soon as we mentioned that we have a day spare Bill offered us another night. This suited us so we told him that we will gladly help him with his farm the next day. The first task was to empty out this room and put down the floor.
As you could see on the first image Bill had a big mobile house in his yard in which lived the Woofers. His plan for the future was to get rid of it and create a living space in the attic, so he needed to create some stairs to the future room. I personally wasn’t delighted with the way it was done and with the material chosen. Well, this is the result. Bill said that that was enough work for the day and told us to head out and explore the nearby beach since the weather is so nice.
Obviously after a successful job we had to take a photo with the household dog Honey.
Because Bill is a right reeve he was happy with the job he hosted us with an amazing dinner, steaks with grilled vegetables. Almost after a week of eating dry baguets with pate, it went down great, we surely wouldn’t refuse them now since our diet doesn’t really change.
After an amazing dinner, Bill recommended a local beach. Our journey was relieved with fields of wheat.
We knew we were going the right direction when we saw this house on top of the hill which the ocean lay behind.
Ireland is really something else when the weather is good, too bad it doesn’t happen that often. In the background on the left side, you can see Keeragh Island. We had no idea that they would play a major role in Bills farm, well you will find that our soon enough.
Amazing beach break!
After a proper swimming session, it was time to head back to Bill’s farm, since we weren’t looking back while cycling on the way here we came across some beautiful scenery. There is a life lesson to take here for our trip and life… from time to time stop, look around your self and look back and realise where you came from. Not to rush forward with your eyes shut but enjoy the current moment and cherish it.
Once we came back Bill asked us if we could help him once more and that we will be back in an hour. We had no problem with that and hooked up the carriage and set off to buy forks from a forklift. We have to say that Bill for his age runs around like a 25-year-old guy but drives like an 18-year-old new driver that is delighted to cruise the roads. I pressed the brakes with my eyes, ears, feet, mind and even squeezed my ass, thankfully my boxers remained clean.
When we came back we thought we were finished but we hooked up another carriage and went for another 3 bandit adventure. Our kill for the was a telephone pole on the side of a road. These are some rare pieces over here I tell you that for sure.
After the hunt came feeding time. Bill took us with him and showed us around his farm where he keeps the animals. Aside from pigs and cows which we have another story that you will read about in the next image.
After the tour and feeding the cows we went to look at meadows and cows. While we are are talking about the cows I almost forgot, do you remember two photos back those two parked carriages in the wild? Right before that happened Bills castrated bulls ran out.His first words were „Oh Shit!“. Bill jumped out of the car and slowly approached them to get them back into the garden. One ran around and the second jumped in into the bushes thankfully into the field and not into Bill. A few seconds later Bill waved at us to tell us that we are OK to leave the car and instantly vanished into the distance. We saw him how he is chasing all the cows in front of him.

 

At the end of the tour we saw this outhouse near Bills home, he even recited an amazing poem that he wrote. Too bad we haven’t got the text maybe we will ask for it in the future.
Do you remember the photo of cows, ocean and Keeragh Islands in the back? Bill said that he gets to sit on his throne overlooking the islands. It should be on the right side of the hearth where it’s bigger and the branches are cut off.
Our day was slowly but surely ending but we had no idea that Bill was going to give us money and send us to a local pub to get a beer or two. He said to head out and enjoy our selves. We didn’t want to take it at first but he insisted. We also didn’t need a lot of convincing.

Day 7- “Goats are worth more than women”

On our 7th day, we went from Bill’s house to an agro show where we learned about how much is a woman is a valued in parts of Africa (one goat to be precise) and finally our ferry journey to France.
 We have woken up with a smile on the second day, we packed our stuff, helped Bill and we went off to a ploughing championship.

By helping Bill, I meant washing his car Saab, which was a veteran exhibit on the ploughing championship. On the left, in the garage, you can see a bit of a white car, it was another one of Bills cars, Honda and it wasn’t one of the new models. I must say Bill has a good taste in cars.

It was a remarkable event, we’ve seen interesting and old pieces of agricultural technology like this tractor.

Except for the tractors and animal exhibitions from cows, sheep, goats and chickens. I have never seen such good-looking chickens and I have seen a lot, we have visited horseback riding. It really is an interesting sport, but it seems like the horses are suffering and not enjoying it.

By the way, it is obvious that Bill is an interesting human. Along with it all, he is in a charity organisation which helps people in Africa by sending goats to farmers. Anyone who wants can donate a goat from his farm and this charity organisation will send it to Africa, in return the farmers will receive pictures of the goat with its new family. To be exact, the woman will receive the goat so she will have some property, if something happened to her husband, his family can kick her out of the house with her kids and take all the property that belonged to the father, so the woman can threaten them by taking the goat with her, and the husbands family will keep the woman in the house, since much more people are dependent on that one goat. So, a woman with goats has a much bigger value…

If you would like to donate some goats, you will find more information on bothar.ie

After we said our goodbyes to Bill and woofers, we went to have a look at the veterans, I must say that this Ford charmed me, it had big modern leather seats and the maximum speed was 40km/h. In that time it must have been a great machine.

 Once finally arrived in Rosslare and we are waiting in line to get onto the ship among the first.

Almost there…
We had a nice surprise, from below the deck we came up to the 3rd floor with a lift, on the left side was a cinema and our cabin with pretty good leather seats and the TV was on the right. To be honest, this whole ship was one great experience and I could write pages about it.
After a while, we decided to go to the top of the ship and enjoy the disembarkation from the port. The wind was very strong, the ship was swaying and the funny thing was that all car alarms were going crazy.

 Even though the cars were too loud we were still able to chill and enjoy the sunset.

It is amazing to see older people who are still madly in love and are enjoying moments like these together

We ended our day in the cinema with the movie called King Arthur, this cinema felt like 4D, everything was shaking since the ship was floating really high, so walking straight wasn’t possible, I felt like as if I was drunk and I was waiting for the moment when I’m going to hit the walls, for the size of the ship it swayed a lot.
Arriving in France tomorrow morning …
By | 2018-04-15T11:17:31+00:00 August 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leave A Comment