If you have missed the first week it’s here:
And the second is here:
On Monday, we were on the road again, for our 3rd week holiday, 547km and 6 hours according to Google…
Here is the global map of the trip (excepting the small rides in each area):
No problem on the road, some heavy (but short) showers, and some stress because we had not refuelled before leaving Armoy, and we did more than 100km without seeing a petrol station (on the motorway), until Juan got the great idea to turn on the Tom Tom and see that we had to go out of the motorway to find a petrol station… 230km since the last refuel, and 20km already on reserve for him…
We finally arrived to our destination, Killarney, at the end of the afternoon, quite tired by the travel and the rain. This time in B&B.
First day there we went for the “Ring of Kerry”, very nice landscapes, nice views there too…
but some parts of the road are quite in a bad state… and on the way back we got stuck behind a slow car and then a truck with no possibility to overtake. We were wrecked…
Last day was very rainy, so we went to Killarney center to get some “souvenirs”. And the best memory of Killarney is a nice chat with a nice local man in a pub there at night.
Holidays were coming to their end…
We left on Thursday to Rosslare, 260km, 3h30 according to Google. A little more, with rain all morning. It stopped raining just before Waterford, and we finally arrived quite dry to our last B&B.
Nice people there, very welcoming (and bikers). We went to a pub nearby for dinner, very good food and very good service. And our last pints of Guinness/Bulmers.
It was so nice that we went back the day after for lunch before taking the ferry.
The trip back was quite unpleasant for me (and so for Juan!) as the sea was not too calm, and I got sick…
When we arrived to Cherbourg, we had to get used to drive on the other side again, and got back to reality… An Irish car just out of the ferry overtook us (it was limited at 90km/h but it was 2 lanes, and I did not see any signal) and got chased by French police who made him go out to the next exit to fine him… Welcome back to France and nice French habits! :/ Welcome back to reality, end of the holidays…
We arrived home by those boring roads and had one day to rest.
I remembered Ireland as a very nice country with welcoming people, and I found a wonderful country with wonderful people…
Honeymoon trip: 3599,3km of Happiness.
After our first Honeymoon Week in Connemara, the following Monday, with our heads full of nice landscapes, we left for about 380km – 6 hours.
In Ireland we were surprised by the difference between one “National” road and another, some are very wide, with enough space for 3 or 4 cars (and surprising when people start overtaking in front of you), and other also “National” much more narrow, but also limited at 100km/hour and I think you have to be mad to go at that speed on those roads 😀 , and with some spare sheeps in the middle from time to time. While travelling from one point to another, we tried to avoid the roads in “white” on our Michelin map and, took the “red” ones as much as we could!
Here we are, on nice roads, heading to Ulster, Armoy, where we had booked our second week. No problem on the road, and no rain. We arrived in Armoy in the afternoon and went to the village to buy something to survive the night, we would go to Ballymoney the following day to do some bigger shopping.
In the afternoon, we visited the Joey and Robert Dunlop Memorial Garden:
Wednesday we took the day to go to do some tourism, to The Giant’s Causeway. Beautiful.
At night, back in the village, there was a classic motorbikes show organised by the AMRRC, club organising the Road Races (fairly well). We had also a quick walk in the village garden:
We received there a very warm welcome, very nice people around, a great night in the pub.
On Thursday we went to Ballymoney Museum where there was a tribute to “The Dromara Destroyers” and followed with a visit to the Museum itself. And finished of course with a visit to Joey Dunlop’s pub.
And at last we got to Friday, practice day.
In the morning we first went to take some pictures to “The Dark Hedges”(that we had seen in Stephen Davison “Between the Hedges” which was kind of a start to us wanting to go to a Road Race).
After a long pics session, and lunch, we went to the circuit. We had planned to go to “Balaney Cross”. But as newcomers, we were walking around the paddock when they announced road closing in 5 minutes, and we did not have time to get there (we saw at the end of the day that some places were accessible from inside…).
So finally, we ended up in Kennedy’s corner, which was not so bad as there was a pub, fish&chips and nice neighbours who invited us to a beer 😉
We were just impressed, amazed, whatever, by the speed of the riders, on THOSE roads… Just WOW, respect. We spent two days “Wowing”, and people asking “this is your first road race?” 😀
Unfortunately it started to rain heavily at the end of the afternoon, and the organisation decided to stop the practice and postpone it to next day. We went back to the paddock, where we were together with the racers and their motorbikes.
When the roads opened we went back to our place for dinner and get some rest for the big day. 😉
On Saturday we had woken up quite early, to avoid doing the same silly thing as the day before. We got a good point in “Acheson’s Leap”, nice spot to take pictures of racers jumps…
We had nice chats with the guys next to us while waiting for the races to start.
It started with the practice they couldn’t do the day before. It was sunny with good temperature 23-25°C, with some cloud from time to time.
In this point they were also quite fast, and with nice jumps. It is amazing how close you are to the riders.
At last the races started, 10 in total.
The races are just amazing, crazy, the speed, the road conditions, to be so close to the action, and the atmosphere. It was so great. For me, way much exciting than MotoGP (which is quite boring anyway) or Superbikes, or any other kind of race I have seen in circuits. And also much easier to take cool pics without a professional camera 😉
Now the pics:
Rodney Patton & Jeremy Mc Williams
Derek Mc Gee
We were quite impressed by everything, the races, the people, the racers, the speed. We will go for more for sure!
The races ended at 5pm, the roads opened and we went to the village for a pint or three… We talked to many nice people there, and just before going back home a few hours later, we met with Michael Dunlop in the other pub and had a little chat with him. That was funny, very nice lad.
At last, we had to go back “home”…
On Sunday it rained all day, so we just had some rest…
On Monday, we were on the road again, for our 3rd week holiday, 547km and 6 hours according to Google…
To be continued…
In 2013 we had a special holiday trip as it was our Honeymoon trip. The destination: Ireland. Why? I had been 3 times in Ireland (when I was young), twice for summer “language study” and once for 7 months when I was a student. I always had good memories and I had promised to myself that I would come back some day. I also wanted Juan to know this country to share this with him. So that was a good excuse!
We took a little bit of time to prepare the trip, we bought the cases for the SV, put the maintenance up to date, and wrote never-ending lists of things not to forget (this is me).
Before I knew Juan, I always prepared my things much in advance. But since a while now, we always end up packing at the last minute (I still use the list thing though!) the same morning as we go, and we always end up leaving at 11am…
So it was a nice morning of 13th of July, and we were ready to go, at about 11am… 😉
The idea for the trip was to avoid the tolls and take National Road 12 in Versailles, and then go through Evreux, Dreux, Lisieux, Caen and spend the night in Bayeux. I have my manual GPS on with the indications, as a piece of paper stuck on the tank, and Juan has the real GPS as a Tom Tom (wedding present of my dear father-in-law, thanks a million!) in case that mine got wrong 😉 (and it was quite useful… mine went wrong a few times lol).
A quiet and boring trip, stopping for sandwiches, with a nice weather, sunny but not too warm… we were on holidays!
We arrived in Bayeux around 4-5 pm, just to have some time to visit the cathedral and go for dinner…
Dinner took too long to arrive, and we just went back to the hotel to sleep, we didn’t even hear the fireworks celebrating the National Day…
The day after, we went just after breakfast to Cherbourg, to take the ferry.
We arrived (too) early, and we had to wait with a big pizza lunch, and then get to the harbour for boarding (2 hours before) and wait together with all cars, vans, caravans, motorbikes, trucks, and wondering how we would all get in.
One hour before leaving, they called us: motorbikes first. We got separated for parking, my motorbike on the left and Juan’s in the middle. Which was first not too much of a problem, but then when there were 3 rows of cars in the middle, parked very tightly, and us loaded with all our luggage (we didn’t know then that we could leave the luggage on the motorbikes so we had things all over the luggage) it happened not to be very practical. Well. The guys told me “ok, you fasten your bike” and I had no clue how to put this stuff. A nice Belgian couple next to me helped me to fasten it (well, really he fastened it for me…). Then I went across the cars to see how Juan was doing with his bike. He actually had a big problem: when he fastened the strap on the left hand side, the motorbike was falling to the right. And when we tried to fasten it to the right hand side, it was also falling to the right… We had to desperately ask for help to the ferry guys, who solved the problem with a pair of blocks under the suspension arm and it stood still. At last we got all our things together and got to our cabin.
After a good shower we went out to “visit” the ferry and see it go out to the sea. The sea was very calm and everybody was outside.
The trip was very pleasant (16 hours), there is everything in there: pubs, restaurants, cinema, shop… with quite normal prices (they could put whatever price as we have no choice to go somewhere else… but no).
We had a bonus sunset, the company of 3 gannets, a sandwich dinner on the upper deck (a little bit windy though!) and our first Guinness in the pub by the moonlight. The sea was so calm that we did not even notice that we were sailing.
After a calm night we arrived on time to Rosslare.
We got down to the garage decks, unfastened the bikes (still with help of the nice Belgian couple), my seat had been a little distorted by the straps, we put on the cases etc, and went down quite fast.
After a small stop to finish putting on our motorbikes gear, we finally started our road trip, on the left side of course. The most difficult being the roundabouts, we just never know where to look first…
We had quite a long trip this day as we were going directly to Connemara. Not that there were so many kilometers (370) but the ferry arrived at 11.30am, and counting the time to get out, to have lunch, and all the stops to fill in the tank and rest a little, it would take some time, and we did not want to arrive too late, to be able to have dinner somewhere.
At last we arrived at about 8.30pm, with no rain but side wind for a good while, and traffic jam around Galway…
The key was on the door (self catering). We dropped our things inside and got to the village with our bike gear still on… Parked in the main street and checked all the pubs (the street was full of them), though the prices were not too cheap… we realised afterwards that it was quite a touristic place.
We finally chose one, where we had a good meal with good service, not too cheap but good and we had dinner which was the important thing!
We were quite tired because of the trip and we went back straight away to settle there. The view to the bay there was just amazing. A beautiful place.
The landlord was a very nice person who told us a lot of the history of the place and the area around.
The first week we did a lot of kilometres, just getting around Connemara and up to Mayo. 3 days in a row we did about 180-200km per day, only stopping (many times though) to take pictures or drink Coke…
We liked a lot Connemara, it’s magic. We are surrounded by green mountains, lakes, at only a few kilometres from the sea. We were lucky we had amazing weather all the week, 23-25°C during the days with this nice breeze, and 30°C the last trip day… too warm… we will not complain though 😉
1st day : Sky Road- Clifden
Close to Leenane
Doo Lough (we called it the “horseflies lake”- Juan still has some scars…)
Sunsets & moon on Sky Road:
The last 2 days we just did NOTHING apart from visiting Clifden pubs and have a few Guinness for him and Bulmers for me.
The following Monday, with our heads full of nice landscapes, we left for about 380km – 6 hours.