On Sunday 30th of August we went for a ride out with the bikes, as they had forecasted no rain and there was no road race on the calendar. The idea was to go to Beara Peninsula, the one just before the famous and very touristic “Ring of Kerry”.
The peninsula ends with an island, “Dursey Island”: we had been there with the car on the first August week-end (and the truth is that those roads are much more enjoyable with the bikes!).
From Dursey Island
View over Kerry Peninsula “Ring of Kerry”
The first part of the road is a large and good national road, and then it’s a secondary road but also quite good.
On the first part, still not very far from Cork, there is a very good section, recently paved, with beautiful views over “Iniscarra Reservoir”. That morning the lake was completely still, with amazing reflections. We stopped to take pictures of course!
Close to Kenmare we found a very nice place to eat our sandwiches. There also the water was still and with beautiful reflections.
After the sandwiches we went on entering to the peninsula from the North, going along the coast and with views to Kerry peninsula (where are the highest Irish mountains, over 1000 metres high, right next to the ocean).
We took the first road on the left, the R574 that goes through “Healy Pass”. This road is amazing, with almost no traffic, beautiful views to “Glanmore Lake”, over the Ring of Kerry, and of the mountains around us.
We stopped several times to take pictures and enjoy the silence, the views and the PEACE it radiates. At the first stop we were parked close to the entrance of a garden with a man mowing his lawn. He looked happy that we were taking pictures of the views from his house 🙂 .
After getting to the south part of the road and as we were tired, we decided to go back home instead of following to Dursey Island.
I think that when the good season is back we will have to plan a full week-end with a stay overnight in B&B, because there is so much to see and the roads are very nice.
So we went back through Glengarrif and then we took the R584 which goes to Gougane Barra (see post about “Colourful ride out”), with many corners, and some bumpy sections.
Anyway in general I think that most secondary roads in Ireland are not for speeding… but more like to enjoy the scenery…
We got back home a little tired but happy.
Beara Peninsula, we will have to come back…
The 2016 calendar is confirmed for Northern Ireland road races and for Isle of Man and England.
The dates for the races in the Republic of Ireland have not been officially confirmed yet by the Clubs, they are the proposals.
Update 02/12/2015: The calendar for IRRC is now confirmed.
I will update the list when confirmed.
IRELAND (NORTH and REPUBLIC) & ISLE OF MAN (chronological)
*1-2 April 2016: Mid-Antrim 150 (Clough – Ballymena – Co. Antrim – Northern Ireland)
*22-23 April 2016: Tandragee 100 (Tandragee- co. Armagh- Northern Ireland)
*29-30 April 2016: Cookstown 100 (Cookstown- co. Tyrone- Northern Ireland)
*10-15 May 2016: Northwest 200 (Coleraine-Portrush-Porststewart- co. Antrim- Northern Irleand)
*28 May to 10 June 2016: Isle of Man TT (Isle of Man)
*18-19 June 2016: Kells Road Race (Crossakiel- co. Meath- Republic of Ireland)
*1-2 July 2016: Skerries 100 (Loughshinny- co. Dublin – Republic of Ireland):
*9-10 July 2016: Walderstown “Race of the South” (co. Westmeath – Republic of Ireland)
*11-14 July 2016: Southern 100 – (Isle of Man)
*23-24 July 2016: Faugheen 50 Road Race (co. Tipperary – Republic of Ireland)
*29-30 July 2016: Armoy Road Races (Armoy – co. Antrim – Northern Ireland)
*10-13 August 2016: International Ulster GP, Dundrod (co. Antrim – Northern Ireland)
*10-11 September 2016: Killalane (Loughshinny- co. Dublin – Republic of Ireland)
SCARBOROUGH- OLIVER’S MOUNT CIRCUIT (North Yorkshire – England)
*Spring Cup: 16-17 April 2016
*Barry Sheene Race & Rally Festival: 23-24 April 2016
*Cock O’ the North: 18-19 June 2016
*International Gold Cup Road Races: 24-25 September 2016
30 April- 1 May: Varsselring, Hengelo
15-16 May: Oss
20/21 June: Oostende
22-24 July: Chimay
6-7 August: Hořice
20-21 August: Imatra (Finland- new race on the calendar)
24-25 September: Frohbur
On Friday Juan told me that there was a ride out planned for Saturday at noon, with the group we go for a ride out from time to time. It seemed to us that it was a little late to go out, knowing that at 5pm it’s getting dark, but anyway, it’s better late than never, and also it’s not too bad to be able to have a little more sleep on a Saturday morning 😉 .
Accuweather had planned a shower at 9.00am and then sun and cloudy. At last the 9.00am shower started at 10.00am, and then there was another one just before 11.30am. But then at 11.35 the sun showed up 🙂 so it was just in time, everything was planned perfectly! 😉
So at about 11.40 we went out with the bikes to meet with the rest of the group. It was so sunny that the sun reflected on the still wet tarmac and we could hardly see.
We met with the rest of the group, Finbarr, Jim and Brendan. And this time there was not a single GS! 😉 And after filling in the tanks, we left…
Finbarr had planned an itinerary that resulted very touristic, and the stops very interesting with many historical explanations about Ireland.
We first went through a road with large corners, that must be beautiful with autumn colours (that are already gone), and then a more narrow road but not less beautiful. We enjoyed it a lot.
The first stop was in Timoleague, where are the ruins of a Priory.
In Ireland there used to be many abbeys, churches and castles but unfortunately many suffered from the passing of time and the successive wars against the English, and are now ruins. He told us that the monasteries used to have small windows except for one room where the monks would meet to write/copy the sacred texts books, lives of saints or other books. In this priory was written “The Book of Lismore” (in 1480). The abbey was founded by Franciscans in 1240 and destroyed by fire by Cromwell’s troops in 1642.
The ruins have been converted into a cemetery, with many graves (most ancient ones) around, but also inside of what was once a chapel and the rest of the abbey.
The place is very nice, and with the sun that was shining that day, even more.
After a good while in the ruins, we went back to the bikes and didn’t go too far, to Courtmacsherry, where there is a beautiful beach and also a very welcoming hotel with pub/restaurant. There we had some lunch to recharge the batteries before going on.
We went back to Timoleague and took the R600. This road goes along the coast and is beautiful. We stopped close to a pub called “The Pink Elephant” with amazing views over the bay,
and then we stopped a few kilometres ahead with nice views at the ocean,
and we went to Kinsale where we stopped for a cup of tea.
There we were chatting with a motorcyclists couple who had coincided with Jim on the ferry back from his last trip to the continent. After tea we went to Charles Fort on Kinsale heights. Finbarr also told us some historical information about that fort.
Kinsale was the place of the famous “Battle of Kinsale” in 1601, were Spanish troupes leaded by Don Juan de Aguila, came to support the Irish troupes of Red Hugh O’Donnell and Hugh O’Neill against the English troupes of Lords Mountjoy and Carew. Unfortunately the battle was lost by the Spanish-Irish coalition.
It was getting late and darker, so the visit to the fort was left for another day.
We took the way back home, through the R600; a few kilometres after/before Kinsale is were ends/starts the “Wild Atlantic Way”, more than 2000km of scenic roads along the Atlantic coast, from North to South through the West coast.
The road from Kinsale to Cork is quite good, even if it is usually quite busy (well, for what we usually have around, everything is relative!).
It was a brilliant idea to plan the ride-out on Saturday, as on Sunday it was pissing rain until 2pm…
November the 7th : a very touristic ride-out!