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.