After a few months of forced break between holidays, moving home and repeated storms, that Sunday 14th of February, we decided to change the routine and nothing better than to go for a Real breakfast in a nice place we found in Kinsale, which is perfect because they serve Irish Breakfast all day long, so we can still go there for breakfast even if we get up late 😉 .
So we got up, not that late, and as it was not raining and they had forecasted a dry day, we decided to go with the bike. Only with mine, the roads are still in bad conditions after so much rain, and not very convenient for the SP2 suspensions.
So after putting on our textile wear (Juan was wearing for the first time a warm jacket and boots), at about 10am we took the bike and were on the road again.
Our new home is a little bit further away from Kinsale, though the road is good. I got a little bit cold in the first kilometres of motorway. When we took the bike out it started raining slightly, but it stopped after a few minutes, and the sun appeared to warm us up a little.
The road to Kinsale is nice, I enjoyed the sun and the landscape, and after a while we arrived to Kinsale.
So we went for breakfast, full Irish Breakfast of course, with egg, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomato, black and white pudding, toasts, butter and jam. With tea for me and coffee for Juan.
After a good while with our breakfast, Juan told me that he did not want to go back home, nor to go for a walk, so we stayed there with another tea/hot chocolate…
When we finished, he still did not want to go back home (to be precise, “go back home” meant by then having to unpack boxes and stuffs so that we could start cooking in the new home… ).
Well, then we would go on with the ride-out, and go back later… So I suggested to go to “Old Head of Kinsale”, where we went for our first ride-out last year in May.
So there we went. The road is very nice. Though at that time of the year and with all the rain we had during winter (one storm after the other, no low temperature, but unusually heavy and followed rainfalls), we have to be very careful as the potholes have gone even bigger and close to the farms the tractors leave the road very dirty with mud (and others…)…
When we got to the cross indicating “Old Head”, we found ourselves with the road closed, a Garda diverting traffic, and many many people, men, women and children walking on the road. There was a “Fun Walk” organised to collect funds for Charity, that was taking the same path as we wanted to Old Head. The Garda told us that we could get to Old Head taking a diversion to the left further up the road, but maybe because we were concentrated in not riding over anybody, we missed the cross. So we followed suit and after a good while, the road got quite bad and we decided to go back.
At last we ended up taking a road we already took many times, along the Ocean coast and with several nice beaches. On the lower part of the road, the beach had invaded the road (in spite of the dunes) which was covered with sand and even pebbles. We stopped further up, above a beach. There were many surfers.
The sun was shining but the wind was quite strong, so the temperature was not too high. We stayed there for a while, enjoying the sunshine in our faces, and listening to the relaxing sound of the ocean waves, then we went.
We followed the road to Timoleague, where we had been in one of the last November ride-outs.
And as we were there, I suggested we could go to the nice beach of Courtmacsherry, and from there we would start the way back home.
Courtmachserry was very unprotected from the wind, and it was not too warm. So we did not stay too long. We decided to go back home through the shorter way, through Bandon. Just before leaving the village, we got across 2 bikers. Juan tells me “the first bike wasn’t Jim?”. I hadn’t seen it (I may have been looking the other way…). And while he was telling me, another bike came by, a green Kawasaki… Finbarr! We beeped… he saw us and slowed down. So we turned around to catch them. They stopped in the hotel of the village, which has such a welcoming chimney 🙂 . That’s so funny to bump into them! They had planned to go to a Charity Run, but arrived too late, so they just went for a ride-out. They were 4 bikes, one who had come down from Galway for the day.
So we all went for teas and coffees while we updated ourselves on the past months and chatted about holidays plans.
After a good while enjoying the warm atmosphere of the pub and the company, we finally had to leave…
And of course, we followed the group and went back… through the longest way, through where we came from… and with a short stop in Kinsale.
The sun was still shining but we now could now see very dark clouds on the horizon…
At the first raindrops we thought that it was a good time to go back… we said goodbye and all left.
All in all, we arrived back home at about 5pm, quite tired but we can confirm that we had completely disconnected from routine… that’s what it was all about.
A Full Irish Breakfast! 😉
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…
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!
Last Sunday, thanks to the time change and that Monday was Bank Holiday and we could have some more sleep 🙂 , we got up early to watch MotoGP. The truth is that lately we are watching very few MotoGP races as they are mostly boring. We watch some afterwards when there have been some positive comments on the race (that is to say: 5 or 6 passing in the last 3 laps…)… We prefer to keep with road racing (unfortunately very few can be followed live).
But that day there was Pedrosa pole position and as it’s almost the end of the season we decided to watch it. The race had its lot of excitement and controversy. As the controversy bores me, I’ll keep with Pedrosa’s strong race and victory, at last he got back to his best level. Fingers crossed for next season.
That said, the race and its result ended up waking us up completely, and as it was still early and the day did not look too bad, we decided to go for a ride-out.
We had to delay a few minutes the departure as a cloud decided to pour rain at that moment. But it was only a few minutes.
The idea of the day was to make the most of the ride out taking pictures of Autumn colours. I always loved them, and it is a complicated task as they “arrive” overnight and they are gone in one week or even less if there is a lot of wind or rain (both being quite usual in Cork…). So if you miss one weekend, the next there are no more leaves and no more colours…
As we don’t know yet many places here and that in Ireland there are few forests, we decided to go to a place where we went in June (report here), in Gougane Barra, about 70km and 1 hour ride from home.
The road to get there is very pleasant, the first part quite quick and then it’s a more narrow road and a little bumpy but nicely twisty. In Autumn it’s beautiful, the hedges had their autumn wear on and as it had been raining a scent of wet leaves and wood filled the air. I opened the visor to enjoy it better.
The view around the road was amazing, the mountains that in summer look like green velvet were now coloured in reddish, yellowish or orange brown, the trees along the fields became yellow and the gardens coloured in red, yellow, orange or clear green, a trees rainbow.
We stopped for a first time along the road to take a picture and went on.
With so narrow and twisty roads I can’t stop as much as I’d want to take pictures because there is no room for it (and Juan is quite happy about that 😀 ).
At last we arrived to Gougane Barra. Some trees had already lost their leaves but the colours had nothing to do with when we were there in June. The sky was mainly overcast (it actually rained a little when we stopped) and as it happens sometimes, the light was difficult for taking pictures. But I took them anyway 😉 .
After a while arrived a dozen of Porshe 911 of almost all ages and parked along the lake. It was a nice image 😉 .
When we arrived there Juan was quite hungry (it was after 10am and we had had breakfast at 7am…), and we thought we would have some Irish Breakfast on the way. But the hotel and the bar in front of the lake were both closed. So we had to wait…
After the pics session we went back (the road ends on a paying car park which is also the starting path for hiking around the park). At the next crossroad we decided to turn right to Bantry, indicated at 22km, and to stop as soon as we found some place to have breakfast. That part of the road is also very nice. We were about to stop in a pub indicating “parking at rear” but we missed the entrance and were not in a good place to turn, so we went on.
We went to Bantry, got lost in its streets. The village was crowded with cars: it seems that there was a car rally going on and it was a chaos to go around. And you won’t believe me but we couldn’t find any pub open!
Of course my bike decided that it was the best moment to give problems… My bike has one and only recurrent problem, every time it rains a lot (quite often here 😉 ), as the front mudguard is too short, some water enters in the front sparkplug hole and it stops working and the bike ends up on one cylinder only. So at low speed as when you are stuck in traffic jams, it just stops every two minutes.
As we couldn’t find a place to eat we decided to go back. We got lost again, turned back again. I had seen a pub after the last cross coming from the nice road to the main road so we tried there, but the restaurant was closed until 5.30pm. So we decided to go back to the pub we had first seen on the road going to Gougane Barra. This time we found the parking at rear and the pub was opened and served food! With all those turns and back it was already noon. We both took a lamb dish with fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes. It was quite good. Juan finished his meal with an ice-cream as usual 😉 and we went.
Now that we were not hungry anymore we could take our time again to stop to take pictures 😀 .
We stopped 2 more times. The truth is that the colours were incredible in spite of the difficult light.
We literally escaped from the second stop as there were very dark clouds rushing towards us.
At last we got back home at about 3.30pm, we just had some rain for a few minutes back on the main road, but when we arrived we were dry.
25th of October: a colourful ride out. 😉
The month of June did not start quite well, with Monday 1st as Bank Holiday but with pouring rain all day.
Luckily it was probably the last remains of winter, and the rest of the month looked more like spring.
On the first Sunday we met with a group of bikers Juan had met in a filling station one hour after getting out of the ferry in March, and with whom he had gone for a spin in April around the “Ring of Kerry” before I arrived.
We first met Jim from Cork, and picked up another guy on our way to Limerick, where we would meet with the rest of the group.
We had a nice Irish Breakfast in a pub while we were waiting for the others to arrive.
In total we were about 12 bikes. Apart from ours, one Deauville and one VFR800, all the others were BMW GS… All are people who travel quite a lot, with at least one 10 days trip to the continent every summer. There was another woman rider, with a lowered GS, I got on her bike that happened to be really comfortable… but I wouldn’t change mine for it.
We then started the ride through narrow roads on the hills over Limerick. The roads were good for the GS, but not so good for ours. Some looked more like tarmac pathway (with weeds in the middle, bramble on the sides, and room for only one car- it was so lost though that we didn’t come across any…) than what I would call a “road” but the views were beautiful and the truth is that we had a nice time.
We stopped a few times to rest and also to have lunch, and it was a good time to chat and get to know each other.
Between the jigs and the reels, we were 12 hours on the bikes. We ended up quite beat but happy.
The next week-end I had prepared a nice trip to one of the numerous peninsulas of the area. This was “Mizen Head”.
The idea was to get directly to Baltimore and there follow the “Wild Atlantic Way” road to Mizen Head.
Village where were born Henry Ford’s parents
One of Juan’s colleague had joined us for the ride-out, with his BMW R1200GSlc. He finally led the way and we took a long cut through a very nice place where we stopped for a while. Unfortunately the 2 pubs of the village were still closed.
We then followed the road to Baltimore, a nice seaport that reminded a lot some Asturian port. We stopped to have breakfast, Irish breakfast of course.
There was a big yacht parked in the bay, with a helicopter. A local man told us that it was a yacht that was usually rented to people with money, and there was a rumour that this time George Clooney was there. We were not invited to check it out anyway, and the yacht looked more like it was empty…
After breakfast we went to the nearest cape, with an amazing view over the bay.
Then we proceeded to Mizen Head. We arrived to such a beautiful beach (white sand and turquoise water) that Juan’s colleague who was still leading missed the cross to Mizen Head and we ended up in Crookhaven where the road ended. We turned back to get to the right road.
The road to Mizen Head has beautiful views, between others, over a white sand and turquoise waters beach, though we did not stop because we were following our guide.
We arrived to Mizen Head, where there is a big car park and a restaurant, and the entrance to walk to Ireland’s most Southwesterly Point. There is a bridge over the cliffs that must be impressive but we didn’t go because 1-Juan was hungry and preferred to spend his money on fish&chips than on a walk 😀 2- We didn’t have the right shoes nor gear to walk under the sun during I don’t know how much time. So we’ll come back another day to see Ireland’s most southwesterly point.
The temperature was perfect and it was sunny, the perfect day to ride, and also to have an icecream while enjoying the scenery.
After a good while enjoying the views and the sun, Juan’s colleague left us to go back home, and we left a while later.
We stopped on the way down where we couldn’t stop before, though the water was not so turquoise anymore as the tide was higher. But it was lovely anyway.
We went back home through a straighter way. At last we didn’t do the whole planned route but we discovered a nice place we wouldn’t have known without the help of a local.
This day also we got home quite late, but with the head (and the camera lol) full of beautiful images.
Next week-end was for another type of entertainment. We were going to a road race… Report here …
The last June week-end started on Friday. Yeah, I know, they always start on Fridays after work, but this time it really felt like it started on Friday. Juan called me in the afternoon to ask me if I could go buy something to make sandwiches. When he arrived, we put on our bike gear, prepared the sandwiches and went, both on my bike, to a surprise destination (for myself).
After more than 45 minutes on a road, quite uncomfortable, without the rain gear (I don’t know how we could go without the rain gear in Ireland…) and with very dark clouds on the horizon, I was wondering if it had been a good idea…
But 15 minutes later, without a raindrop, we arrived to paradise: the road stopped in front of a lake, mountains and a small chapel.
We had our picnic and the sun came out of the clouds, up the mountain. The truth is that with the sun it was difficult to get good pics because of the backlit.
After the dinner, we walked to the chapel and took pictures.
We stayed there a good while, the place felt very peaceful.
But we had to go back before it was too dark, mainly because of the bumps and pot holes (we don’t see them during the day, so imagine at night) and all the small animals that cross the roads at dusk…
We covered the 70km back home with a smile on our faces…
On Sunday I had thought about doing a nice trip but on Saturday we realised that my front lights were not working and we spent the afternoon (while raining outside) trying to find the fault and correct it. Juan finally found it and fixed it, but then he wanted to reconnect the heated grips (they are not working anymore since a while but we never removed them), and it all went wrong again and a fuse blew up. Well, I won’t get into details but at last on Sunday we went to buy fuses and we finished fixing her. My bike lights are working again. Hope it lasts.
Our first June in Ireland was quite entertaining, with beautiful scenery, road races, and more charming places. It was like being on holidays every week-end! We have to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts…
On 4th of May, 10 years ago I was buying my SV650S. I was then living in Barcelona, and I had just sold my dear first Motorbike ZZR250 with about 80.000km, 60.000 being “mine”.
The first 5 years with the SV were the richer in kilometres as I made more than 100.000 including commuting, many one-day ride-outs with friends, and holiday trips, mainly in Spain (mainly Pyrenees, Catalonia, Galicia and Asturias for the North and Almeria and Jaen for the South) and France (Lyon, Marseille, Millau, Perpignan).
In 2011 we moved to Paris region, with the motorbikes of course, but there everything is straight and flat 400km around. Some Spanish friends used to say “I don’t turn on the motorbike to do less than 500km”, and we happened to do more or less this during 4 years… but not by choice, just because around it was so boring.
Because of this, in 5 years, the kilometres average fell drastically lol and we “only” did 38.000km…
We though had some long week-ends discovering Massif Central, Champagne and Alsace (border with Germany), to get some oxygen and wear a little bit the side of the tyres 😉 (and wear again the middle to come back with 400km of straight line lol).
We also had 2 nice holiday trips, first one in Ireland (RoI & NI) for our Honeymoon trip, where we discovered our first Road Race in Armoy and had plenty of corners and beautiful landscapes in Connemara and Killarney. And second one last summer, in Czech Republic to see Horiçe Road Race and in Austria (and Italy briefly) to discover the Alps.
In 4 years without twisties around, we realised how much we missed taking the motorbikes to disconnect, to breathe… and we decided to go to Ireland 😉 . And here we are, just arrived end of April…
In 10 years and 138.000km I had no main problem with my SV:
-The typical problem on this model when it rains a lot at once and water enters in the front sparkplug hole, and I end up with a SV 325S for a while…
-I had the valves clearance done one month ago (2nd time), and everything was within tolerance…
-I changed some time ago:
*The back shocks
*The fork springs
*The seat after the first ferry trip- it was already wore but it got worst as they tightened so much the straps in the ferry.
*The clutch before going to France, to avoid any problem in the future and because we had a good and trustworthy mechanic there.
Now I have a small problem due to the rear cylinder gasket that is gone… and I have to fix that. Also the injection is difficult to adjust, and the bike sometimes stops when cold or stuck in traffic jam.
In 10 years the SV (and me) have travelled through 9 countries, and it is about to get its 3rd registration plate lol, and she posed before many beautiful landscapes.
I hope we will go on together many more years and kilometres as there is none of the new models in the market that convinces me, and if she happened to fail, I have no idea of what other motorbike would replace her.
For now, and once solved the small problem, she will pose in front of nice Irish landscapes.
As the best way to celebrate our tenth anniversary together, on 4th of May, we had our first ride out together close to our new home 🙂
R604 from Kinsale to Old Head R604
Old Head of Kinsale
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.