Ireland 2010
 
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27.08.2010 København
IMG_6764.JPG (782187 bytes) The trip did not start out quite as planned. We were taken off the plane in Copenhagen due to technical problems, and had to stay on a hotel at the airport until the next day. It is always nice with a trip to Copenhagen, but we lost a whole day cycling.
IMG_6765.JPG (873489 bytes) When traveling by bicycle is an advantage that there are not too many reloadings. Because of the cancellation, it was a total of four reloading before we got the bikes in Dublin. Surprisingly enough, they were in surprisingly good condition.
 
We arrived fairly early to Dublin, but parts of the luggage did not arrive until the next flight. After 24-hour delay we finally got started 03:30 pm. We rode 40 km to Drogheda in strong headwi
28.08.2010 Drogheda
IMG_6770.JPG (1311636 bytes) "Full Irish breakfast" gives energy for many miles!
We found a B & B on the outskirts of
Drogheda All hotels in town were full. No campsites nearby.
IMG_6780.JPG (2048753 bytes) We rode north towards Dondark and west towards Armagh. Just north of Dondark crossed the border to Northern Ireland. There was no border post, but when we came to the first village / town we noticed that we were in Northern Ireland.
 
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IMG_6781.JPG (931613 bytes) Right after we had crossed the border there were an Irish flag on top of a small mountain. Each town is marked by flags, which shows witch side they’re on. Thus, there was no problem to find out if we were in Catholic or Protestant areas.
29.08.2010 Armagh
IMG_6782.JPG (954696 bytes) In Armagh police station is still built like a fortress. The picture is taken from the hotel room. We found no camping here either.
IMG_6788.JPG (1240076 bytes) Cookstown (Picture)
From Armagh, we had planned to cycle to (London) Derry, but on the way up we chanced the route and cycled to Coleraine.
IMG_6794.JPG (1328413 bytes) We had a pub stop in Swatragh. Monday is usually a quiet day, but this weekend was  bank holiday. At 14:00 it was full run, and we were well received. The gang bought a round for us, and we had a nice chat. We were told that Londonderry isn’t called Londonderry, but Derry. We got some good advices  where to stop instead of Coleraine. Perhaps it had something to do that Coleraine were Protestant and they were Catholics, but it's just an assumption.
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30.08.2010 Coleraine
IMG_6829.JPG (1317785 bytes)   If we had not lost a day's cycling, because we were taken off the plane from Copenhagen, we had taken the route along the north coast of Ireland via Belfast. The area is supposed to be some of the finest in Ireland. Following the recommendations we made in Swatragh we had planned to ride past the Coleraine and on to Port Stewart, but we had two punctures just before we reached Coleraine, and decided to stop there.
IMG_6805.JPG (1130147 bytes)  We rode the route west along the north coast. In the first town we came to, Articlave there was no doubt where the sympathies were. IMG_6807.JPG (980965 bytes)
31082010277.JPG (1515292 bytes) We took a ferry from Magilligan Point to Greencastle in Donegal. The ferry takes approx. 5 minutes. IMG_6815.JPG (1570436 bytes)
IMG_0200.JPG (1239343 bytes) We got in contact with a nice person on the ferry, and he actually invited us to lunch. It would have been a detour for us so we politely refused. We rode down to Moville and turned right onto the peninsula. We were almost out at Malin Head, before we rode down to Cardonagh and on to Ballytiffin. In Drumfris we had a quick stop at the PUB on the right. IMG_0199.JPG (1507744 bytes)
IMG_6824.JPG (1558526 bytes) We hadn't really planed stop on a  pub before we came to Derry, but the name implied that we just had to stop!
31.08.2010 Derry
IMG_0204.JPG (1257019 bytes) We arrived relatively late to Derry, and found a hotel called Travelodge. It looked exclusively from the outside, but kept the standard English still inside. We had barely seen the the city walls, before it got dark. The next day we followed a cycle route from Derry. Bike trail follows a narrow rail track along the riverside southwest towards Carrigans. The distance is about 8 km. Very comfortable bike, but watch out for the thorns of the blackberry. They penetrate Kevlar tires. I punctured once on the route. Infact, all the punctures were caused by thorns of the blackberry.
 
 
 
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IMG_0211.JPG (1137595 bytes) From Carrigans we followed the R265 to Springfield, where we rode the R236 to Carrickadawson, and further up the N14 to Letterkenny. We visited a Tourist center and they marked on the map, where we could find camping sites in Donegal.
IMG_6842.JPG (1609575 bytes) We followed the N56 to Dunfanaghy, where it should be a camping. We didn’t find it, and continued on to Falcarragh. The village had one B&B, and it had a vacant room.
01.09.2010 Falcarragh
IMG_6849.JPG (1299401 bytes) The old women had only 2 rooms for rent, and the bathroom we shared with her.. We ordered breakfast early, and after she had made a full Irish breakfast, she came and joined us for a chat. IMG_6859.JPG (2118461 bytes)
IMG_0212.jpg (789318 bytes) From Falcarragh we had decided that there should be no shortcuts. we didn’t regret it. At the right you can see Tory Island. IMG_0213.jpg (1256080 bytes)
IMG_0215.JPG (1308404 bytes) We followed the R257 to the Knockfola and back to the N56. It is certainly worth the extra miles. Fantastic scenery, even for a Norwegian. IMG_0216.JPG (826681 bytes)
IMG_0223.JPG (1046444 bytes) Moreover, the weather was with us, except from the headwinds. IMG_0214.JPG (258473 bytes)
02092010281.JPG (1650831 bytes) We rode the next peninsula on the N259 to Burton Port and back to Dungloe. Again we followed the N56 to Kilkenny. We had planned to take a shortcut to Ardara, but we didn't find it. IMG_6862.JPG (1640631 bytes)
IMG_6868.JPG (1888626 bytes) So then we rode a other peninsula! We followed the R261, but if we had followed the N56, we had found the shortcut after some hundred meters. IMG_6876.JPG (1921747 bytes)
IMG_0221.JPG (1460215 bytes)  Well back on the N56 we followed it to Dunkikeely. We had intended to go to the town of Donegal, but we found a pub and a B & B, and enough was enough. Nearly 130 km held for that day. IMG_0222.JPG (1278545 bytes)
02.09.2010 Dunkineely
IMG_6884.jpg (541370 bytes) B&B reminded us of one in Kingston, Canada. The owner was in the same category as the owners in Kingston, and the house had numerous ornaments and sophisticated furniture. The house owner was nice, but he looked a bit strange to me when I expressed a desire to have a separate bed. I never got it. IMG_6883.jpg (690198 bytes)
IMG_0227.JPG (1066793 bytes) Donegal town looked very nice. We had a short stop here before continuing on to Ballyshannon and Enniskillen. We had a discussion where we were going to bike. Initially we had intended to go to Sligo, but we changed over plans and rode through the Lake District. IMG_0229.JPG (1634683 bytes)
03.09.2010 Enniskillen
IMG_6900.JPG (1161486 bytes) I did not find any other picture from Enniskillen!
What I remember most from the town was the incredible rain that lasted from the time we started in the morning and lasted for 4 hours.
IMG_6902.JPG (1548111 bytes) In UK reflexes are partially embedded in the road, and they fast get a hat object. If you hit them hard, it easily get a puncture.
IMG_6917.JPG (1663552 bytes) We had a short stop in Cavan. At 12 pm, a youth in the bar bought us a tequila. It’s a bit hard for 2 cyclists, but it is rude to say no to a round in Ireland… Here we are ready to leave. He who sits on the bench was not at the party.
IMG_0236.JPG (1843671 bytes) Gøran in the rain poncho 

 

IMG_6916.JPG (373077 bytes) This cormorant was venting his wings.
04.09.2010 Navan
IMG_6921.JPG (1261622 bytes) We were in Naven in 1992. I can’t say that I felt I recognized the place . We had a little problem finding a place to stay, but we eventually found one. We had decided that we wanted a bar with Irish folk music in Navan and we really found on. IMG_6924.JPG (1118135 bytes)
IMG_6922.JPG (1193267 bytes)  Hen night the Irish way. Good atmosphere and friendly people.. IMG_6927.JPG (1158022 bytes)
05.09.2010 Swords
05092010287.jpg (949923 bytes) Swords (pronounced Sords). (I should really have known that), we found our first pub with accommodation. For 60 euros we got the hotel room and breakfast, 5 minutes biking from the airport. We took it strait way!
I tried out a number of non Irish beer on the trip:
Leffe, Erdinger and Paulaner. The best experience was by far Leffe.
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IMG_6932.JPG (1809531 bytes) We decided to take a trip to Dublin. Bus trip to Dublin took 30 minutes, but we did not quite reach the center. Gøran extremely needed to go to the toilet. He just had to find a place to relieve the pressure. IMG_6931.JPG (1296583 bytes)
05.09.2010 Dublin
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 We ended up at a random pub and I almost gasp for air when I arrived. Sunday at 1 pm, the PUB was filled to the brink of mad Irishmen who saw the Hurling final.  Tipperary beat Kilkenny.

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Final Comment
An other great trip to Ireland. Despite the fact that we've been three times on the island, I'm not done riding here. This trip was only at 800 km in 8 days. We had pretty much head wind the entire trip, but were extremely lucky with the weather. A week with mostly sunshine and temperatures around 17-23 degrees. The Irish is still friendly and hospitable. As a cyclist, they are very thoughtful and we did not experience on time someone using horn etc., even though some places the roads were narrow and meant that motorists had to wait a while before they could pass.

Ireland, we'll be back!!!!