Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The 'other' side by SpecialAgentNancy

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SpecialAgentNancy, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    San Francisco
    The other side. The other side of the road I mean.
    The left side. The wrong side to some.

    I put off countries that drove on the other side of the road for many years because I worried at how difficult it would be and potentially painful if I misjudged something....but after riding New Zealand with DotBond and a motley group in March 2019, thought to myself pfffttt, easy!

    So this year. 5,000 miles. 3 weeks. August (the tourist and rainy season) Ireland. Scotland. Wales.

    Those of you who read my Scandinavia and Baltic's RR last year know I had Martin (Wheatwacker) ride my bike from Oslo back to Cork Ireland to store it for the winter so this is where I started out with WhereisBobL? whom I met through ADV last year.

    Flight from SFO to Heathrow, within just days of the strike threats, oh, on British Airways no less.
    Still made it to Cork airport in a downpour (harbinger of what was to be the daily experience), took a very expensive cab to Kinsdale, with a stop at a fish n chip shop (almost choked to death on a fish bone) for takeaway then my bed for the first night. A bit rumpled. (after)
    Thanks King Bob for arranging....Motofeirme is well, a guy's farmhouse.

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    In Ireland, often, when searching for accommodations, you can only rent a private room in someone's house. So you'll interact with the owners. It's rare and expensive to get an entire place alone. Especially a two bedroom like we needed travelling as friends.
    I guessed that it was because most don't have the kind of disposable income that allows for a second home to rent out when they aren't there.

    This was the house with the tiniest driveway stone posts that even had the taxi driver a bit nervous. I will admit, I understood about half of what he said. Irish accent. I got used to it later.

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    The next most striking thing about Ireland is the massive amount of stone walls.
    This one was my first photo and proved to be of particular interest.
    The stones are turned vertical which I didn't see again on my whole ride.
    Usually they are horizontal....and there are a lot of stone walls.

    In an area called the Burren they were stacked like chevrons.
    Photo later...

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    Here is the narrow entrance. You can really notice the unique vertical stone wall in this photo.

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    When Martin rode the Tiger back, he stopped off somewhere and bought this combine.
    It's called Nancy.
    Really.

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    First breakfast.
    Eggs and streaky bacon cooked in what I can only call a rough camping hut.
    I discovered 'streaky' bacon in New Zealand (I even brought back 6 packages of it last March) and later found it to be 'back bacon', however back bacon in the UK is more like Canadian Ham.
    *sigh*
    Still.....it's bacon and that's the best way to start a day of riding.

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    After packing for an hour, ready to go!
    People who watch as I pack or unpack the bike are always impressed how so much can fit in so little a space.
    Some important truths I've learned over the years of riding.
    Always put something back exactly in the same place. (or you'll panic and think you lost it)
    Always pack everything exactly the same way. (or somehow it will not fit)
    Always, always attach things to you or the bike. (or you'll leave it behind or misplace it, I even have a lanyard around my neck for my keys)

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    First stop. (well in reality, second stop, first stop was at Wild Side outdoor goods store to try and find overmitts). I changed my gear at the last minute and forgot to remove them from the other gear. Paid $75 for something that wasn't quite what I needed but it's OK, didn't need them after all)

    An 'unimpressive' stone circle.
    The store clerk said it was unimpressive.
    Then I thought, these people see stone circles on the way to work.

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    I was pretty impressed.

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    Pretty view too.

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    This stuff I was less impressed with.
    This is a typical road in Ireland.
    Room for one car but it's bi-directional.
    It rains SO MUCH that moss/grass grows in the middle.
    And is as slippery as snot, especially with a big, top heavy bike.
    So, pick a side and stay on that side.
    Or else....

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    Next stop.
    Lunch.
    But we just happened to find a pretty place to have it in.

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    The ticket seller let us in free because it was such a crappy day.
    With the understanding that we would not look at the gardens.

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    Whoops.
    Looked.

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    So meet Bob.
    I call him King Bob after a minion.
    He calls himself, 'WhereisBobL?'.
    Here is his website if you are curious. https://www.whereisbobl.com/
    We met in Sweden the year before and shared a few weeks riding together.
    So he decided he wanted to ride the UK with me this time too and I was thrilled.

    We travel well together.
    I plan. He maps.
    I cook. He cleans.
    I drop the bike, he picks it up.
    He dirties clothes, I wash them.
    He rants about GPS.
    I rant about gas station bathrooms.

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    Beautiful stone statuary.

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    The aforementioned, un-view-able gardens.

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    One of my many private room airbnb's.
    Grindle is on the trip with me of course.
    There is NO trip without Grindle.

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    These little switches are so annoying.
    This is a switch to turn on hot water.
    The stove.
    Electrical outlets.
    Just about everything.
    So don't take everything off and jump in a shower and forget this switch.


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    The water is heated through this little device seconds before it comes out on your head.
    Mixing water and electricity in a highly conductive environment with you right there under it.
    Brilliant.

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    This mass of branches just struck me as cool.
    I was very hungry and highly impressionable being my first days of the ride.
    But still cool.

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    Um. OK. Don't drive your car off the pier.
    Check.

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    Love these.
    Warning.
    Sometimes I see them and just wonder what they are warning me about.

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    First seafood meal.
    Monkfish.
    Wow was it good.

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    Rented two rooms in Lisa's house.


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    Rode the Dingle and the Ring of Kerry with some lovely passes.
    In the rain. It rained every day.
    The Emerald Isle...remember?

    Let's discuss riding distances.
    I am not an iron butt rider like King Bob but I do love to be in the saddle all day.
    I've been warned numerous times when sharing my trip plan that 'that distance in one day is too much' or 'insane' and whenever I follow that advice I am finished riding for the day by early afternoon.
    So this time. King Bob and I decided to follow our instinct and not listen to well-intentioned advice and we had what I would call 'just-right' days of riding.

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    Zoomed in.

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    I always know, having seen things first hand, that photos just don't do justice.
    But I take a picture anyway to share and remember.

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    WWII lookout tower.
    Later converted to a communication tower.
    I have a powerful zoom lens.

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    They like using stone for everything here.
    Well there is plenty of it.
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    Some beautiful cliffs....had to walk out to them. For scale, see the tiny people on the top?

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    It was windy.
    Dramatic.
    Cold.
    Misty and wet.
    and WINDY.

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    After a while of looking down at the storming sea shore.
    I noticed a cow floating in the water.
    Took some zoom pictures and there were seals swimming around it.

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    Zoomed out.

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    Still see it? (I'm heckling my boyfriend who thinks I have poor eyesight)

    This is the human eye vantage point that I first spotted it from.

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    On to more happy topics.
    Beautiful draft horse.

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    And this one....and wait....

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    The matching pony!


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    One of the passes on the Dingle.

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    Just moving rocks around.

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    See I tipped it a bit!


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    Got back to Lisa's place and it smelled wonderful.
    Turns out she was cooking a pot roast.
    She invited us to join and boy am I glad I said yes.
    Roasted veggies too.
    Her two gorgeous, well mannered children.

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    The kids woke up early on a Saturday to get a chance to sit on the bikes before we left.

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    More to come....

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Beautiful, serene, dramatic moody skies, open fields.

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    Somehow the photo looks better with the bike in it....doesn't it?

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    Lots of steep places with rock fall warnings.
    And roads slick with water.
    Narrow, darn scary roads that are always curving.
    I swear there are no straight roads in Ireland.
    Thank goodness.

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    This place was amazing because the roof is stone!
    There were some famine huts nearby.
    Didn't go see that.
    I've read enough about that horror.

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    This is the abbey where I dropped my bike.
    It was a u turn with a car coming and I got all panicky and just leaned the bike too much without keeping on the throttle. It's OK. King Bob helped me pick it up.
    Along with the two horrified women from the car.

    Dropped the bike.
    Check.
    Got that out of the way.

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    The first castle.
    A less popular one so no tourists.
    But a very mangy and curious dog to keep us company.
    And make sure we stayed in line.

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    The stone work is always impressive.

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    This was a great photo Bob took of me from above.
    Now that I think about it, it might be the first castle we saw in Scotland but whatever, hard to keep track.

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    View from the top.
    Yep I actually took the stairs.
    In my 30+ lbs of gear.

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    I really do hate stairs.

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    Next airbnb. This time it was a single room flat. Quite nice.

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    This is where I learned there is a very particular way to lock doors.
    Put the key in, turn the handle up, then turn the key to engage the lock.

    All night long. Bark, bark, barkety, bark.
    Small yippy white fluffy thing next door.

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    Small rant.

    Nescafe.
    Instant coffee.
    This is NOT coffee....it gives me stomach cramps.
    So I bring my jetboil and some Peets coffee with me.
    I hope it lasts the whole ride and while I have it, it does make the top box smell good.

    The other issue I have with coffee drinking here, is that people use milk and not cream.
    And not just normal milk, but skim milk.
    Yuck.
    What's the point.

    So yes, I did start buying real cream and carrying it around in my top case up to 3 days, by which time it was shaken so much that it became cottage cheese. Still....better than instant coffee with skim milk.

    Moody skies.
    Every morning.

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    Found this 'speakeasy' style motorcycle shop.
    Good luck finding it.

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    Pretty park.

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    Oh and lamb!!!!
    So for regular readers, you know my love of lamb.
    You also know that it gives me great dreams.
    Dreams where I am a government spy.
    Or an international assassin.
    Or in charge of a military mission of paramount importance.
    Yeah. Try and eat lamb every day.

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    Given how many sheep there are here, and they are quite colorful...it was shocking how little we saw it on the menu.

    This area was known for it's BC stuff.

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    Er, um....don't fall off the edge of the lake?

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    This was the Vale of something or other.
    Gorgeous.

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    The 10+ year old TomTom from last year's ride finally crapped out.
    So I bought a new one and was still getting used to the new buttons.
    I tagged a speed camera on this hairpin turn by mistake.

    I call these roads spaghetti. I had two challenging hair pin turns on this trip.
    Compared to a few dozen in Norway the prior year....phew.

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    And no picture is complete without the glow in the dark horns.

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    And another castle.
    Saw about one per day.

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    And the adjoining abbey.
    Walk-able distance.
    Hummmm, used the zoom lens instead.

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    People LOVE these things on their entry columns.
    I saw Eagles
    Crows
    Owls
    Horse heads
    Squirrels
    Cats
    Dogs
    Lions
    Mice

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    The cliffs of Moher.
    Epic.

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    LOVE buffs.
    Smart invention.
    Can't hardly live without.
    Uses: Hair net. Eye cover. Neck cover. Inside helmet A/C (wet). Toilet paper (in Turkey once).

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    That is what I call a healthy lean.
    Bob insists there is a lowering kit on the bike.
    I believe it mostly because of the side stand.
    I have to be extra careful when parking the bike or stopping for gas at stations.
    With just the wrong direction of dip, the bike just spontaneously decides to take naps.

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    Good thing I didn't put my boot in the fresh dog pool that someone didn't pick up.

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    Stone walls.
    They are everywhere.
    Probably plenty of young, restless boys to keep busy.
    Building rock walls.
    These aren't the best example of the chevron formation but still a different way of stacking.

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    This was the Burren. It had quite a unique topography.
    As well as some fantastic rock walls.

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    Plenty of cows.
    And sheep.
    Lots and lots of those.
    I ate a few.

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    Tried to always find places out in the literal middle of nowhere to stay the night.
    Safer for the bikes.
    Avoid cities, traffic, hassle.
    And it's cheaper.
    Plus as you meet the owner often, get great local tips.
    View from my window.

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    This host was awesome.
    He gave us great advice on the roads to take the next day.

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    Didn't expect to find white sandy beaches.

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    But Ireland had many.

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    Kilemore Abbey.
    Worth getting off the bikes.
    I like drive by touring.
    But once in a while, it's worth getting off the bike.

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    Nuns cook the food.
    Some ladies said the food was good.
    So I had second breakfast.
    Quiche.

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    I have found if I wait long enough, I can get a photo without tourists.


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    Man cave

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    Even though I spent a few months reading and researching Ireland.
    I saw nothing about the Wild Atlantic Way.
    Bob enlightened me.
    Basically if you follow this, you'll see the best parts of Ireland.
    We were often on it.
    So I took that as my planning was pretty good.

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    On the way to Skye there was another peninsula that was overall disappointing.
    We thought about turning around a lot but didn't.
    We kept thinking, there must be something out here worth the ride.
    Yep.

    Scary, steep, narrow road with sheer drops, wind and rain, don't forget the rain but voila, this gorgeous white sand beach in an alcove protected from the wind.

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    Our next airbnb was a bit of a hoohaa.
    Had multiple issues in Ireland. Double booked. Gave to wrong guests. Missing booking.

    Ended up riding one of the only two nights in the dark (and rain).
    It was a bit chaotic, trying to get everything off the bike and get inside.
    So I lost my hair clip, or so I thought.

    Doesn't sound like a big deal but travelling like this is very different than 'normal' travelling.
    Losing something, even just one small thing like that is difficult to replace easily.
    I got over it but the next morning, the farm dog Dino, found it and brought it to me.

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    See how intently he's looking at my hair clip?
    He wanted to play fetch.
    With the hair clip.
    So I put it back in my hair, slobber and all.

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    And found a stick and played fetch with him till he pooped out.
    He would bring the stick back with less and less of it left.
    It was such a relaxing, unwinding moment.
    I loved every minute of it.
    He probably did too.
    While King Bob put his bike back together.
    One of his ignition coils stopped working so he was riding on 2 cylinders.
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    Some beds are softer than others.
    Some rooms are warmer than others.
    Some water pressure is higher than others.


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    Nothing special here but farmhouses are rustic.
    I'm ok with that.
    At least I can cook and do laundry.

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    Because one thing that I like about these places is their personal touches.
    I love picking out goofy coffee mugs in the morning.

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    When we are really lucky, we get freshly laid eggs.
    And almost always a washing machine.
    I came back to Scotland with Arka and we had hotels.
    None of which had laundry service or laundry machines.
    Gah!

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    Next, on to Northern Ireland.
    #2
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  3. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,324
    Location:
    The far east of the far east of North America
    Enjoying your style, as always.
    #3
  4. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,483
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Damn you......I dream about doing Ireland on a Motor. We visited Ireland two years ago, rented a beemer suv and toured the island for 3 weeks. Like my Motor trips I tend to wander, so we did the same with one of us picking the destination every other day. Being the driver, "I'm a good driiiver", I had a hard time with the wrong side of the road. I had to listen to my brain yelling at me constantly, "Your on the WRONG side of the road", it was exhausting constantly having to explain to my pea brain that it was ok to be on the wrong side of the road. Throw in the narrow rock wall lined roads and I now know why the Irish drink so much.

    Anyway, enjoying this trip report immensely. Btw....we called it: The Cliffs of Mole Hair"....
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    #4
    scudo likes this.
  5. cmcteir

    cmcteir Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    SW Scotland
    :lurk in!
    #5
  6. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,190
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    N! :beer
    #6
  7. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos Probably doing a drawing. Or scratching my arse.

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    926
    Location:
    Fermanagh. Ireland
    Nice to see how 'you lot' see us...
    #7
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  8. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    San Francisco
    As we entered Northern Ireland.
    It was on to Game of Thrones territory.
    Otherwise known as GOT.
    And the doors.
    If you don't know about them, take a look here.
    I saw 5 of the 10.
    Stamped my GOT passport.
    I'll have to go back and see the rest.
    They were actually pretty impressive.

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    Another great castle.

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    This fireplace is one of the most beautiful stone fireplaces in Ireland.
    Or so the sign said.

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    As I mentioned earlier, King Bob had Tiger drama.
    Bad ignition coil.
    So he went to Lisburn.
    https://www.phillipmccallen.com/
    They said the ignition coil was one month on backorder.
    After explaining our situation, they took one off the showroom Tiger.
    Awesome service and made sure to put my five star google review for them accordingly.

    I went out to the Glenveaugh mountains.
    Alone.
    I had to stop talking to Bob in my helmet because...he wasn't there.
    We have comms to communicate.
    Makes things easier and safer.

    It felt weird but ok since I had my hoist with me.
    Worst case scenario.
    But all went well, I even found lamb dinner.

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    See the sign?
    Good food all day.
    It was.

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    Let's see. Do I want 3 or 5 chops?
    5 of course.

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    Londonderry.
    My crappy, step child, under the stairs 'room' between the kitchen and hallway.
    With no heat and springs sticking up through the top of the mattress.
    Oh well.

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    Circle K.
    Some of you know them.
    These are all over Ireland.
    And they are FABULOUS.
    The bathrooms are always clean.
    And the stores are just like mini Whole Foods.

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    Why is this important?
    Well if you ride like we do, you are gassing up at least twice per day.
    And that means you'll leave deposits behind too...
    so bathroom cleanliness can start to become quite important.

    Fresh fruits and veggies.
    Gourmet coffee.

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    Bakery, butcher and fishery on site.

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    I mean...WOW!

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    Some spectacular final riding through Northern Ireland.
    Innishowen Peninsula.
    Northern most point in Ireland.
    Malin Head.
    Millennium Falcon was here and Star Wars filmed around this area.

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    Oh ho, broken gingerbread man.
    So sad.
    Bob ate him.


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    Malin Head
    Wild Atlantic Way rusted sign

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    See, see!

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    Next GOT door.
    The white walkers.

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    It was in this pub.
    Ate at a lot of these places.
    The food was always good.
    Well, I always got fish and mushy peas or lamb.

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    Another door.
    Near the Dark Hedges.

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    Known as the King's Road in the GOT series.
    It is quite eerie.

    Impossible to get a photo without people in it as it was mobbed.
    But then you can't get a sense of the scale without them.

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    Here are one of the trees that blew over in the big storm.

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    The others were taken away to make the doors.

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    It was quite dramatic. We even witnessed a murder of crows that flew quite ominously.

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    The three dragons door.

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    Inside the Fullerton Arms.
    Learned sidewalk parking in South America.

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    Bravos door.


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    On to the next meal.
    Because they would not feed us here.
    Even though other people were sitting at tables eating....

    The nicest pub ever.

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    With delicious lamb stew.

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    Bob got more stew than I did in his plate.
    I was so chapped about that.
    The next day when the server did the same thing.
    Giving the larger plate of food to the guy.
    He promptly switched plates with me.
    Thanks Bob.

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    Now this place was quite special.
    Last night in Ireland before the ferry to Scotland.
    An old restored stone house.

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    It was so cool.
    Well actually it was super warm.
    There was a wood stove that she lit for us.
    She even showed us photos of it when they first got it.
    Removed the metal then thatch roof.

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    You can see how thick the stone walls are.


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    Everything in this house was recycled.
    Her husband is a house/farm recycler.
    Even the porcelain door handles were gorgeous.
    The bathroom light is turned on by a long cord that hangs from the ceiling and creates a deafening clack clack when you pull on it.

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    Doesn't look special from the outside does it?

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    We even got to park the bikes in the barn where they stayed dry.
    It's a simple pleasure to come out to dry bikes.
    Riding in the rain isn't so bad but starting with a wet everything, well that's annoying.

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    The last door we would see was at a castle I wanted to visit and turns out we had the best big Irish breakfast ever there.
    And they had a haunted room.

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    Where people could visit, but not sleep, and write notes on their experience.
    Zoom in to get a good laugh.
    Some were downright hysterical.

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    The last Ireland door I would see.
    The direwolf door.

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    And the fabulous big breakfast.
    Before our ferry.

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    Original doorway to the castle.

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    So we boarded the ferry, in the rain, always raining and off to Scotland.
    #8
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  9. RokLobster

    RokLobster Far from sanity

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Mill Creek WA - Land of perpetual wet
    :lurk
    #9
  10. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,877
    Those stone walls.....you have to clear the fields of stones if you want to be able to grow anything....and so you use them to make walls to delineate your field from the next fellow's. Backbreaking labor. See them in New England, tho not as many of them, but poignant when they snake through what's now a forest but was once a field. Camped at a kayaking club in Passau once where the showers were coin-operated with a pretty short timer. I think you got about 2 minutes for 50p or so! Did you not stay someplace in Eire where there was a turf fire going? Great stuff, that!
    #10
  11. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos Probably doing a drawing. Or scratching my arse.

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    926
    Location:
    Fermanagh. Ireland
    @SpecialAgentNancy I have a vague vision of seeing you both at a filling station. If this trip was recent, say a month or so ago? I was working and delivering at a filling station in Donegal. Ballyshannon to be exact. maybe it wasn't you, maybe my brain is filling in gaps by itself.
    Also Philip McCallen's isn't in Dublin, it's in Lisburn, near Belfast. And it is a great place to spend time and money.
    #11
    gpfan and joenuclear like this.
  12. John Nash

    John Nash Bluenoser

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    New Market,MD.
    Nice RR.Thanks for sharing the adventure with us.
    #12
  13. Lone Stranger

    Lone Stranger Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    International
    Good read!!! Ireland is definitely on my to-do list...
    #13
  14. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I was in Donegal.....the horns on my helmet are a dead giveaway. I think Bob was still with me but not sure.
    We do spend an awful lot of time at gas stations and thanks for the correction on McCallen, I'll update my post.
    #14
    Frey Bentos likes this.
  15. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Scotland and wee bonnie roads.....

    Fresh off the ferry and on to the first sight.
    An abbey.
    Just about as many of these as castles.

    [​IMG]

    That's me down there with the bright headlights.
    I rode with high beams on during the day.
    Things were tilted a bit sideways that day.

    [​IMG]

    First Scottish Castle.
    The gift shop ladies loved my horns.

    [​IMG]

    There were birds nesting inside.

    Zoom into the white dot.
    This was a little baby that just kept pivoting it's head from me to Bob.
    It seemed to think...Do you have food?
    Do you?
    Then look back at me...do you have food?
    Then back to Bob....do you have food?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gorgeous fireplaces.

    [​IMG]

    And the moat.

    [​IMG]

    Then found a very good restaurant and they had these awesome,
    cheeky dog portraits.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh and fantastic lamb.
    Tomahawks are lamb rack ribs.
    This is the meal that Bob swapped with me.
    Because my rack of lamb looked a bit small.

    [​IMG]

    Nice place hun?
    Sometimes I wonder if staff will turn me away.
    Wet, dirty motorcycle gear and looking a bit rough.
    No, not ever.
    Always welcome, and friendly somewhat inattentive service.

    [​IMG]


    This is the special edition Mazda MX-5.
    It's really a Miata but now it's called the MX-5.
    Miata was much cuter.

    I don't like the new body style because the rear looks like a mudfish.
    (don't believe me, look up an image of a mudfish)

    The front looks like a BMW Z4 (copy cat).
    But somehow in the special edition orange (my favorite color) it was awesome.

    [​IMG]


    Loved how the brakes were orange too!

    [​IMG]

    Although, Bob would say, 4 wheels is 2 wheels too many.
    And he did. Our babies across the street.

    [​IMG]

    This single tower on the hill is a folly.
    It is the lookout tower for a castle.

    [​IMG]

    Zoomed in.

    [​IMG]

    The Argyll palace Inverary.
    I call this the rich man cave.
    Weapons, and plenty of them.

    [​IMG]

    Gorgeous dress.
    Worn once by royalty.


    [​IMG]

    The room of drums.

    [​IMG]

    Lost my camera cap around here somewhere because it was not attached.
    If it's not attached, it can be lost.
    So I have a lanyard for my keys.
    Just about everything on me is attached.
    I also have a bag specific to each item I need.
    Then I carry doubles of things that I just cannot function without.
    Again, different than a 'normal vacation'.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Zoomed in.


    [​IMG]

    Sequoia?

    [​IMG]

    Wait!
    Is that blue sky I see?
    No!!!
    It was short lived.

    [​IMG]


    Another airbnb.
    This was a cute coastal town, close to Islay.
    Pronounced eye-la.
    I had to correct Bob dozen's of times.
    He did it on purpose.


    [​IMG]

    The ridiculous ice cube trays.
    Seriously.
    As big as my phone.
    Barely big enough for a single gin and tonic.
    What utter nonsense.


    [​IMG]

    These were brilliant.
    Single use pouches for perfectly poached eggs.
    Still haven't found these in the myriad of stores I've looked.
    Sigh.

    [​IMG]

    It was a rather cute place. Except...
    Attic.
    That's right.
    3 flights of stairs.
    Spiral staircase no less.

    I thought I was going to throw up.
    Bob was nice enough to haul up most of the stuff.
    Stayed here two nights so it was worth the effort.

    [​IMG]

    The view was worth it.

    [​IMG]

    Especially with a G&T

    [​IMG]


    Did a little loop to the dead end road past our place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's Bob.
    Same bike.
    Twice the miles.

    [​IMG]

    This was a awesome cemetery on the turbulent sea.

    [​IMG]

    One of the Islay distilleries.

    [​IMG]

    You could just smell the booze in the air.

    [​IMG]

    I'm smiling DESPITE the fact that we can't find food.


    [​IMG]

    Curious stone wall construction.
    Lot's of restless Scottish boys too?

    [​IMG]

    This cemetery was worth it...with the Kildalton High Cross.

    [​IMG]

    Great cheeky sign.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    What's unique about it? It was carved on both sides and fantastically old.

    [​IMG]

    Saw this a number of times as early as the Dingle in Ireland.
    Cacti. In the UK....because, hey they have an arid tropical climate (???).

    I discovered in the Lofoten Islands of Norway,
    they have moderate weather and sometimes even tropical fish because they are on the warm water currents. Guess it is the same thing here.
    Weird.

    [​IMG]

    This was a sad but thoughtful place.
    A WWI and WWII cemetery for the many soldiers that washed ashore because their ship was sunk, on the way to battle.

    [​IMG]

    IMG_1866.jpg
    Many that no one could identify.

    [​IMG]

    Islay was not a bikers paradise but it did have beautiful rolling hills and views.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, a meal before our ferry home.
    Langoustines.
    I got a little freaked out about the shell.
    I had to ask Bob to shell mine.
    They were delicious!
    First time I had them was in Iceland.
    Literally fresh off the boat that day.

    [​IMG]

    And lamb loin.
    Could have had two extra pieces.
    But delicious still.

    [​IMG]

    Cages to catch them.
    The restaurant is literally in front of the harbor.
    This restaurant seemed to be the only open one on the island but very good food.
    These little inn's and pubs are so surprising.

    [​IMG]


    Our ferry coming in.
    Worried that I got the return time wrong.
    Phew.

    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

    #15
    scudo, TheNetworker, Avispao and 9 others like this.
  16. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos Probably doing a drawing. Or scratching my arse.

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    926
    Location:
    Fermanagh. Ireland
    @SpecialAgentNancy I think I remember there being the two of you. You stood out because usually the only bikes we see down these parts doing the wild Atlantic way are fully loaded GS's. And the fact that it was pouring with rain.
    #16
  17. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,190
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    #17
  18. StinkyCheese

    StinkyCheese Red or Green? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    990
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Alba gu brath!

    S.A.N. love the ride report! Can I also say, you have the best smile ever!
    #18
  19. FutureMan

    FutureMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    the irish historical society controls a lot of what happens construction-wise in the country. that's why the roads can't be widened and those stone walls can't come down. we'll thank them one day.
    #19
  20. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Pouring rain....a fully loaded NON-GS. Yep that was us!
    #20