It was great craic! Mike and Shelley go to Ireland and ride around some.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AMEretired, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    So, what the heck is craic? There is, of course, history to the word as there is seemingly history in all things Irish, however, craic or or "crack", is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation.. “What’s the craic” or “How’s the craic” or “The craic was mighty” It is all that but somehow more also.

    Using the term in Ireland will generally result in pleasant interaction with people well versed in conversation and perhaps a bit of blarney, bloody marvelous. Unfortunately, starting a conversation with “where’s the craic” (crack) in North America will deliver, at best, mixed results.

    So, where’s the craic? At this point I (we) didn’t have a clue. We had never been to Ireland before. We had never done a fly and ride before. We had never ridden anywhere in the EU or Britain before. We had never rented (hired) a bike for any length of time before and I had never driven/ridden anything on the left side before. All new, just the way we like it.

    I did study the Irish Road Safety Authority book and that helped quite a bit.

    What we did have:

    Me, the old fart with wandering feet, discovered late in life, still trying to learn how to use them and Shelley, who for some reason , trusts me enough to ride with me. I am blessed, she is brave.


    What do we know for sure, not much perhaps except that “we cannot buy time”.

    Enter Paul Rawlins, owner of Celtic Rider motorcycle rental and tours. We confirmed 13 days of riding on the Wild Atlantic Way with bike hire and accommodations, just us, no groups if you please. We could have hired all the gear from Paul but would much rather use our own.
    We like Paul, we like his company and would without hesitation rent from him again.

    This is a basic Spot track of the trip. The Spot tracker lost its mind once and put us out to sea. I have an opinion on that. We were up on a cliff at that point and I think Spot locked onto a passing fishing boat, or perhaps it was a ghost, or perhaps it’s all Blarney. Take your pick.



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    We needed a bit more than carry on for this trip.

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    Always hopeful that we will see it again.
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    OK, so that’s Bon Bini the bunny. Bon Bini means Welcome in Papiamentu, the local language of the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. He (or she as it’s really a bit difficult to tell) has become a bit of a travel mascot and appears from time to time in our photos.

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    Go sona sásta réamh-mheas (happily anticipating)

    Please excuse me if my translations are less than perfect as I am totally at the mercy or computer translation, just trying in my own way to respect the Irish.

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    Things are looking up!!

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    le chéile arís (reunited)

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    The hotel is excellent and we had a day and a half to wander about in Dublin and to get past the jet lag.

    Sleep or go walkabout in Dublin, sleep can wait. Let’s get on with it.

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    Here are a few images from the day.

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    Sláinte !!! (Cheers) to One and all

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    #1
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  2. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Next stop the Guinness storehouse. The most popular visitor attraction in Dublin, The Zoo is the second most popular.

    In 2013 the company opened its new, ollmhór (immense) brewery at Saint James Gate centralizing its Guinness production and planned to close the breweries in Dundalk and Kilkenny.

    Guinness Storehouse visitors do not get to see the beer being brewed in front of them, but from various vantage points in the building you may see parts of the brewhouse, vats, grain silos and the keg yard.

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    Over there
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    Un-friggin believable!!!!

    So, fun with numbers. If a small oil tanker holds 500,000 barrels and a each barrel holds 280 Imperial pints, so 140,000,000 pints. At the quoted rate of 3 million pints a day the St. James Gate brewery could fill a small oil tanker every 46 days or so.

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  3. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    All this and a pint as well.

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    The rooftop bar is really a cool place to have a pint and view Dublin
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    Then it was off to walkabout again

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    #3
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  4. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    In for this. Be back home myself in a few weeks, so this is just building the anticipation. Nonriding, tho. Agus maith an búachaill for having a lash off our native tongue as well!
    #4
  5. XRman

    XRman Long timer

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    I have just returned from a 4 week vacation in Ireland and Scotland. Your photos bring back fond memories.
    #5
  6. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    So, 18:00 or so and fell asleep at the dinner table. Off to bed and we woke up at noon the next day! The last time I did that I had hair. Wasted a morning but did take care of the jet lag.
    Headed across to the Sasha House Petite for breakfast before they closed for the afternoon. Great little coffee shop just across from the Brooks hotel.


    Not quite ourselves yet.
    Spacey

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    And Dopey

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    I found my self humming an old Julie Andrews song. "is iad seo roinnt de mo rudaí is fearr leat"

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    As I said the Sash House Petite is a great little shop. Worth using if you are in Dublin

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  7. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    One more day to wander the old city

    Really!! I didn't come all this way for Timmy's
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    This is a little more like it.
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    So, what to do on a rainy day in Dublin. How about a tour of the Jameson museum.
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    This is pretty cool. Pour jour own bottle straight from the keg. We didn't, but it is cool.
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    Great lighting using locally available materials.
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    #7
  8. RageAgainstTheFence

    RageAgainstTheFence Been here awhile

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    I've lived a lot in Kerry. Kerry is amazing. If you want a smashing pint of Guinness, go to MikeMurtz's pub on the highstreet in Caharciveen, on the Kerry Way. Don't forget to get the Ferry boat out to Valencia Island and Derrynan National Park is not to be missed. In terms of tourist things to do, a boat trip out to the Skellig Islands is probably one of the best things you can do in wonderful island. It's unmissable. You can get boats from Portmageee.
    #8
  9. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    I would have liked to do those things but time was against us and we are home already. Looking at the islands from the cliffs in Skellig was cool but I will not miss the boat (literally) to the islands next time.
    Mike
    #9
  10. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    Also, while Guinness is... tolerable, I trust you enjoyed the far superior Murphys when you got to my hometown of Cork!
    #10
  11. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Early KLR prototypes perhaps.

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    We did the tour which was interesting and then ordered a beer (which I didn't know they made) and it came with a shot of whiskey. Really very civilized.
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    A few more images of Dublin before leaving for parts unknown.
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    One last meal in Dublin where we were entertained by a (very) gay waiter.
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    I look like I'm concentrating on my pasta, truth is I was wondering if I could keep us safe. Full disclosure, I certainly made a couple of mistakes but none that damaged us or anyone else.
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  12. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Up the next day to this. Happy day
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    One more low fat breakfast.
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    Goodbye Dublin
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    Hello motorcycle ride. Picked up at the hotel and delivered to Celtic Rider by Liam. Thanks Liam.
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  13. HanShotFirst

    HanShotFirst Been here awhile

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    Fantastic, Ireland has always been a dream of mine.
    #13
  14. grumpybear

    grumpybear Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to this RR. We did a 11 day tour with Paul's company in 2013. They were just planning the Wild Atlantic tour then.

    greg
    #14
  15. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    After experiencing Paul's excellent safety briefing we were introduced to our ride :)
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    The bike had a brand new set of Avon mounted and these deserve a bit of a comment. They are supposed to be the latest and greatest 3 compound tires from Avon and I found them to be excellent.
    They inspired confidence in anything I asked of them, didn't wear excessively on the abrasive Irish roads and only slipped a small amount on wet cobblestone once as any tire would have. Nice tires that I would use again.
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    This day's route 180 km or so. All the routes I put up are approximations as Paul's routes all had some(some quite a lot:)) diversions in them.
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    This day took us through the Wicklow mountains on some of the first roads constructed by the British following the 1798 rebellion.
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    That water in the background is Guinness in kit form.
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    Paul rode with us as far as Glendalough (glen of two lakes) thanks Paul.
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    There is a beautiful 5th century monastery at this location and we did our part as tourists.
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    Lunch with Paul. He must have, at that point, decided that we were not a danger to his beautiful island and kicked us out on our own toward Kilkenny.
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    The ride up to Glendalough was so full of "wow" "look at that" and "holy crap" that I forgot to take pictures. After Glendalough not as much so the next photo is:

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    #15
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  16. Frey Bentos

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

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    Looking forward to see what ye thought of our green and soggy land!
    #16
  17. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    I'm glad you asked as it gives me the opportunity to give my thoughts on your green and soggy land.

    GREEN-- Yes, an unbelievable green that, to me at least, redefines the color.

    SOGGY-- Ok, perhaps a bit as we came across not one person with anything positive to say about the weather in this summer of 2015. A bit soggy but still incredibly beautiful.

    YOUR LAND--your land--I am no writer but here is a bit of my rambling. Before leaving for Ireland I read some, not a great deal, but some of the history of Ireland. I could not really get any grasp on the scope of it all, and, it wasn't until we were on the island for a bit that I realized why. The real history is in the land and the people. Every footfall was on a piece of history, every time we cast our eyes on a new landscape it was a new view of another story old or ancient. Every new person we met was, in some tangible way, formed by the influence of history.

    Is é an talamh na ndaoine agus is iad na daoine ar an talamh (The land is the people and the people are the land).

    So, that's my opinion of your green and soggy land.

    Oh, and your whisky, beer , singing, dancing, pubs are not bad either.
    Oh, and I cannot fathom why Ireland is full of sheep but the wool shops are full of Merino wool products as there are no Merino sheep in Ireland.
    Mike
    #17
  18. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    We arrived fairly late in Kilkenny for a one night stay, so, time for a little walk, dinner and a relax.
    We planned to tour the Kilkenny castle in the morning as it was closed in the evening.
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    I love this.
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    Lots of the old and the new together here.
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  19. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    The next morning a conservative breakfast. I cannot do a full Irish breakfast every morning.
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    Toured the Kilkenny castle, much better than expected. Sorry, no photos in the castle please.
    The pictures of the castle and the level of restoration are truly incredible.

    From Wikipedia
    Kilkenny Castle (Irish: Caisleán Chill Chainnigh) is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland built in 1195 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several routeways. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and in its original thirteenth-century condition it would have formed an important element of the defences of the town with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, part of which can still be seen today on the Parade.

    The property was transferred to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for £50 and the castle and grounds are now managed by the Office of Public Works. The gardens and parkland adjoining the castle are open to the public. The Parade Tower is a conference venue. Awards and conferring ceremonies of the graduates of "Kilkenny Campus" of National University of Ireland, Maynooth have been held there since 2002.

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    Built in 1195 !! Unless you are a student of the previous owners that sort of number just does not exist in North America.
    #19
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  20. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    The next days ride.
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    This would be a day of castles having started with a visit to the Kilkenny castle.
    #20
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