Kim & Mike's Most Excellent Planet Ramble

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ride2ADV, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Holy crap Batman! I haven't posted to this thread since August 2018 and I apologize. It's not fair to invite you along and then not finish the trip with you. So I am going to try to be better and finish this ride report soon. All I have to do is remember where we left off and start from there. My memory isn't as good as it used to be so we'll see how well it goes. Ready, set, go!
  2. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    So where were we? Oh yeah, we were running around Scotland having a great time. I think we had just finished lunch and were about to get underway again. Time for a selfie...

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  3. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Back on the bikes, we headed south towards our new destination, Ireland. Along the way, we found large farmer's fields bordered by the thorny thistle. Not far in the distance, the mountains and hills began to shrink.

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    Still, it's beautiful.

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    As we continued our way south, we traveled narrow roads through shrouded green time portals.

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    We took those portals to the town of Cairnryan where we would catch the ferry to Ireland.

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    We were pretty much on time and it wasn't long before we were in line and waiting to embark.

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    It's just a short hop top Larne, Ireland and a little over 2 hours later, we were on shore once again. We were anxious to get going so by the time the ferry docked, we were suited up and ready to ride. When it was our turn I took the lead and rode off the ferry. I quickly rode off and when I hit a joint on the dock, the bike suddenly vibrated. As I slowed, I tapped the rear brake and the lever felt out of place.

    It was raining a little and frankly, I didn't want to stop. I just wanted to get to our destination for the day which was only about a 20-minute ride. So I continued riding and the bike continued vibrating. When we arrived at the Airbnb we were staying at I got off the bike and sized up the situation.

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    The right pannier had a decidedly crooked look to it. The bottom section of the pannier was clearly out of alignment. Hmm... I checked around the bracketry and found...

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    The bracket was bent and the retaining bolt missing. I wondered whether the bolt had just vibrated out, but I remembered using Loctite to make sure they didn't. Then I took a closer look at the pannier and found...

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    A small fresh divot on the bottom portion of the pannier. It was very small and it was clear that the bike wasn't moving very much when the "accident" happened. It seems that the bike fell over during transit and the crew was nice enough to pick it up. But no-one told me that it had fallen over, hence my surprise after we had left the dock.

    So it was on me for not checking the bike before departing and not ensuring that the bike was properly tied down. Chalk one up for "experience". Since one of the bolts was now missing, and the other bent, we'd have to find a hardware store in town and bodge a repair.

    But we also got a very nice surprise in the form of the Airbnb room we had rented. The house had a beautiful view of the ocean and a nice porch for when the weather cleared.

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    And the view looked like this...

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    roadcapDen likes this.
  4. LadyFish4

    LadyFish4 Adventurer

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    It's good to see you back and I look forward to "the rest of the story".....
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  5. malloy

    malloy Long timer Super Supporter

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    Kim & Mike - This is a great adventure, wonderful pictures and stories. It sure looks like you are having a grand time. I will be glad to see more as you post. Thank you for taking us with you.
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  6. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Thanks, LadyFish4 and malloy, we're glad you are joining us!!!
  7. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Since we scored such a nice place to stay, we decided it was time to break out the homemade peach schnapps that Martin (far left) and Claudia (far-right) in the picture below)

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    had given us for a going away present when we left their beautiful home in Waltensburg Vuorz, Switzerland.

    Bottoms up!

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    If we look a little "lit" it's just because we were. It was strong stuff! But we took the time to chat with our host Marion who we immediately became friends with. We talked about family, friends and even a little about Ireland and some of its history. It was wonderful! We feel so privileged to be able to meet with people around the world.

    The following morning we walked into Whitehead and were able to find some SAE hardware that we could use to get my pannier straightened out.

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    It was a fairly easy job and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to our host, Marion.

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    We'd only met Marion 24 hours earlier, but we already felt like family.

    In the morning, we headed north towards Northern Ireland. Quickly, we were into lunchtime and decided to stop to get a bite to eat. We found a little pub and ordered, what else, fish and chips. I'm not a fish eater, but I have to admit, these were pretty good.

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    Kim had the same but her forte is dessert. She wasn't disappointed with what she ordered.

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    We spent most of the day just wandering with no real route planned. We had booked a room in a guesthouse that was about a 4 hour ride away so we just wandered until we found it.

    It turned out to be a huge ivy covered estate and it was beautiful.

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    After a long day of wandering around, it was a nice place to end up.

    The following day dawned partly cloudy and we decided that we would just wander again and try to stay away from the larger towns. Ultimately, we were able to find some beautiful, narrow, deserted roads rolling through green fields and pasture lands.

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    The natural fence hedgerows were everywhere...

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    As we traveled onward, the land became hilly and we were treated to visits with some of the locals wandering on the road.

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    But civilzation was never far off and we found ourself in the town of Maghera. Our timing was good and we were treated to an on the bike viewing of a local parade.

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    After a brief and pleasant delay, we continued our journey towards the well known Giant's Causeway.

    Until later!
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  8. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    We were able to find some roads wandering through the countryside and some excellent "by the sea" roads.

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    Before long, we made it to the famous "Giant's Causeway". If you are not familiar, it's a large area of basaltic columns rising from the sea. It was quite pretty, but upon arrival, it immediately became clear that this is a tourist destination. There were cars, buses and people everywhere. We ended up parking the bikes in a grass field 1/4 of a mile away with probably 500 other cars.

    From there it was about a 3/4 mile walk to the area of the columns. They were cool, but frankly, there are much nicer examples in Iceland and far fewer people.

    When you walk in, you are pretty much standing on the top of the columns...

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    But with a little scrambling around, you can walk down and stand beside the columns as well.

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    Overall, we spent about an hour and a half walking around. If you've never seen basaltic columns before, it's probably worth a look. However, if you've seen them before, you may not want to use your time dealing with the crowds.

    Back on the bikes once again, we again found some lovely deserted roads...

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    By the time we left the causeway, it was lunchtime so after a while, we decided to stop and have lunch. Lucky for us stray sods, There was a pub waiting for us called "The Stray Sod".

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    Well then, perfect for us. We scarfed down lunch and got back on the road.

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    A couple of hours later, we were at a little B&B" just as the rain began falling. A little dirt patch led us to the inn.

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    Where we were officially greeted...

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    We parked the bikes and headed in...

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    The inn was delightfully surrounded by greenery...

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    and beautiful pink hydrandeas...

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    Our small room was delightful...

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    -Until later!
    roadcapDen likes this.
  9. malloy

    malloy Long timer Super Supporter

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    Merry Christmas Kim & Mike. Thank you for the update to enjoy on this day.
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  10. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    We only spent a single night in the little home that made available to us. But we were running short of time for this trip and decided to get moving again on a rainy morning. We hadn't planned a route so decided to head south towards Dingle and ultimately our next destination, Wales.

    There were lots of tiny narrow roads and mixed with the overcast and rain, were green pastures and hedges...

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    As I said earlier, we were wandering and just as we made it to the coast we came upon this...

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    ...the ruins of an ancient castle.

    It turns out that we had stumbled upon what was left of Minard Castle.

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    The castle has a pretty interesting history. The castle was built by the Knight of Kerry and was later destroyed by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. It seems that a man by the name of Walter Hussey made a garrison of Minard Castle after being chased by Cromwell's army. There they holed up until Cromwell's men put gunpowder under the vaults of the castle. The powder was ignited as were Hussey and his men.

    It was an interesting piece of history to find while wandering. As we made our way towards Dingle, we rode a nice swooping coastal road.

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    We grabbed a quick lunch at a pub owned by an ex-New York paramedic. We wasted a couple of hours chatting his time in New York City and why he returned home to Ireland.

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    Perhaps if this sign in his pub is true, I'll be Superman soon! We paid the tab and tried to leave a tip, but he told us... "Don't be daft!" and sent us on our way.

    We were able to find some very, very pleasant two-track as the weather started to clear.

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    It was easy and deserted riding...

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    The following morning, it was time to hop the ferry from Ireland to Wales.

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    It wasn't long before we were in Wales and disembarking from the ship was easy.

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    But as we got into port, we ran into a problem. As we were exiting, we were both waved over. Two customs officials told us that we had to ride the bikes into a metal building for questioning. WTF?

    -Until later!
    roadcapDen likes this.