There and Back Again - Southern England and Ireland on 2 V-Stroms.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Don T, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    You are welcome - I'll try not to keep you waiting for too long for the rest of the report.
    #21
  2. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Liam and Trish put us up for the night in 1 of their spare bedrooms upstairs, and the next morning Trish made the most wonderful breakfast. We were really getting spoiled.

    As we were having our breakfast Liam and Trish invited us to stay for another night (or more) if we wanted to, which we gladly accepted.
    Besides giving us more time with our hosts, it would also give us the opportunity to spend a day riding without luggage on our bikes and time to do some much needed laundry before we moved on.
    Our condition for staying another night was that they accepted an invitation for dinner in the evening at a restaurant of their choice - they agreed to the terms even though Liam did a lot of grumbling about how he preferred Trish's cooking.


    They would have loved to join us for the days ride and show us some of their favorite routes, but Liam's leg was still in too bad shape for him to feel comfortable riding a bike, so after breakfast Katrine and I headed out on our own.

    We had decided to spend the day riding The Ring of Kerry.
    It was a really nice ride on fun roads without too much traffic surrounded by beautiful scenery all day.


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    In the afternoon we arrived at Killarney National Park, where Katrine decided that we should explore the park and visit Muckross House in a horse-drawn carriage - or a Killarney Jaunting Car as the locals call them.


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    From Killarney it was only a short ride back to Liam and Trish's house and we arrived just in time to change clothes before going out to dinner with them - Liam was still grumbling a bit :D

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    #22
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  3. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    The next morning we got up early to say goodbye to Trish before she left for work and to express our gratitude for the hospitality she had shown us.

    When we had said our goodbyes, Katrine and I packed the bikes while Liam began to rummage in the kitchen in an attemt to make us a breakfast equal to what Trish had served the day before - the result was excellent!

    The bikes parked in the garden ready to go (note the vigilant watchdog)

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    Liam hard at work in the kitchen


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    After breakfast and a pleasant morning in Liam's company, it was time to say goodbye, so long and thanks for everything.


    Our chance encounter with Liam and Trish at the ferry, their invitation to come and visit them, and not least our stay at their home in Tralee was a great example of the community spirit prevailing among many motorcycle riders.
    We feel privileged that we got to know them and really hope to see them again in the future.


    From Tralee we headed south towards the Beara peninsula which Liam had described as something really special. It turned out to be an even better experience than we had dared to hope for - the roads were perfect, the traffic light and the scenery breathtaking.



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    As the afternoon drew to a close, we followed the coast to Clonakilty where we spend the night at a B&B in the center of town.

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    #23
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  4. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    The first stop on the next day’s stage was the BMW dealer in Cork only a short ride from where we had spent the night.

    Katrine bought her V-Strom from new back in 2006 – now 8 years and 100.000 problem free km later she had decided that it was time for a new bike.
    One of the bikes that she had her eye on was the new F 800GS and Liam had told us that there was a good chance for a test ride at Kearys Motorrad in Cork if we dropped by on our way back to England.


    When we arrived at the dealer we spend some time walking around the showroom to have a look at the various models. Besides the standard F 800GS Katrine had a look at the Adventure version of the bike (which she didn'’t like) and I was looking for the new 1200GS that I up until then only had seen in pictures.
    As I couldn’'t find what I was looking for, I asked the guy responsible for the motorcycle department if they had one in the shop – of course they had, but it was a demo bike parked in the shop.
    After a short chat he fetched it for me, and also sourced an F 800GS demo for Katrine so we could take both for a spin.


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    Test rides on the earlier versions of the big GS have always left me a bit disappointed – they are good bikes but have for some reason failed to put a smile on my face.
    It was a different matter with this new model – it had a totally different “feel” to it and was a blast to ride.
    When we got back to the dealer after a 1 hour test ride Katrine confided to me in a whisper (at not to hurt the feelings of her faithful V-Strom) that she was head over heels in love with the 800 and that her V-Strom would be up for sale as soon as we got back home.


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    I didn’t feel the same way about the 1200 as I really like my 2012 V-Strom and it’s the right bike for me at the moment – but maybe I’ll feel the need to get a 1200 with shaft drive sometime in the future..?


    It sure looks good
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    After this little intermezzo in our journey we got back on the Strom’s and continued east along the South Coast of Ireland.


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    We reached Rosslare Harbor a few hours later, where we bought tickets for the morning ferry back to England the next day, before checking in at a B&B 5 minutes from the port so we didn'’t have to get up too early in the morning to catch the ferry.
    #24
  5. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 Only a matter of time.

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    Great ride report Don as always! :clap

    I wanna girlfriend like yours!
    #25
  6. Aidan1150

    Aidan1150 Call Me The Breeze

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    Great stuff Don. It is always refreshing to see my country through the eyes of others and I'm glad that you enjoyed. :thumb
    #26
  7. faded_Glory

    faded_Glory Adventurer

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    Very nice report of a great tour!

    Nice to see a Vstrom trip. I bought my own Wee from Pro-Bike back in 2010. I confess I have ogled other bikes from time to time but still love her too much for a swap! The F800 looks like a great alternative, good luck if you go ahead with it.

    fG
    #27
  8. Cris

    Cris AB+

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    GREAT photos and report!!

    This is a trip I would love to experience!!

    Thanks!
    Cris
    #28
  9. thecivvie

    thecivvie Adventurer

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    I live just down the road and could have given you a room for the night
    #29
  10. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks D.T.

    I know what you mean - my girlfriend and I have lived together for 16 years now and I still feel lucky every morning I wake up with her.
    #30
  11. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks Aidan

    I really enjoyed my time in Ireland and it won't be the last time I visit the country on 2 wheels.
    #31
  12. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    My girlfriend will put her V-Strom up for sale in about a weeks time, and buy a F800GS in the spring.
    She is looking forward to get a new bike, but I'm sure there will be tears when the says goodbye to the V-Strom that has served her well on several adventures over the past 8 years and taken her all over Europe from Nordkapp to Sicily without ever letting her down.
    #32
  13. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks Cris I'm glad that you enjoy it :norton
    If what you've read so far appeals to you stay tuned for the rest of the RR - the adventure is far from over :wink:
    #33
  14. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    We would have loved to stop by and say hello to a fellow ADVrider.

    If you had posted in the Tent Space Sign-Up Thread we could have found you on the Tent Space Map and contacted you when we were in the area.

    You can find me on the map, and a few ADVriders have already take me up on the offer and stopped by on their way through Denmark.
    It's nice to be able to help out fellow inmates and to have visitors who share my passion for traveling and motorcycles - it's a win win situation for both parties.
    #34
  15. thecivvie

    thecivvie Adventurer

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    Will do that tomorrow on the laptop
    #35
  16. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    We started the day with an early breakfast at the B&B before heading down to the ferry.
    The crossing from Rosslare to Fishguard took 3½ hours, so it was around noon before we finally got England in sight.

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    Shortly after we left the ferry we hit the small roads going west through Wales.

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    Being in Wales, we had an audience almost every time we took a break.

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    A few hours later we entered Exmoor National Park south of The Bristol Channel, where we had booked a room at "The Culbone" the previous night.

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    The Culbone situated in the northern part of Exmoor is an award winning restaurant with guest rooms upstairs.

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    It was still early in the evening when we had unpacked the bikes and checked into our room, so we decided to take a hike in the surrounding countryside before dinner - Katrine brought along a pair of binoculars in hope of spotting some of the local wildlife.

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    2 hours later soaked with sweat and in high spirits we returned to the restaurant just in time for a quick shower before heading down for dinner - a dinner that turned out to be just as delicious as we had hoped for.

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    We went to bed that night unaware that the next day would offer the most interesting and challenging riding of the entire trip...
    #36
  17. TigerMike

    TigerMike b00b

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    They know how to Roll..
    #37
  18. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    They sure do :D
    The cars belonged to the owners of the B&B and they had a third Rolls Royce parked on the other side of the house.
    #38
  19. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Wonderful Ride Report.:clap

    This picture is stunning:


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    #39
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  20. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks ED.

    Low clouds, mist and rain isn't ideal for motorcycle riding, but it sure does something for the atmosphere and gives the scenery a tinge of mystery and adventure.
    #40