Saturday, July 21, 2012

West Cork, and finally into Kerry - #100corners

A "Boat" made fro 6,500 plastic milk bottles.
Early morning in Bantry and a chance to tour around the town centre which was being prepared for the weekend's Atlantic Challenge festival. Most fascinating was a mock "boat" made out of 6,500 recycled plastic milk bottles which was placed in the harbour in front of Wolfe Tone Square. They even had a Hollywood style "Bantry 2012" banner overlooking the town.

My first ride out was to Sheep's Head as I did not have time to do it yesterday - so it was back towards Durrus and on to the end of the peninsula on a glorious morning. At the end of Sheep's Head there is a bit of a hike on foot out to the lighthouse, but it is worth the effort as the views were spectacular - especially back towards Mizen Head. The views get better and better, and I can't get enough of it. I stopped along the way to look at standing stones and ring forts, plus the memorial to the 1985 Air India disaster - a lovely memorial garden in a very peaceful place.

The road back along Bantry Bay though was attrocious and more suited to hiking than biking. However, as I got closer to Bantry the road improved, and so did my humour. I had arrived back at where I started the day and it was early afternoon!

On to the Beara Peninsula, and I stopped in Glengarriff for a coffee at Harrington's Bar. Very pleasant to sit outside this bar in the sun - I chatted to a man called Douglas from Macroom about - what else, but the weather. I was in Gengarriff on a Zoology field trip in the 1980s, but nothing was familiar except the setting in among all the trees.

Dursey Island.
At the end of the Beara peninsula is Dursey Island - it takes a long time to ride out there. There is a tiny cable car out to the island, but since it does not take bikes I did no go out. Though this is a long way out from everywhere, it is worth the trip on both the Dunmanus Bay and Kenmare Bay sides.

I stopped in the colourful village of Allihies for soup and brown bread and sat outside in the sun (and got a bit of sun burn in the few minutes I was out). Shortly after Ardgroom I crossed into Kerry - I had spent nearly three days in Cork.

I arrived in Kenmare at about 5.30 and it as time to take a break from my tour to meet Roma in Tralee. I'll be doing the Ring of Kerry on Monday and will report here on this blog.

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