Friday, August 03, 2012

South Armagh to Meath (and new boots) - #100corners

A brief return to my 100 Corners of Ireland tour when I went up to Mayobridge in Co Down to buy some new boots for the bike. I decided that I would return to Dublin via the coastal route and add to my 100 Corners story.

The Newry Canal.
First - the boots. I bought a pair of size 12 TCK motorcycle boots in Crossan Motorcycles of Mayobridge. These are water-proof with a GoreTex lining and should keep my feet nice and dry for the next few years. Unusually, I was able to try on a few pairs and choose one - normally I cannot get boots to fit me. Many thanks to Louise for all her help in selecting boots to suit. 

A view towards King John's Castle in Carlingford.
So I returned to Newry and started 100 corners again. I took the road to Omeath and has a nice ride along the Newry Canal, which I never knew existed. After stopping for petrol in Omeath I went on to the wonderful town of Carlingford. I had never been here before and it is a real treat - lots of old buildings and some really nice narrow streets with cafés and restaurants. I stopped for a wonderful whipped ice cream at Taffe's Castle. Carlingford - definitely worth a visit.

I continued around the Cooley Peninsula which has the Oriel and Táin trails. With glimpses over towards Warrenpoint and the Mountains of Mourne, this is truly one of the nicest parts of our country. I stopped at Greenore and was surprised at the number of lorries that were going in and out of this port. On to Dundalk and the village of Blackrock. Again - this was a location that I had never been to before and was nicely surprised at how lovely it was. Blackrock has an intriguing sun dial in the centre of the town - it was 1.5 hours too slow according to my watch! 

Port Oriel, near Clogherhead.
After Cooley, I traveled down the coast through Castlebellingham and on to Annagassan. A quiet village which boasts a Viking Festival later this month. I took some coastal roads from here to Clogherhead, and they really are coastal roads being right along by the sea. On the approach to Clogherhead there are some great beaches. A real gem is the harbour at Port Oriel where I bought some fresh sea bream for dinner and had some delicious sea chowder for my lunch - fantastic!

The railway in Drogheda.
By now I was against the clock and had to be back in Dublin by 5 o'clock. So a quick run down the coast through Baltray towards Drogheda was next - a great ride again along the coast and then River Boyne. The approach to Drogheda is super - especially as the railway bridge looms into view. Alas - I had to head for the M1 to be back in Dublin on time, but I will be back to finish this last leg of the 100 Corners Tour.

It felt good to be back on the road again, thought it was on the only decent day weather-wise this week.

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