The Emerald Isle


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They don’t have summer in Ireland, just a different type of rain.

Irish people enjoy a good conversation, especially regarding the weather. “Sure it’s a little soft today.” aka its raining cats and dogs. I have discovered to my amusement, that it only rains in two places in Ireland; where I am and where I’m going.

We had almost dried out overnight in Kilkee, the morning looked somewhat brighter with just a few passing costal showers to see us on our way over some roughly surfaced secondary roads to the ferry at Killimer, that took us across the Shannon river estuary to County Kerry, which is known locally as The Kingdom. The rain dampened the sweet greasy smoke from the peat fires in the grates of the lonely whitewashed stone cottages dotted across the luminous green landscape we cycled past pig farms that smelt of something altogether different than bacon .

The wind picked up strength, stirring the sun into action. Green and gold chequered flags, bunting and streamers proclaiming allegiance to Kerry’s Irish Football team fluttered from every available vantage point. I cycled along the hedgerows daydreaming, almost running down a farmer dressed in moss green whom I mistook for a lamppost.

Some observations about cycling in Ireland: The hills are sharper and shorter than you might think and there is always another hill. Sharing the road with cars, farm machinery and animals, is manageable but Murphy’s law does apply. If two vehicles are approaching one another from opposite directions on an otherwise deserted country road, the point that they intersect will be where the cyclist (Therese or myself) is. My final observation is that you can never eat too many blackberries.

We spent the afternoon cycling through a stark green landscape, Criss crossed with lichen covered rock walled boundaries  and vine covered ruins, set against an increasingly blue sky. We stopped briefly at the Castle in Tralee, where Therese belted out her own version of The Rose of Tralee to appreciative, if bemused cows, before rolling down into the tiny costal community of Fenit, birthplace of Saint Brendan the Navigator, where we made camp.

We are huddled up drinking tea in a cafe where I can hear the radio reports of local flooding in the Killarney area. Apparently the horse races have been cancelled, the grounds too soft. Sure it’s only a matter of time until the weather clears and we have sunny skies again!

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Categories: UK and Europe 2015, World tour 2015Tags:

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