The Dublin Centre (plus many visitors from overseas) enjoyed a four-day Cycling trip, all around the beautiful county of Kerry.
The omens weren’t spectacular for the first day - as soon as we started the rain began and it poured until we arrived at our accommodation 3 hours later and 50km away! We had to climb up the legendary Conor Pass through the mountains (it’s really steep). The scenery was beautiful but with rain falling and the mist all around we could only see a little bit in each direction. It was a great experience all the same and Ambarish had a great feed of Pasta ready when we arrived (soaking wet) at the hostel in Dingle.
The second day it didn’t rain at all. Most of the cycling took place on two large mountainous peninsulas and we had lovely cycle all along the coastline. We even did some cycling on the beach. Overall we did just over 100km, which was a nice work out for our legs. The was more than enough for everyone except Tejvan who, as one of the best amateur cyclist in England, clocked up more and more miles as he cycled back and forth. On Saturday morning we set off on a boat trip to the Skellig Islands, 8 miles off the coast of Kerry. We were blessed with the weather all day long. The Captain of the boat said it was the best day he had seen for at least two weeks.
Once we left the protection of the estuary the fun began. The swell of the sea was quite strong and the boat dipped up and down as it sailed onwards. It was now evident as to why the Captain had handed each of us rain ponchos as the water occasionally swept over the side of the boat and drenched a few of us!
As soon as we docked on Skellig Michael the clouds dispersed and the sun began to shine. What a beautiful Island this is, it looks just like a mountain rising from the sea. In medieval times early Christian monks settled on the Island and built a monastery on top. It’s incredible how they managed to sur- vive on this small, secluded island. The monastery itself was an amazing array of stone huts built in a honeycombed fashion with surrounding stonewalls. There was a great sense of peace there.
After a relaxing lunch in the sun we set off for the mainland once more. Some of us even managed take a nap on the way back despite the bumpy ride. Back in Caherciveen once more, we began our cycle into the countryside. This time we had only thirty kilometres to do in to the mountains and through the valley. For an hour or so we cycled along at a leisurely pace with only one or two steep hills tackle. Then we cycled further into the wilderness and down into the valley.
The only problem was that there was a road entering both sides of the valley but a mountain ridge cut one side of from the other. No problem! The map showed a walking trail so we assumed (never assume!) that we could easily walk over with our bikes. Not the case! It was open country so we spent the next hour hiking over the ridge carrying our bikes on our backs! The upside was that we witnessed the unparalleled beauty of the scenery and when we finally made it to the road on the other side we enjoy a beautiful cycle by a serene lake. Not far from the lake we arrived at our hostel were we enjoyed a good nights sleep.
On Sunday we set off for Killarney and on pathways winding through woods and along the Lakes of Killarney national park. All good things have to end sometime, and so from Killarney we set off for Dublin, but not before poilishing off a sizeable amount of tea and dessert. Heres to an even bigger and better cycling trip in 2009!