Friday, September 20, 2019

Running Out of Sunscreen

20 Sept
 Sometimes the popular places are popular for very good reason. I was hesitant to bike the Ring of Kerry because everyone goes there, but it was spectacular, not too busy, and well worth the sweaty, steep climbs.
 I went clockwise starting through the Gap of Dunloe where there are so many road hazards that they just mark them all in the beginning and call it good. This was a lucky direction to go as all the tour buses go counter clockwise so they never came up behind me to pass.
 My early morning start got sidetracked by the amount of cheery people I stopped to talk to. Besides donkies in the road, bikers stop to chat, people who used to bike stop to chat, and people who cannot believe you are biking stop to chat. I took a slight detour to a recommended pancake house, Stawberry Field's, and had a salmon leek pancake that I will dream about for years to come.
 The road zig Zags up unexpectedly high roads, passes through villages full of ice cream flavors like gin, elderflower, and brown bread, then throws view after sparkling view in your face.
 Crumbly ruins dot the hillsides and castles guard every bay. I spent the night tucked into a little sandy beach watching surfers catch the last waves of the day. Then drank with them until the stars and milky way lit up the night because the whole peninsula is a dark sky zone.
 It got windy throughout the night, thank god for earplugs so I could sleep over the flapping of my tent.  The wind meant that my tent was bone dry the next morning, a rarity in this country.
 I expected the wind would make cycling brutal, but even the 35mph gusts rarely seemed to hit head on and I often got a boost as I pedaled along. Stopping for a sandwich and a beer, I found out that out had been rainy and cold all summer long. All the locals were a bit giddy with the change in weather.
 This has to be one of the top cycle routes I've ever taken even though it was much harder than I expected. I was feeling pretty lucky as I left the view over looking the Dingle peninsula and headed back inland toward Killarney.
Back I town I actually paid to camp as I was I desperate need of a shower and some greasy dinner.

1 comment: