I spent the past 12 days with my one and only, my pride and joy, in the land of the color green. It was our last trip together before the sun will set, and a new chapter will begin. Cherish is the word, and Ireland was the setting.
I have always wanted to go to the country of my ancestors, and I thank the Lord they were Irish. But this wasn’t your typical trip, it was a ‘Backroads’ biking trip. Just as it sounds, we biked the back roads of Ireland. Before I continue, let me fill you in.
With 18 bikers in total, 2 leaders, and one behind the scenes ‘special ops’ man, we rode thru the Counties of Cork and Kerry. The crew was fantastic, the trip flawless, organized and tight, no need to worry, no need to fret. ‘Backroads’ has been in business for over 30 years, the kinks have been ironed out, and the itinerary perfected, it was full steam ahead.
I am not a true biker, but I held my own, and when I was struggling, or lacking behind, the van was sure to find me. I took many photos of the country but I never felt confident about them, and I was right, most of my images were disappointing. I haven’t the eye for landscapes …. yet. However I did manage to capture a few good ones, and a couple that I found exceptional.
The images above were taken in the first 48 hours of our ride in County Kerry. The gradual and long climb to Moll’s Gap allowed for stunning views of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks range, the range that boasts of Irelands tallest mountain, Carrauntoohil.
We spent the first two nights in the lovely town of Kenmare. Kenmare (Irish: An Neidín, meaning “the little nest”) is a small town in the south of County Kerry. The town lies on two noted Irish tourist routes, the Ring of Kerry, and the Ring of Beara, approximately 32 kilometers (20 mi) from Killarney. As a result it’s a popular tourist destination and many of the businesses in the area cater to tourists. Kenmare is noted for its food and pubs, we were never left hungry, or thirsty !
I would have liked to have photographed the town, but BR ‘kma’! and I went straight to bed after the dinner hour.
The third day we rode past charming towns on a fairly hilly route. The town of Bantry was our next destination. Mind you Bantry may only be 5 kilometers away, but BR took us a circuitous way, a way that took me all day, and then some …
‘The Bantry and West Cork character is considered the most friendly, helpful, outgoing, quick witted, generous and possessing the gift of unlimited conversation with a great sense of humour. West Cork is recognised as one of the last bastions of true Irish hospitality. You are assured a warm welcome.’ wiki
Yes, that says it all. I’d love to go into more detail, but I may end up talking to myself …
August 5th was my sons 18th birthday. When the night was said and done, we circled back to Ma Murphy’s for a final pint, or two. Here he his, pulling his own legal pint.
Below are photos of Bantry at dusk and dawn.
I lugged my tripod with me and felt the want, and need, to use it. The tripod assures me of a diligent shot, but had I pulled it out more often I’d still be somewhere over the rainbow …
Day 4 and 5 we biked the Kinsale area.
Kinsale is a fishing village in County Cork on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale. This town is a popular holiday resort for the Irish and foreign tourists. Leisure activities include yachting, sea angling, and golf. The Old Head Golf Course is one of the best in the world, and also rich in it’s history.
The town of Kinsale is known for its restaurants, and holds an annual “Gourmet Festival”. Chef Keith Floyd, the British celebrity chef, now deceased, was previously a resident of Kinsale.
Now let me discuss my photos. As I said earlier, the majority of my shots were (are) poor. Of course you haven’t seen those, but coming up with these few images was still a tuff decision. Too bad for me, it was a great opportunity to show my abilities as a wanna-be travel photographer… The up-side? I can only get better…. and I will ! I do have other photo’s to show you, better photo’s, however I am going to enter them in a contest. Of course I am aiming for 1st prize, but no worries if I lose, been there, felt that. After I have submitted them I will post them. The grand prize is $3000.00 towards another BR trip, and I want to win! So, if you will, cross your fingers and dot your i’s for me, I’m ready to get back in the saddle and behind the lens. BR is an exceptional way to see a country, or part of a country. Their packages include walking, biking, and other multi sports adventures, something for everyone. The Dalmation Coast? Amsterdam? or how about the San Juan Islands? I’m a day dream believer …. and believing in my dreams!