Abracadabra !!! Derry to Ballycastle

Well if ever you hear a cyclist telling you of a tail wind and an eternal downhill he is probably stretching the truth!! Today was one of those days that you only dream about and too soon we ran out of road.

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We left Derry in slightly overcast conditions with a tailwind that blew us up all the hills. This stretch I will gladly do again not because of the weather conditions but purely because it flew by and I cannot say I saw much of the scenery along the way.

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The beauty continues to please the eye but I made a huge mistake by missing the turn off to Bushmills Distillery. After sampling Bushmills Black Bush in Derry at £4.80 a shot I planned to take revenge at the distillery but sadly lost out. So Irish whiskey 1- SA cyclist 0………

We soon arrived in Colerain and went looking for a sport shop so that Henri could purchase a cap or helmet as both had been misplaced somehow. He managed to find a snazzy beanie with an Ulster rugby logo that was ideal seeing we are in Northern Ireland.

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We continued on the B67 route and between Henri viewing another robot milking machine and me pedaling ahead I missed the turn to Bushmills.  I passed a couple going in the opposite direction and they were very envious of my tailwind.

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By the time I reached Moss side I realised my mistake but the wind at my back was more inviting than a detour to the distillery.

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I arrived in Ballycastle just after12h30 and located the Castle Hostel quite easily.

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Henri was delivered to the door soon after and we then went in search of the offices for the Kintyre Express. We discovered that the offices were in fact  across the ocean in Campbelltown. A long telephone call resulted in us securing a booking on the ferry but only for tomorrow weather permitting. The ferry only runs when the conditions are suitable and today was not a suitable day. Some of the passengers have been waiting since Sunday so we might be in Ballycastle for a few days unless we get lucky.

We enjoyed our lunch by the seaside along with a local craft beer, Hildens Headless Dog. Having an enquiring mind I needed to know why “Headless Dog” and the answer was quite simple really. The beer brewer used premises that had an old heraldry badge over the door on which the dog’s head was missing!

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I also discovered that the one of the stages of the Giro d Italia passed through town last year and the owner of the Bay Cafe being a cycling enthusiast added the pink bike and a painting to commemorate the occasion.

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Here’s hoping we can cross to the Mull of Kintyre tomorrow…….

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Eugene on a bike somewhere in the world