Met Henri, dear Henri, in Cork last night and stayed over at Sheila’s Hostel.
Woke up to a glorious sunshine day that soon turned to winter. Due to a lot of dilly dallying we set off later than planned and followed Henri’s garmin for the first two hours. At this stage I took over because we were still pedalling around Cork. So after applying a little common sense and a lot of local help we finally headed out of Cork.
Be warned that on exciting Cork heading for Bantry Bay you encounter a push of a hill…. and then a few more. The upside of course is that each one is followed by an equal downhill. We cruised on and then down into Innishannon. At the entrance to Innishannon is a statue of the cloaked horseman to indicate the importance of the horses contribution to the history of Innishannon. One either crossed on foot or on horseback in the 6th century until very much later a boat was used as a ferry.
We stopped buy water at the local Centra store and as we left the headwind picked up making it quite tough going. The flags will give you a good idea of the strength of the wind.
So all the “naysayers” have got their way because soon enough we were introduced to the rain in Ireland. This time it was proper rain and we did get wet but not quite soaked by the time we reached the twin towns of Enniskean and Ballineen. The two towns are now one as the houses were built towards each other to merge them into one. Ballineen had this grand old church pictured below.
Just outside of the twin towns we visited a large cheese factory namely Curberry. They employ 200 locals and produce cheese, whey protein and alcohol. Don’t worry I also could not believe what I was hearing, the alcohol is used in the beer making process of which Ireland produces a fair supply and I have had the opportunity to sample. The sales and marketing director took Henri on a tour of the factory while I sheltered in reception. I discover that the lady in reception understands Afrikaans and speaks Dutch fluently as she had lived and worked in the Netherlands for quite some time.
Progress is rather slow at this stage and hence the tongue in cheek title – “Midweek Express”.
After the visit we hide in a pub to have our lunch and it is still raining when we leave. Quickly it is decided that we will stay over in Dunmanway which is a lot short of our intended destination having done 65km and Bantry Bay is at 100km. Also Henri is “fried” (I love this expression) but I am sure he will find his legs as the tour progresses. So no bikinis to be seen today even if we had reached the coastal town as the rainy weather is set in for the rest of the week according to the locals.
We find a B &B that turns out to be a gem.
After a hot shower and two cups of tea we are in better spirits. Henri goes off to see another robotic milking plant and I walk the town.
Here is a bench I think my son in law would like but a little to big to take on the bike and they may also not be happy to lose it.
Tomorrow we head for Killarney via Macroom…….
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Eugene on a bike somewhere in the world