I make a conscious effort to try and avoid being negative, but the town of Bantry doesn’t rate well at all in my opinion.
Bantry – best avoided
When I arrived in the town, I saw a pizza place and decided to order food from there. It was well before 5pm, but I was bluntly told they’d close at 5pm, and therefore I can only have take-away pizza and coffee. And they only had small cups. When I asked if at least I could sit down at their outside tables, I was greeted with a sigh and a roll of the eyes. They also started packing away all the other tables while I was rushing my food.
I wrote yesterday’s post from a pub, using their WiFi. Obviously, I ordered a drink.
Besides taking my order, I was completely ignored in that pub. As someone whose batteries only recharge in solitude, I don’t need company, but I was made to feel unwelcome, which is different.
In the morning, I went to the SuperValu supermarket. They have a café, where I wanted to grab breakfast. It was 09:21, and I was firmly told they don’t open till 09:30. They lady then said “There’s a coffee machine there” and walked away.
Their toilets were locked, with “Customers only!” signs and I couldn’t fill my water bottles in the shop. As a result, I bought a bottle of water, filled 2 of my bottles, then set off cycling.
On the outskirts of Bantry, I stopped at a petrol station, where I asked at their deli if they’d be willing to fill my last water bottle. They flatly refused and I was forced to buy more water.
Leaving Bantry, I also had the first close overtake since I started cycling in Ireland.
As you can guess, I was glad to leave the town behind!
Today involved cycling half of the Beare peninsula. It’s stunningly beautiful, but with a lot of riding on the N71, I was focusing more on the road than the scenery.
Today started off very cloudy, and in the afternoon it started drizzling. As I rode into Castletownbearhaven, I grabbed some hot food from the Spar.
Damn rude cyclists
Outside of a pub, MacCarthys, there were a bunch of laden bicycles. The forecast said the rain would ease off, so I took shelter in the pub.
One of the bikes had a BBQ grill strapped to it, and when I walked in I saw a group of 6 or 7 cyclists, all wearing matching jerseys from some Irish cycling club.
I joked about the BBQ grill, saying that I’ve never seen a touring bike with one, and the only response I had from the group was “Well, you have now”.
I recognised 2 of the riders from the pub in Bantry, where they also ignored me. Both last night, and today, they were laughing and joking with others, while pointedly ignoring me.
Well done, fellas, for proving that some Irish cyclists are bloody rude, and not worth engaging with. That, and the fact that Bantry is an unpleasant place, are lessons I will carry away with me.
Despite the above, today’s been good. My legs felt strong all day long. As I’m writing this, I have another 20km to cycle, before finding a spot to pitch my tent for the night.
The forecast is looking good, and after having pedalled a Laden touring bike into a brisk headwind all day long, I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll have the wind on my back while I complete me ride along the Ring of Beare. I live in hope!
Ireland is awesome!
The various rude people I encountered today aren’t changing my mind about Ireland. It remains an amazing place, full of extremely nice people.
Just, when you visit (and you really must!) avoid stopping in Bantry.
To be in with a chance of winning John Devoy’s fantastic book, Quondam, you need to answer all the questions that I post on a daily basis.
Here’s today’s question: What did the Romans call Ireland and was it ever occupied by them?