Wild Atlantic Way – Day 8

Ireland was back to what I’ve come to accept as normal today, and the people I met along the way were all very friendly.

Good morning!

At some point, as I was cycling past a field with cows, as I often do, I shouted out “Good morning!”

Yes, I’m one of those odd people who say hello to various animals. I was riding uphill, and therefore quite slow, but jumped when a farmer stood up and said good morning back! I wasn’t expecting that.

More mechanicals (and a rock-solid solution)

I’ve had more mechanical problems today, too. One of the bolts holding my bike’s rack onto the frame snapped, and that’s a big deal.

The bolt sheared off without any of it sticking out and so there’s no way for me to remove it (I carry some spare bolts).

I bodged a repair by finding a stone of the right shape and size, and cable-tying it in place. That means the weight of the rack now pushes down on the stone, and that in turn rests on the QR skewer. The cable ties carry no weight and are only there to ensure the stone remains in place, and that the rack support remains resting on the stone.

That repair so far lasted almost 70 rather bumpy kilometres, and I was hoping to get it properly fixed in Kenmare. Unfortunately, the only bike mechanic there will be gone until Monday.

Kenmare

My bike’s rear wheel also developed problems: the bearings are clunking and clacking. Sadly, the bike shop in Kenmare don’t have any disk-braked rear wheels in stock.

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That’s forced me to change my plans. Getting the bike fixed will cost me time and the only way I can make that up is by NOT cycling the Ring of Kerry. I’m more than a bit gutted about that!

Some changes of plans

Instead, I’ll cycle the 33km to Killarney. That will be along the main road, so won’t be particularly pleasant, but needs must!

Beare peninsula

Cycling along the northern shore of the Beare peninsula is incredibly scenic, and rugged. It has a far more rural and exposed feel to it than the southern shore. Again, it is hauntingly beautiful, and you really, really need to visit the place!

There are also some very steep hills, which saw me walking my bike a few times. Once, a man driving a small van came alongside and asked if I was OK. When I said that I was, and that it’s just the steep hills, he immediately asked if I had everything I needed, including water.

That’s the Ireland I fell in love with, and today throughout people have only been friendly and kind.

Competition!

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: A remote 6th century monastic retreat, today a UNESCO World Heritage site, and more recently made famous by Star Wars …what is it called?

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