Book review – Wild Camping the Wild Atlantic Way

Every traveller’s journey is unique to them, and is a snapshot in time. This book tells the story of when I cycled the bottom half of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. If I had to cycle exactly the same route today, I’d end up with a completely new, and different experience. This is my adventure, and when you go cycle the route (and you really should!) your adventure will be different again.

This is not going to be like my normal book reviews, and that is because I wrote this book. I think it’s a worthwhile read, but I certainly won’t try and sell it to you as “The best cycle touring book the world has ever known”. You alone can be the judge of whether or not it’s praiseworthy, though I’ve had positive reviews from others.

Having said that, I can tell you some things about the book. For starters, on Amazon, there are exactly TWO books about cycle touring the Wild Atlantic Way, and mine is one of them. The Wild Atlantic Way was seemingly devised to attract tourists to Ireland’s west coast, and the route was designed for drivers.

Cycling the Wild Atlantic Way

The Cicerone book about cycle touring the Wild Atlantic way covers a greater distance than my book. However, mine will give you hints and tips you won’t find elsewhere – things that can make a big difference to your tour. That alone makes my book an essential read to anyone considering cycling the Wild Atlantic Way.

My book also tells you about Ireland itself, including parts of the island’s history you probably didn’t know (and which continue to shape things right to this day) and even some of the Irish mythology. Furthermore, my book covers the challenges I faced to get to the start of the route without flying. I’ve been flight-free since 2008, and as long as there is a reasonable alternative available to me, I will always opt for the flight-free option. Besides, as you’ll learn from the book, part of the adventure is simply getting to the start!

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From the outset, you need to understand that the route I followed mostly was EuroVelo 1, which is different from the Wild Atlantic Way in various parts. That is because religiously sticking with the car route means cycling on some very unpleasant stretches of road, like the N71. In places, you cannot avoid that road, but whenever possible, you will appreciate getting away from it.

At the height of tourist season, some parts of the Wild Atlantic Way, especially the Ring of Kerry, will be choked with campervans and touring coaches, all on a surprisingly narrow road that you’ll be sharing. This is why EuroVelo 1 offers a far better option.

A personal journey

The book explains much about my background, as that background shaped the person I am today, including my preference for wild camping, as well as my attitude towards dealing with setbacks I may encounter along the way. It also tells the story of my developing friendship with John Devoy, who wrote the joint-best cycle touring book I ever read, Quondam. Finally, it tells of the end of that brief friendship.

This book isn’t an autobiography, though inevitably you will gain insight into my life, just as you’ll gain insight into the lives of any other travel writer, when reading their work.

I sincerely hope you buy a copy of this book, and I hope even more that you enjoy reading it, and gain at least some value from reading it. The book is available here, in paperback and Kindle format.

Alternatively, you can buy the book directly from me, using the appropriate PayPal button below. Ireland people, after Brexit, Amazon UK no longer ships to Ireland and your only way of buying the book is directly from me.

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