No rain today but it looks like it’s going to pour any moment. This hostel, Cashel Hostel, isn’t a bad deal at €20 so I plopped down cash for one more night in a private room which means I leave Friday. The bathroom is shared but for the price who cares. I even managed to get internet in the room with my awesome Alfa WiFi Adapter.

The town is fairly picturesque with the highlight being the huge slab of limestone rising up off the plain called the Rock of Cashel. The rock originated from a mountain 20 miles to the north after St. Patrick, arriving in Cashel in AD 432, baptized King Aengus, who became Ireland’s first Christian ruler. During the baptism, the devil, quite pissed off at this, hurriedly flew over Ireland and, hindered by the mountains, took an enormous bite out of them. After he reached the opposite side of the mountains, the devil spat out the hunk of rock and inadvertently formed the Rock of Cashel.

Crowning the rock are the walled ruins of 11th and 12th century buildings including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Cormac’s Chapel. It was €6 to get in which was much less than I thought it would be.

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What was going on here?

What was going on here?

The town

The town

The Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel

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Lot's of little heads on the walls

Lot’s of little heads on the walls

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None of the paintings on the walls are doing very well

None of the paintings on the walls are doing very well

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An old Celtic high cross the lightning destroyed

An old Celtic high cross the lightning destroyed

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The ruins of an old abbey down below

The ruins of an old abbey down below

The ruins

The ruins

Even the Queen came to the Rock

Even the Queen came to the Rock

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06/19 Limerick was a bustling little city with lot’s of cafes/pubs/restaurants, a big shopping mall and crowds of people (pop. 90,757). The 2nd outdoor store I went into had Coleman fuel for my stove so I’m all set with that. I should asked to see if they had any stove parts since I just used my only spare fuel tube O-ring but I forgot. The MSR DragonFly stove has been doing quite well after 3 years. I’ve only had to replace the rubber pump cup and now the O-ring. I replaced the fuel line filter a couple times but could have just removed it instead.

The siteseeing opportunities in Limerick were good although the weather (rain) made for some terrible pictures. I stopped in to visit the small but well-stocked Limerick Museum and learned a bit about the history of the city. It was also free which was a pleasant surprise.

Nothing but farms from Limerick until Cork. Had a great chat with an older fellow while having a road-side bite to eat. For lunch a while later I found a bench at what I thought was just a little park. Turns out it was a memorial for a train derailment that took place in the area (Buttevant Rail Disaster, Aug. 1980). 18 people died.

Perfect weather until about 3pm and then rain came. Lot’s of climbing over the 65 mile ride (3008 feet). Not sure what changed but stupid dogs seem to be more common south of Limerick. Riding by every other house either involved a short chase or just loud, annoying barking. I only had to stop and throw one rock; the rest all hung out in their driveway. Stayed at Blarney Caravan Park for 9 euro. Pretty standard deal. If the shower had hot water it would have been just about perfect.

The next morning it was off to 566 year old Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Stone. Yes, I kissed it. I even bought the picture they take of you for the bargain price of 10 euro. I tried to get the girl behind me to take one so I wouldn’t have to pay but she took it before I was even laying down. Since I can’t lug around an 8×10 photograph I took a picture of the picture and threw it away.

When the big moment arrived it happened so fast I barely had time to look at what I was even kissing. Not the first time this has happened but usually I’d had a few drinks first. Now, according to legend, I should possess the gift of the gap (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The whole thing was quite touristy but would I do it again? Sure. Would I use less tongue? Probably not. 🙂 The castle was actually pretty cool and I would have spent more time walking around but it was raining and there’s really not that much open since it’s mostly ruins.

It stayed raining all day so I cut the ride short and stopped after 32 miles. With the rain still coming down I’m looking forward to a nice hot shower when I get to the CG. I stop and grab some dinner (milk, cookies, gummy candies, bananas, bread, apple squares, sausages and beans) and head to the campground, Blackwater Valley CG in Fermoy. The guy isn’t there so I have to wait for him to show up (10 minutes). I pay the 10 euro plus another 1.50 euro for a shower. Of course there’s no hot water for 90 minutes until he turns it on and it heats up. Argh.

Made it a bit further the next day. 44 miles which got me to Cashel where I’ll be spending 2 days. The famous Rock of Cashel is here so I’ll post some pictures of that tomorrow. Easy day riding. Nice weather until 2pm and then the rain started but I’d just arrived at a hostel so I didn’t care.

My love of the Garmin 62stc just keeps growing. This morning I noticed condensation under the front screen. This made it very difficult to read until the sun had a chance to dry it out. Worst purchase ever.

Elevation Profile
GPX track

Seriously?!

Seriously?!

Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle

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A rare "wild" looking area

A rare "wild" looking area

Good one

Good one

Dinner (or part of it)

Dinner (or part of it)

Looking across the river at Fermoy

Looking across the river at Fermoy

Me giving the stone a kiss!

Me giving the stone a kiss!

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Waiting to kiss the stone at Blarney Castle

Waiting to kiss the stone at Blarney Castle

A burial ground along the road

A burial ground along the road

Mood:Good Weather:
Wind: Wind Direction:
Avg Speed: mph (0 km/h) Top Speed: mph (0 km/h)
Total Ascent: ft (0 m) Max Elevation: ft (0 m)
Distance: mi (0 km) Total Distance:28083 mi (45195.2 km)

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There once was a bicycle tourist named Scott
Who hated the weather a lot
So he bought a pint of guinness
Changed his face from a grimace
Now he’s happier than he could have thought

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The North Munster Masonic Centre

The North Munster Masonic Centre

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King John's Castle

King John’s Castle

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The Treaty Stone on Thomond bridge

The Treaty Stone on Thomond bridge

Some kayakers out on the river

Some kayakers out on the river

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06/15 The towering Cliffs of Moher. Rising almost 700 feet at their highest point, they were quite a sight stretching out along the Atlantic Ocean. I stopped to see them yesterday after having to only ride a few miles to them. Lot’s of birds live on the edge of the cliffs (20 species) and dolphins, seals and even sharks can sometimes be seen in the water. Later that night I was supposed to pay someone 6 euros for access to the visitor center and for the “Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience”. Well at no point did I see anything about having to pay someone so I don’t feel too bad about the whole thing. Besides, they got 7 euro out of me to look at a wall of rocks the other day.

The weather was miserable with light rain and strong winds all day. The wind (and a touch of stupidity) nearly cost me my baseball cap and Oakley sunglasses. While I was taking a picture a gust of wind blew my hat off and sent it and my sunglasses flying toward the edge of the cliff. I let out a quick, “Oh sh*t!” and reached out to grab them before they went over. Luckily I got them back with less than a foot to spare. 🙂

Stayed at a hostel in the town of Ennis called Rowan Tree. It kind of reminded me of a hospital with the institutional-looking rooms, push button sink and the not-quite-hot-enough low pressure shower. I did like that the toilet had a big button for big jobs and a little button for little jobs. 🙂 Hoping to take a rest day I paid for 2 nights but after thinking about it I went back down and told them I was only staying the one night. I’ll just take a short day tomorrow and spend it in Limerick. If I’m paying 35 euro for something it may as well be a B&B so I can get some breakfast and have internet in the room. This was another failed attempt to find a place via a tourist information center.

More nasty weather the next day with heavier rain and strong winds. It’s so hard to believe this is the middle of June. It feels exactly the same as April–cold and wet. The ride was very short into Limerick. This time I went with the old ride around till I find something technique. It worked out amazingly well. The 2nd B&B I tried, which was right next to the first one, had a room available for 2 nights. It was 40 euro a night but it has a great shower, breakfast, a heater in the room, a TV (not that I’ll ever turn it on), wifi, a bed with no foot board and a closet. I love that when you arrive at a B&B they even bring you up some hot coffee and a snack. All things the hostel last night lacked. It’s called the Irish House.

Elevation Profile
GPX track

I'm not sure what the different sized buttons were for but I always used the big one just in case. :)

I’m not sure what the different sized buttons were for but I always used the big one just in case. 🙂

The river down below my hostel room in Ennis

The river down below my hostel room in Ennis

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I guess there've been some cliff divers here

I guess there’ve been some cliff divers here

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Mood:Good Weather:
Wind: Wind Direction:
Avg Speed: mph (0 km/h) Top Speed: mph (0 km/h)
Total Ascent: ft (0 m) Max Elevation: ft (0 m)
Distance: mi (0 km) Total Distance: mi (0 km)

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