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Offline cropbiker

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The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« on: September 20, 2014, 09:42:33 am »
Hi All,

Well, I recently completed a great weeks riding in the Republic Of Ireland (ROI) following part of the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) and as promised here is a more detailed write up of the week.

The trip was 7 days catching the ferry across from Fishguard to Rosslare overnight and then running from Rosslare to Cork on main roads via Waterford to join the start of the Wild Atlantic Way just south of Cork. From Cork we then followed the WAW route round staying in Baltimore, Kenmare, Dingle, Limerick and Galway before jumping on the motorway and cutting across to Dublin for a night before the ferry home to Holyhead. Although some of the distances involved weren’t that great averaging 200 miles per day they were long days as speeds were generally in the 30-50 range for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the scenery is just too beautiful to rush past and we wanted to take in as much as we could. Secondly, although traffic for us was light, if you do get behind something on some of the roads it can be difficult to get past due to the narrowness of the roads and the fact that you just can’t see round the bends to know what is coming.

On that last point I can attest that the cutout of the audio after pressing the horn is an EXCELLENT safety feature. Blasting the horn approaching the many bends and then the audio cutting for long enough to hear a response enabled me to prepare a better road position to meet oncoming traffic on several occasions.

In general the roads in the ROI seemed pretty good. There are 4 grades of road. First, you have the motorways. We only took the motorway from Galway to Dublin and it was a good bit of road. Not particularly scenic or interesting but well maintained and traffic free, at least when we were on it. There was a small toll fee of €2.50 for that leg which wasn’t unreasonable. The second grade of road is the N roads. These are main roads but single carriageway. These also seem to be maintained in good order and running through nice countryside. Most N roads seemed to have a hard shoulder to each side of varying width marked off with yellow dashes. Most slow moving traffic would move over into this lane to allow you to pass if needed, very friendly! Thirdly you have the R roads. These can be a bit varied from standard carriageway to single track and various widths between with passing places. Again, the surfaces are generally pretty smooth but slightly less well maintained. Finally there are the L roads which are pretty much cart tracks. Single track metalled roads but often with grass centre lines and walls and verges along the edges. Needless to say we tried to avoid the L roads as much as possible but not always successful!

We were blessed with very little traffic as we were outside of the school holidays. However, I can imagine that even on a bike if you went in the height of summer there would be times when you would have great difficulty getting past the traffic on some of the roads which make up the WAW.

We had planned the trip using Garmin Basecamp and loaded them onto the GPS but frankly the WAW is exceptionally well sign posted and you should be able to do the route without any tech support if you wanted to. Often it was best to ignore the GPS anyway as it would try to send us down L roads. The route can be followed either north to south or south to north. Not sure if this was common but we went south to north and this was quiet but there were still a lot of coaches and traffic coming on the north to south route. Doing it again, rather than planning the routes on GPS I would just put in the hotels as destinations and then ignore the GPS while riding the route and just use it for the final homing to the hotel. The WAW is signposted as I say and also there are many points of interest signed off the main route to go and look at.

So in the following messages I will give a bit more leg detail and attach some video!  :001:
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Offline cropbiker

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Re: The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2014, 09:43:12 am »
Ride1 - Rosslare to Baltimore.

Arrived early on Saturday morning after an uneventful ferry crossing from fishguard to be greated by overcast skies and a light rain! Not a great start!

Took the direct route to Waterford as we wanted to stop off at the Waterford crystal factory to do the tour there. A fascinating place with some truly skilled craftsmen and well worth the hour or so it takes to go round.

Then back on the main road along to Cork for a quick lunch stop. Cork looks nice and with more time there seems plenty to do there.

After Cork we were able to join the WAW itself as it ran from Cork to Kinsale, Old Head before running along the south coast to our first night-stop at the beautiful little fishing harbor village of Baltimore.

Very pretty little place with great local pubs and restaurants. Plenty of live music too! Great boat trip out whale watching too, unfortunately no whales but porpoises and seals! 

http://youtu.be/55PP4KmhZQs
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Offline cropbiker

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Re: The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2014, 09:44:34 am »
Ride 2 – Baltimore to Kenmare

Having had an extra day in Baltimore to enjoy the local hostelries we then had a longer day riding to take us up to Kenmare.

Again, following the well signposted WAW we did the three headlands to take us to Mizen Head, Sheeps Head and The Ring of Beara.

At Mizen Head there is the Mizen Head signal station and it is well worth the walk down to cross the bridge and take in some stunning views.

From there it is round the Ring of Beara stopping off to take a ride on the Dursey Island cable car

http://youtu.be/PWqO4cj9X_0
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Offline cropbiker

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Re: The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 09:45:03 am »
Ride 3 – Kenmare to Dingle

A great evening in Kenmare, a very colourful little village with another great collection of local bars and restaurants. Can highly recommend ‘Packies’ restaurant on the main street, a little pricy but excellent food.

From Kenmare it was back on the road to follow round to our next night-stop at Dingle.

More lovely coastal routes taking us past the dramatic Kerry Cliffs, well worth stopping to look, much less busy than the Cliffs of Moher. Also take the bridge across to Valentia Island and the ferry back onto the WAW

http://youtu.be/gUiUH5tB4ms
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Offline cropbiker

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Re: The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2014, 09:46:47 am »
Ride 4 – Dingle to Limerick

Dingle is another pretty, colourful little harbour town. Again loads of bars and restaurants to choose from, most with live music at some point in the evening.

While you are there take one of the boat trips just outside the harbour mouth to see Fungie the Dolphin. You will see him or your money back! He was true to form coming right up along side the boat for a good period of time.

In the morning we left Dingle to do the loop round the Dingle Peninsular before heading to the north coast to follow the Shannon into Limerick.

Once we started heading inland the scenery got slightly less interesting and perhaps doing it an injustice as we were only there for the evening and hardly had time to look round but Limerick was not that inspiring.

http://youtu.be/ZfNGtqsMl6w
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Offline cropbiker

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Re: The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2014, 09:47:51 am »
Ride 5 - Limerick to Galway

As I mentioned, Limerick wasn’t that inspiring but we did find a great restaurant, The Cornstore, expensive but exceptionally good food and highly recommended.

The trip along the west coast was obviously planned to take us past the Cliffs of Moher. As you might expect these were exceptionally busy but worth it as the views are dramatic!

Managed to get tangled up with a cycle race that was going on from the Loop Head lighthouse up towards Galway. The fluorescent jacket and white helmet certainly came in handy as I am pretty sure I was confused for Garda which meant getting past was easy! LOL

Then into Galway itself and I can say Galway is beautiful! Great bars and really friendly locals too. Lots more live music to enjoy both in the pubs and on the streets. When you are their check out The Piemaker for dinner. This little hole in the wall type shop sold the most amazing pie and mash. So good I had a second pie!!!

http://youtu.be/uAF06tLCdM8
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Offline malcolm

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Re: The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 12:28:59 am »
Excellent write up and videos   :062:

Offline w8d4it

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Re: The Wild Atlantic Way Ride Write Up
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 06:19:53 am »
Nicely done Cropbiker!  I've worked/commuted between the US and Ireland for yeas so your posts bring back many memories but I don't think I could have done as nice a write up as you :028:
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