The blog would not be complete without a description of our evening in Killarney and the shenanigans involved!
As mentioned earlier, there had been a big charity bike ride the previous day, the Ring of Kerry Cycle, and many of the cyclists were still around; there were loads of American visitors in town celebrating the Independence Day weekend by reconnecting with their Irish roots; and, just as we arrived, a big local Derby football match between Kerry and Cork had ended in an honourable draw, so the town was absolutely RAMMED with thousands of visitors, all displaying the most enthusiastic bonhomie and filling the streets and the local watering holes to celebrate. It was a good job that Kim had booked us in to the Laurels for dinner.
Several of the group went off after dinner to savour the party atmosphere and listen to live music around the town. Back at the hotel lounge later, several of us were lucky to be entertained by two of the other hotel guests, who appeared in the lounge with a bottle of Irish Single Malt whiskey looking like a right pair of dissolute gamblers after a day at the races. They turned out to be National Ireland Tour Guides and were like a Graham Norton double-act, keeping us entertained (and very generously sharing their whiskey) until we dragged ourselves off to bed, some of us slightly the worse for wear.
Interesting snippets from the evening:
Richard on going to a football match at Stoke: “All the way through the match everyone was swearing and using dreadful language at the players. It was b***** ridiculous!”
Also Richard – spotted with a pink “Hello Kitty” camera carrier on his belt. (To be shown at a future date when we catch him again.)
Ian “the old ones are the best ones” McSporran: Knock knock! (Who’s there?) Irish Stew. (Irish Stew who?) Irish stew in the name of the law. (Groans all around).
Do you know where the policeman lived? Letsbe Avenue. (Further groans)
What did the judge say in court? He only said a few words but it was a very long sentence. (Even more groans.)
It’s the next morning. In the hotel lounge, struggling to get some photos off the camera to go onto the Blog, Janet (former IT consultant), Roger (IT consultant) and Davy (who runs Research and manufacturing in an IT company) all fail to manage it. Davy, completely deadpan: “What we need is someone who knows about IT.”
Today was a 70-mile ride taking us from Killarney to Limerick. Sadly the sun did not grace us with its presence as we set off this morning, and wet weather gear was the order of the day. (Well, we had been warned!)
The Chuckle Brothers (new nickname for Richard and Peter) are the only two people with bells on their bicycles and were heard complaining that the damp was affecting their bells’ rings.
Various encouraging comments could be heard as the day progressed:
“It’s looking clearer over there…”
“At least it’s not COLD!”
“Only 6 more miles to a cup of tea.”
“Today was like a very, very long advert for Kerrygold.”
For the benefit of future ACT Ireland E2E participants, we have put together a handy guide to the different sorts of rain that you may encounter in Ireland. This was the result of some “grey-sky thinking” (blue sky having been a bit of a rare commodity today…)
Make the most of it; enjoy.
A few drops in the air. Often a precursor of other stages.
Ignore. This is nothing.
A light, rehydrating spritz, reminiscent of the canned product sold by Evian to cool people down in the Wimbledon Queue.
Don’t complain. People pay good money for this and it is meant to “set” your make-up.
A mist that drenches.
Pop on your waterproof but leave half unzipped.
“It’s that light rain that soaks you through”.
Take off your glasses. You will not be able to see out of them. Move zip up 2cm.
Slightly damper than light drizzle.
You won’t be able to see your Garmin screen so you’re on your own.
“It’s definitely raining”
Gore-Tex’s promise that their fabric is “breathable” turns out to be a lie.
Zip up outer jacket 4cm. Your brakes will have stopped working so be careful going down any hills.
Rain is running down your face, past your zip, across your torso leaving a glistening sheen of moisture across your body. Your waterproof is ineffective.
Take everything off – less to dry later.
The chamois of your padded shorts will become sodden and you will have a flashback to what it was like when you still used nappies/diapers.
Shelter under a tree thinking ‘Next year: the South of France’.
You will absolutely drenched in 15 seconds.
Bear with it – Davy’s app says it will clear in 15 minutes.
At morning coffee stop:
Shaun: “What would you like?”
Roger: “Have you got an antidote for single malt?”
On being confronted with a “Road Closed” sign – all scratching heads and wondering what to do/what to put into Garmins, etc.
Davy, saying the magic words: “What’s the craic?”
Workman: “Oh, go on through, you’ll be fine.”
Kim, encouragingly: “Only 7 miles to go to the hotel, guys!”
Richard: “I hope there’s going to be another hill to climb before the end?”
Peter: “I hope you burn in Hell!”