County Mayo – 2016

A few mates and myself had an idea of heading down to Mayo, climbing Croagh Patrick, and getting a few beers in Westport.   we headed down on the Friday, and the journey took roughly 4 hours.

We got set up in the place we were staying, and headed into the centre of town, got a feed, and got a few beers while taking in some Irish music, the atmosphere was electric in Matt Molloys, a definite must check out place if you are down around this part of the world!

The following day, we went up Croagh Patrick, at first, we were a bit knackered, and struggled to get up the first part of it.  Then, somehow, we got a second wind, and although I wouldnt say it was easy, but its definitely doable, as long as you have reasonable fitness.  At the top, it was really blowy, but the views around were spectacular, definitely worth the effort.  There’s a wee chapel at the top too,  if you feel inclined to say a wee prayer or two.

Only thing I noticed was that it was very gravelly, and was a bit awkward on the way down.  After coming back down Croagh Patrick, we headed back to Westport, and got showered and headed to the first bar, got a feed while watching the Tyrone vs Mayo game, and headed somewhwere else tow watch the rest of the match, and just done a pub crawl of Westport, ending up in a nightclub.

To be honest, I felt seriously out of place at times, once or twice I felt like an old man, luckily enough, we found a bar in the nightclub place where people were of similar age to us.  The following day, we drove back out to Croagh Patrick, and visited the famine memorial, and some wee church nearby.

It was a longer drive home, as there was some kind of tractor parade along the way, and the traffic in Enniskillen was horrendous.  Still, a good weekend was had, and I would heartily recommend visitng Westport and Croagh Patrick, a beautiful part of Ireland, and indeed, the world.

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Tour of Scotland – part 7

Final Day, Got a good fry up in the place iwas staying in, said my goodbyes, and then rode onto the boat for Larne.  It felt really good doing the journey, I couldve done it in a car, in my sleep, but doing it on a motorbike was a challenge, and very rewarding too.  I mightve said it before, but I think its a pity tha there isnt some passenger ferry service from Larne to Troon, as there is a good dual carriageway up to Larne now, and great transport links when you sail into Troon.

Overall, Glasgow and Edinburgh are interesting places to see, even though Edinburgh would probably be a visually nicer place, the road up to the highlands is amazing, some of the best scenery around, same goes for Cairngorm.

Tour of Scotland – part 6

On Saturday morning, I felt as  rough as a hedgehogs arse, got a few bananas in me, the hostel offered free tea (well, at least I think it was free), the tea tasted like someone has sweeped up the dirt up off the floor, and put said dirt in a teabag.  Anyway, after a while I felt better, and got loaded up and back on the road.

I tavelled from Edinburgh, passed in and around Glasgow, and then stopped off in Kilmarnock, but not before seeing a sign for………Moscow!  I thought “This is intriguing, must check this out later”, and headed into Kilmarnock for a fish supper.  It fairly lined my stomach, fish, chips, bread, nice pot of tea too!  I wouldnt day i seen much of the town, only thing that it would signify is that one of my great great grandparents came from there.

After that, I just had to check out this Scottish Moscow, followed the signs for it, was kind of out in the middle of nowhere, and found it.  To be honest, the place is tiny, it seems like a hamlet, there seemed to be a garage in it, but it was a garage where you got your car fixed, rather than a filling station.  Its strange some of the things you come across when travelling.

After that, I headed off to my final destination, Troon.  When I got there, I got settled into my digs, and went out for another fish supper, tasted great, but just had a quiet night, felt a bit cream crackered, The people I were staying with were a retired couple, and seemed very helpful and pleasant,  they said they were originally from Glasgow.

Troon itself seemed nice enough, but its more of a place to just pass through, than to stay any length of time.

Portugal – Albufeira

Weather was great here,  warm,  but not so warm that it would’ve melted you.

Got here on the Wednesday evening,  had a few beers, then hit the sack. Thursday I just soaked up some rays,  had a few sangrias, then headed out that evening in the strip.

Had good nights there,  even if the “strip” felt a bit false,  with the amount of “people” trying to entice you into their respective establishments.  The old town looked nicer, with plenty of people around it, just didnt feel any vibe, suppose its what you make of it.

The irony of the whole time away was that the only time I felt truly up for going out was the night I was leaving, went to a bar not far from where we were staying, good nights craic.

Still, it was good to get home, Albufeira is a good place for chilling out, and taking it easy.

Tour of Scotland – part 5

Day 5 started off in Dundee,  nothing wrong with the place,  just wouldn’t be in a rush to go back there. The road down to Edinburgh was pretty good,  some nice views to had on the way down, I intended on going to Knockhill, but ended up riding through a wee place called Kelty, and got some fuel at a wee garage called North Road Garage.   I also got to ride over Forth Road Bridge.

I landed in Edinburgh in the afternoon,  went to my accommodation,  which turned out to be seasonal steel containers,  with bunk beds inside them.   Price wise, it was dirt cheap, and it was handy to a nearby Asda and some shopping centre there.

Adfter i got settle it, I got suited and booted up, and headed into town, got a few beers, and went to some comedy show (by accident),  a couple of guys talking about wrestling, with some screen behind them to show funny videos, it was surprisingly enjoyable, then got an earlyish night, to get set for the next days journey.