It was raining when we got up and it would be a rainy ride all morning. 53 miles and 4,000 ft of climbing would keep us on our toes. Not to far out of Skibbereen was this graveyard our bus driver had shown us the other day. While still a ‘working’ cemetery . . .
. . . like in many town cemeteries there is a ‘vacant’ looking area with no headstones. This is where folks who perished in the Great Famine rest. Over 10,000 unrecorded souls have been buried in some of the cemeteries.
A little further down the road was the Dromberg Stone Circle . . .
. . . Irelands version of Stonehenge. The carbon dating has determined items at the site to be from a period of 1000 – 800BC, during the Bronze age. A woman I talked to who was walking down the approach road said we would miss the fantastic view of the countryside from this high point. She was right . . . FOG!!!
. . . after stopping for a snack the rain went to more of a dense fog/water hanging in the air.I stopped to put my vest on because I was cold and found this ‘art shot’ over my shoulder!!!
We’d be bicycling along the coast most of the day today but seeing much of it was impossible because of the rain and fog. Here was a large tidal pool area that was now drained . . . lots of shorebird activity. Tide’s out!!!
We stopped for a short break at a Super Valu (reminded me of home) where they had a wide selection of deli goodies. Kerry was excited about the hummus bar!!! And they have painted elephants, similar to our cows in MSN.
After lunch there was a road closure due to construction and we had to wander around bit to finds our way. And, Yes . . . men can stop and ask for directions. We thought we knew which may to go but Don verified it with Mary Marie who was out for a little walk.
Again today we stayed of the main regional roads on quiet lanes ranging from two full lanes to barely one. There are NEVER any shoulders,but low traffic counts. I think the road crew may have had one to many Guinness’s at lunch before they completed this striping job.
. . . a great old church ruin along the way . . .
The rain finally stopped and the sun started popping through the clouds as we cycled around bay after bay. Here was a sign advertising an upcoming ‘Pain’ or ‘Pleasure’ bike ride, The Jagged Edge Tour.
Our wandering along the bays and coves is part of a regional biking area know as the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’. We will be riding along it for a day or two before we turn inland.
After a day of rain and LOTS of elevation gain it was nice to ‘move into’ the McDonald Hotel and Spa for the night . . .
. . . beautiful views of the countryside from the lobby, and yes we had one last big climb up the the hotel . . .
. . . and, brightly lit rooms!
Soon all the riders were in, cleaned up and it was time for Happy hour . . .
. . .which morphs into our nightly day review/map meeting . . .
Tour leader Tom reviews the Wild Atlantic Way route.
. . .and then it was time for dinner. Choice of three starters, I had the fish cake with a Hollandaise type sauce . . .
choice of three entrees, I had the salmon with peas coulis and pea pods . . .
. . . and everyone had their own little dessert sampler plate. 4,000 foot of climbing today + Happy Hour + Big Dinner = . . . zzzzzzzz