Quite a night at the hotel last night as they hosted 150 young woman, their dates and families upon the completion of their ‘finishing school’ Some of our group had rooms right next to the large room the group had reserved for a dance and the music did not quit until they were ‘finished’ at 2:30am. Glad I was on the other side of the building. Our bikes were stored inside two sheds and if you were one of the first ones to get your bike out this morning it was like a game of pick up sticks!!!
Today would be another relatively short day, about 34 miles. I chose the Waterford Greenway route to see what the Ireland ‘Rails to Trail’ is all about . . . it was nice!!!
. . . all of the road crossings on the 34 miles stretch have these double gates to prevent cars from driving on the surface. The whole trail is paved, with a surface much smoother than the roads we have been riding on during the ride. AND . . . no trail pass required!!!
oh . . . they have bridges that look older and more decorative than those on our trail system in WI.
. . . and did I mention the views are a little more stunning those at home on the Badger or Glacial Drumlin.
. . . there were some dramatic cuts along the way . . .
. . . and even a tunnel. Could easily have been a photo of the Sparta Elroy or Badger Trail tunnels . . .
. . . but this one had lighted alcoves through the length of the tunnel. No headlight required!!!
. . . riders also leave little mementos to friends and lovers on the wall approaching and leaving the tunnel . . . nice!!!
. . . the trail paralleled the region road for some distance and it was usually down below us like in this photo. Very picturesque!!
oh . . .and there were flowers along the way . . .
lots and lots . . .
. . . and lots
. . . of flowers.
oh yeah, did I mention the scenery was not to shabby either. Great vistas!!!!
. . . the trail did pass under paved roads in several locations using the standard poured concrete construction but it also served as a canvas for local artists. Here Traci TREK gets a couple of smoochies!!!
. . . about half way though the ride the trail crossed a river on this high viaduct. I got off and rode down into the town and enjoyed a little bun and a coffee.
. . . another example of some home renovation being done. New roof and stone work.
Three quarters of the way to Waterford there was a train depot that served food and had rides available on a small train into Waterford.
. . . the rain must have been getting ready to roll because there were guys in bright vest EVERYWHERE. They were also stationed further down the road at road crossings. I believe they were volunteer train enthusiasts helping out the cause.
. . . oh and if you meet the train going under this bridge YOU need to give the train the right of way on the tight passage or you might loose an arm!!!
. . . I may not have mentioned today that the coastal views were stunning!!!
. . . the trail ended at this point in Waterford. Dungarven where it had started this morning had quite the little park and visitor center for the start of the trail Waterford is a much bigger city than Dungarven and evidently don’t consider the trail as big a deal. Here is the rather unceremonious ending point in Waterford!!!
Tonight we are staying at the Waterford Marina Hotel located at the convergence of the Suir River and one of it’s tributaries . . .
. . . which when we had arrived was a victim of the tide being out!!! In this area of Ireland the tide flows in, and out, twice a day. Crazy!!!
Roommate Don worked with Liam, an Irishman, back in the 70’s in the United States Liam and Maria eventually moved back to Ireland but Don and him have stayed in contact. They live in Waterford so Don set up a dinner date and invited five us from the tour to head to dinner with them . . . and away we went!!!
I had been hearing about the fish pie and decided to give it a try. Cod, smoked haddock, salmon in a cream sauce topped with whipped potatoes . . .comfort food . . . YUMMM!!!!!
. . . after several glasses of wine it just seemed appropriate to have a nice hot brownie with salted caramel ice cream and whipped cream. Wouldn’t hurt anyone (I don’t think????)
There are lots of Viking exhibits around town and here is a typical size boat the Vikings would use in their raiding parties . . .
. . . and hear is a ‘Paul Bunyan’ version of a Viking sword carved from a single tree!!!
, . . . it was a perfect night and with a full moon. Sixty miles tomorrow and 3,500 feet of climbing!!!!