Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Awakening! Ireland's Extremities

It's been a long, cold winter, not that we saw much of it, as we slumbered soundly and built up our fat reserves for 2009.

Finally wakened on the 1 March by the crows starting to build again, it took the anniversary of the murder of Julius Caesar, followed by the St Patrick's Day celebrations, to finally motivate us to whip off the double duvet and spring to life.

We're back on the bikes for another epic from 23 - 30 May 2009, to try and make ourselves even more miserable than we were on The Ulster Way in May 2008... we're going for Ireland's Extremities - North, South, East and West, plus the highest mountain in each of the four provinces of Ireland, all with the bikes and all our gear, unsupported, in 8 days.

It would be great to have a few of the old crew join us for bits (or all) of it, so drop us a line if you want any details. Mark and Enda are already on board for the trip.

Rough Itinerary:

(Note, we plan to take a good lunch stop every day for a MASSIVE feed of chicken and chips, so it's not all bad!)

22 May - Travel to Crookhaven near Brow Head (which is the true South point, and NOT Mizen Head), getting a lift all the way

23 May - Bike circa 90 miles to Carauntouhill (highest point in Munster, and Ireland), climb it with bikes, then bike 10 miles to Killorglin B&B

24 May - Bike circa 120 miles to Tarbert B&B (on the Shannon), via Garraun Point on the Dingle Peninsula (West point)

25 May - Quick ferry over Shannon, bike 40 miles to Doolin via Cliffs of Moher, ferry to Aran Islands, have lunch, circle island on bikes, ferry to Rossaveel, bike 40 miles to Killary Harbour B&B

26 May - Speedboat across Killary Harbour, climb steep side of Mweelrea (highest point in Connaught) with bikes, then bike circa 100 miles to Athlone or thereabouts, TBC

27 May - Bike circa 90 miles to Donard B&B, Co. Wicklow, via the geographical centre point of Ireland at Ballymore, just outside Athlone, the Catstone.

28 May - Climb Lugnaquilla (highest point in Leinster) with bikes, bike circa 90 miles to Ardee or thereabouts, TBC

29 May - Bike circa 100 miles to Belfast or Antrim, via speedboat across Carlingford Lough, climbing Slieve Donard (highest point in Ulster), ferry to Portaferry, and Burr Point on the Ards Peninsula (East point)

30 May - Bike circa 100 miles to Malin Head (North point), getting the ferry at Magilligan to Greencastle, and after we get there, get a lift back home to Antrim.