Day 4: 74 miles
While today continued to be stunningly beautiful, as all the coast of Ireland had been so far, it had a very different feel with a lot more mountainous looking views. We had an amazing breakfast from the Waterland’s Retreat and certainly made it feel like they couldn’t do enough for us. They advised us that we could keep going up the hill that we had taken to get here the day before and this would drop down the other side and avoid going back down to the ‘main road’ (loose term seen as we hadn’t seen much traffic on it the previous day).
Dropping down the other side of the hill took us into Glengarriff, and from here we headed out to the Beara peninsula. We had a fairly sedate morning down to Castletownbere where we had tea and stocked up on supplies for lunch later on. We then met some hills with a Buddhist meditation centre located on the top of the hillside, the Buddhist prayer flags were not quite what I expected to meet on the Irish hillside, but Ireland does like to keep you guessing. The signs did inform us you could buy tea and cake with your mediation if you wished.
From here we dropped down into the coastal village of Allihies where we had lunch looking out at sea. We did start to get rather concerned that the village seemed to be surrounded by rather steep looking hills with no easy way out visible.
There was a short section of riding where it felt a bit like a rollercoaster and someone more adept to mountain biking and transferring their weight may have been able to do this section without peddling at all due to the short sections of up and downs while being on a cliff top with views out to sea which was quite distractingly beautiful when you also had to think about not cycling off a cliff edge. I then made the mistake of saying that we only had 15 miles to go, if I said there was a three-mile continuous downhill going down into Kenmare the only problem was that we had to get to the top of that before we could appreciate that run.
We made it to Kenmare and as we were self-catering stopped at a supermarket to buy dinner. We then found Glenview Lodge which also benefited from a washing machine and tumble drier which we made full use of. They had also supplied us with tea, milk, fruit and chocolate, so we were very happy for the night. I have to say that this day of cycling was one of the best days cycling I have ever had.
To Be Continued…