Motorcycle in Ireland – home time part 4
I wasn’t going directly home from Kenmare as I still had another overnight stay in Ireland. In addition to my stays in Listowel and Kenmare I had booked myself into Gullanes Hotel in Ballinasloe, one of the largest towns in County Galway.
Distance wise, if I were to have made a direct route it would only be about 150 or so miles, but as ever I didn’t plan to make a direct route to Dublin.
My initial plan for the day was to head over Molls Gap then on towards Madams Hill, Glin, Sixmilebridge and then Galway. After that I planned to head in the opposite direction to where my accomodation was in Ballinashoe. All things being equal I planned to then make a loop around Lough Corrib the second largest lake in Ireland before finding my accomodation.
As it turned out the decent weather I had enjoyed on the trip so far rapidly disappeared around about lunchtime on Thursday.
Although it had been a slightly damp start to the day the morning weather had been pretty decent and I particularly enjoyed my ride through Killarney National Park.
Here comes the rain
Travelling towards Limerick saw grey skies and rain become the order of the day. In addition to rain and clouds the temperature dropped by a few degrees and the weather outlook wasn’t promising
Nonetheless, despite the change in weather, the rainfall wasn’t enough to make riding a problem. Not being a problem didn’t make it ideal either, so I decided to change my plan. The change of plan essentially involved cutting out the loop around Lough Corrib and replacing it with a more direct route to Gullanes Hotel. Consequently I knocked a couple off hours of my ‘riding day’ and checked in early at around 3pm.
Gullanes Hotel was relatively large when compared to the sort of accomodation I normally stay in when travelling. The welcome at reception was warm and homely.
The reception staff were quick to offer me a place to leave my bike overnight. My bike was tucked away off the main car park and quite secure behind locked doors (in a sort of indoor storage area).
After getting showered and changed I took a walk around Ballinashoe before heading back to the hotel for a drink, a bite to eat and a decent nights sleep.
Ballinashoe is known for it’s annual horse fair. Incredibly this town of about 6,000 residents attracts in excess of 80,000 visitors to the horse fair. If it’s the sort of thing that interests you, then you can read more about at this link.
There are two separate picture gallery’s in this post. The first picture gallery is directly below.
Please scroll down for the second and final picture gallery from the final day of my trip as I made my way to the Port of Dublin for the ferry to Anglesey.
Picture gallery 1 – Thursday
Clicking on any of the images below will open a picture gallery that you can click or scroll through.
Back to the Port of Dublin
Friday was the last day of my short Irish road trip. Without a doubt this had been a really enjoyable trip. In some ways it had felt quite different and unlike other road trips, maybe because of the familiarity of some of the other trips I have done.
Any which way Friday was my last day which meant I needed to make my way back to the Port of Dublin for the Stena Line ferry to Holyhead in Anglesey.
After breakfast and after checking out of Gullanes Hotel I headed for Shannon Bridge, Kinnity, Ballyfin and Naas. I had no trouble at all in finding back roads and quiet lanes to ride down.
I had successfully avoided motorways for the time I had been in Ireland and I was determined that would remain the case on my last day.
Frankly it would have been easier to take the M50 motorway into the port as maintaining my avoidance of motorways meant riding through the city of Dublin. Despite it being a Friday afternoon and busy, it was a long way from being the worst city centre biking experience I have had. Paris wins that one!.
I arrived at Terminal 2 on time and had only a short wait before boarding the ferry. This time there were probably around 20 bikers, most of them from Germany and many of them carrying more luggage on their bikes than I would probably consider carrying in my car if I was to be away for a month!
The crossing on the Stena Lines ferry was routine and comfortable. The onward journey from Holyhead to my home in Manchester in the north west of England was dull but uneventful. Other than a 20 minute or so period in Anglesey the weather remained mild and rain free.
A very decent trip
All in all it had been a very decent trip, and in truth had exceeded expectations. I’m pretty sure I will be back in Ireland sometime on a bike. Although it’s unlikely to be this year due to other plans and commitments I’m certain I will be back in Ireland sometime soon with my wife. There are so many places to see and that I want to see with her.
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Picture Gallery – Friday
Clicking on any of the images below will open the final picture gallery from the Ireland trip. You can click or scroll through the pictures.