Day 114, Sat 22 April
Sad farewells to Kells. I loved the Beach Pod. The right shape to put on wheels and steal away behind a cart-horse or two. But not with a thoroughbred race-bike like Fondo. First stop Killorglin, a lovely little town where I couldn’t resist a photo of King Puck himself, central character of hundreds of years of tradition, standing proudly on his stone plinth. Then another meeting with Mick from Kells, working in the same town today, who insisted I joined him for his lunch break as I was passing through, then insisted I had one of his sandwiches. What a great new friend I have. I tried to refuse but I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve never had a roast duck, avocado and beetroot pickle sandwich before. Delicious. Typical lunch fodder for a hard working Irish landscape gardener.
Less than an hour up the road the fuel tank was empty again. Next cafe, must stop. O’Brien’s of Castlemain, a general store which really did seem to sell everything, including hot snacks of any description, made to order. Many thanks to the lovely Sinead at the deli counter for quickly producing the less adventurous sounding, but still very nourishing, classic bacon & egg sandwich, along with a kind donation to the cause.
Did the Romans ever reach here? The road from Castlemain suggests so. After the typical rolling, winding roads of the Ring of Kerry along the east-bound south side of Dingle Bay, the first 12 miles heading back west on the north side of the bay were as straight as an arrow. Not really monotonous, but my mind did wander, along those straight but bumpy miles, about the confusing use of units of distance. Most signs now show kilometres, but the occasional old cast iron signpost still displays miles. Curiously, the huge sand spit beach now on my left, perfect for horse racing, stretching more than half way out into the bay, is called Inch. After a winding inland climb and downhill dash, I found myself in Dingle Town ahead of schedule. A quick decision needed. Is there enough fuel in the tank to extend today’s fifty-two miler by another 20? If so, I could do the Slea Head Ride around to the most westerly point. Check in to local B&B, bags unloaded. Sun still shining. Away …
A significant five minutes of fame for Fondo. At Dunmore Head, looking west, the most westerly bicycle in Ireland! And probably Northern Europe.
A longer day on the road than planned. But that’s good. Fewer miles tomorrow.