Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Biking'n'surfing Lahinch

When preparing my move to Dublin, I had to decide on whether to sell my motorbike there, or bring it over to Dublin. Since I've yet to find a way to sort out my bike license, and Ireland is not one of the "ride your 125 with a B license" countries, it's not 100% legal to ride it here, I guess, even though I'm fully insured and registered. But I couldn't separate myself from Sputnik, for all the good and bad that bound us together! And I'm quite glad I brought it along.

So this last weekend I went on my first bike tour around Ireland. I decided to finally pick up surfing again, so I went to Lahinch, in the West coast, for a couple of days of surfing, and cruising around.

The outwards trip was a bit boring. The roads in Ireland have definitely improved a lot in the last few years, which is great news for car drivers, but not so much for small bikes! Poor Sputnik does 100Km/h top speed, screaming in pain. And the road from Dublin to Ennis is practically all motorway now... But once I got to the narrow roads of the Burren, Sputnik really showed all its glory!

As I messed up my way out of Dublin at the start, it took me nearly 5h to get there. No time to rest, as the surf lesson was just about to start, so straight to the sea it was, for an extra 2h. I was wrecked after that!

I had some homemade food in the hostel kitchen (all the way from Dublin, am I getting organised or what!), and then went for a couple of pints, and watch some live music. Coming back to the hostel at nearly 1h30am, I was still the first person returning to the room, which was full (13 beds)! I knew there was no way I could sleep until everyone was back, so I waited for a while, and when people starting coming back, I got to know quite a few of them - a great bunch!: Riona, Shauna, Eugene, Brian, Kevin, Christina and Alan.

The next day, I went surfing with them. Another great session, I love this stuff, and really need to keep it up, to see some progress. After surfing in the morning, the lads were really nice, and let me hang around for the day with them. We went up to the Cliffs of Moher (it's been a loooong time since I was last there), crossed a farmer's field, and had a picnic in the fields (with a gorgeous view point).

After that, we wandered around for a bit, looking for a viewpoint Kevin knew. It was well worth it: we found it in the end, and had a great vantage point all for ourselves!

We all hit the road after that, and I decided to avoid some of the motorway, by cutting across to Killaloe (thanks for the hint, Shauna and Riona!). The roads were just fabulous for Sputnik, and literally empty of cars, I had a wonderful time riding around. It was great to see Killaloe once again as well (it must have been 8 years or more, since I was last there).

That's it, I joined the Limerick-Dublin road after that, still had time to chat a bit with a biker from Belfast in the petrol station in Roscrea (who was astonished to see Sputnik, the tiny bike from Paris!), and then it was a boring motorway all the way home. I had a wonderful weekend, made some cool new friends, and can't wait to go back for more!


DoCeu said...

Mau! Há aqui 1 foto q é na Praia da Ursa!!! :)

Миша said...

Não conheço essa praia, mas parece-me que preciso de conhecer! (-:

JoaoN said...

Sim sim, na Irlanda até é conhecida como Big Dipper's beach! :P

Belas fotos! E gosto do teu "GPS manual" :)