Um… guys…. Did I really bicycle from Dublin to Wexford? Did that really happen? YES! I absolutely can’t believe it.
After combating jet-lag (Tara – 1, Jet-lag – 0) and whilst having an absolute BALL in Dublin, I said farewell to my new found Irish friends and my new home away from home to set off into the wild Irish yonder. Next stop – Wicklow mountains.
Me being the ‘expert bicyclist’ that I am, I made sure to cycle half of the way in the lowest gear on the front derailleur. Yeah, not really – I’m an idiot on a bike… I didn’t have a clue! I was pretty nervous setting out for the first time not really knowing what to expect. I’ve seen how there’s a lot of kamikaze drivers out there… but the Dublin traffic was kind to me and the drivers seemed to take mercy. Thank you.
I finally shifted my gear to the large derailleur and I was well on my way – up hill. Um guys…. you’ve been telling me for ages that Ireland is just one big rock in the ocean. Where the heck did this MOUNTAIN come from? Shouldn’t the rain erode the mountains down to flat little chunks of rock? I was questioning the whole time, “Am I really going to go up this hill? YES. OMG…..
Who’s idea was it to go bicycling around Ireland? Oh, yeah.. that’s right… I shifted back down to the lowest gear but still felt like a deer in headlights. I really hoped I made it to my destination before sun set. It was only 1:30pm in the arvo.
Along the way, I sampled some of Ireland’s finest blackberries which are pretty much scattered along every single road I took and eventually arrived (oddly) with a few hours of light to spare…
The next day, I made my way to Glendalough and I’m really glad I did. I had a fantastic wander around this magical place taking in as much as I could. It was an absolute wonderful first stop to really take in all the magic of Ireland.
The one thing I really noticed whilst walking to the second lake is how truly quiet it is. You won’t hear cars, or planes… or if you time your walk right, you won’t even hear people. You’ll have the lake and view, all to yourself.
And, the water acted as a really big mirror reflecting the gorgeous scenery. I was pretty speechless when I arrived. In my head, I really tried to play it cool but I was totally #OMGFREAKINOUT.
Then, it was time once again to go. I was heading toward Gorey. But, there was an incident.
About 10k outside Glendalough, I stopped on the side of the road, had a drink of water and changed to a lighter jacket. It was only about a 5 minute stop. I hopped back on the bicycle. Then, right in front of me, it looked like this crazy wall of green. I couldn’t really make it out.. but the closer I got, it seemed that there was some massive tree blocking the ENTIRE ROAD.
I was right. Two lovely Irish blokes emerged from the fallen tree. They told me that if I arrived a few minutes earlier, I could have been squashed! Could it have been the leprechauns or banshees everyone has been warning me about?
After a nice chat, they cleared me a path and I was on my way again! Phew… crisis adverted!
I made some friends along the way ! And, Yes! I walked up a few hills! No, I am not ashamed by it. The beta version of Google Maps gave me fantastic bicycling directions over a few mountains. Yes, I cursed a few times… and I started to yell at the wind, but let me tell you… that it was fine – I couldn’t help but laugh. Again, this was MY idea… I cant get mad, right? Its not even raining and I’m yelling!
I stopped in Avoca. This little town looks like it’s one giant movie set! It’s where they shot Ballykissangel. I took in all the sights and had a MASSIVE feed, then I was off again. I made it to my final port of call at 5pm. A little too close to night time for my liking – which has been noted for next time.
The next day, I got to hang out with school kids at Gorey Community School. This is quite possibly my FAVOURITE part of this adventure. I spoke with the kids about living out your dreams, going on adventures, travel and answered questions about Home and Away (I was a Promotions Producer for Home and Away for a few years). I’ll be writing more about my experience at the Gorey Community School later – this was a really rewarding experience.I continued on toward Wexford. I experienced SCARY wind for the first time and I have come to the conclusion that I HATE wind. Hills, not so much… You at least have the payoff of coming down the hill… but there’s no pay off with wind, unless it’s behind you.. and it wasn’t – it was in front of me the entire time. I finally made it to my first big rest stop. Hello Wexford. You’re gorgeous. Let’s hang out!
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!