Yes, it’s true, I am Ireland bound! As I write, Delta Airlines is bumping me through the air and I have long forgotten the 3:00 AM alarm clock that truncated my much-cherished shut-eye. First stop: New York and then Dublin. Two more segments; bus and then train will deliver us (hubby and me) to the Giant’s Causeway on the Northern Ireland coast. (Go ahead – Google “Giant’s Causeway” and you will begin to get my giddiness).
Northern Ireland; the birthplace of my parents, grandparents and a still-flourishing family tree of aunts, uncles and cousins – many of whom still reside in this Emerald Isle of saints and scholars – and one of the friendliest places on earth. It will be my third visit.
I am barely across one time zone and yet I know this will go down as one of my top five best vacations. Ever. Among the rankings include:
- Revisiting childhood happiness with my son’s first trip to Disneyland, 1991
- Experiencing first-hand my Irish roots on my first trip to Ireland, 1996
- Honeymooning on Castaway Island with an amazing man who was worth a 20-year wait (Fiji), 2007
- Feasting with wonder and all five senses in the old and new worlds of Xian and Beijing, China, 2011
- Exploring by bike the rugged and breathtakingly beautiful Kiwi-land (New Zealand), 2013
- Oops, looks like a Top 6 list!
This coast-to-coast Ireland bike trek will treat us to four days of rolling, green, postcard-worthy scenery. Three hundred and fifty miles by saddle, with stops in Belfast, Dublin, Kilkenny and finally to Cork. “Across the Divide”, our tour company, is upgrading our usual bike-and-tent touring habit with full support: rest stops, meals, a rolling mechanic and best of all, a hotel every evening!
Are you starting to get the picture that learning to climb hills might be worth every sweaty drop?
If you prefer a sweat-less trip, then come along as I share some photos and an occasional story from the land of leprechauns and legends. Not sure how many photos or posts this online journey will include (I don’t like to sweat either) but if you’re good with the random and irregular, follow me.
I’ll end this post by introducing you to Jackie, the first person I met on this sure-to-be-epic adventure. A forester and Portland-resident wannabe, Jackie is returning to the Massachusetts after a coast-to-coast road trip with her family. We became acquainted at the moment of takeoff – confirming we would share the luxury of an empty seat between us on an otherwise full flight.
After sharing smiles and a brief exchange to discover each another’s origins and destinations, Jackie asked, “So, is Portland a friendly place to new bicyclists?” …
Read next post in the series: Arrived!
Ireland by Bike Series: