Being greeted at the gate by Geri (my aunt) made for a swift exit from the Dublin airport: bikes and husband packed under and into the bus; niece and auntie tucked into the not-sizable-for-bikes-plus-husband Toyota.
The ninety-minute northbbound drive to Belfast afforded us a wonderful window of one-on-one; a rare and precious gift that I have learned not to take for granted. While “craic” is the usual conversational fare in these parts, we opted for a satisfying blend of personal, professional and spiritual.
A one-night stay in Belfast with Aunt Betty provided a place to land, reassemble bikes, feast on potates, and thoroughly enjoy an onslaught of Irish relatives who were curious to meet the crazed American cousins/cyclists. Oh, and did I mention the Irish fry (traditional fried eggs, bacon, tomatoes and potato bread)? This trip, regardless of miles, will not be marked by weight loss, especially given my strategy of pre-loading calories with a Cadbury’s chocolate bar every day.
That was d-3 (where d = the day our cycling tour begins).
Yesterday (d-2) we said our Belfast goodbyes, boarded the Northern Ireland Railway and continued our northward journey towards the starting line. It took us as far as Coleraine and we biked the remaining ten miles to the Smuggler’s Inn at Bushmills. I will let these few photos fill in rest of the days preceding our start (tomorrow).
Read next post in the series: It’s Go Time
Ireland by Bike Series: