07.08.2015 - 07.08.2015
On Wednesday morning 5 August our ferry from Troon to Larne in Northern Ireland sailed at 11:45 so we said our goodbyes to Jim and Heather and set off to ride 166 kms to the P&O terminal.
With us crossing the Irish Sea were many bikes heading to the Ulster GP that was on that weekend. We made friends with a group from Lithuania, Baltic Bikers. The crossing took 2.5 hours so we found comfy seats and had a snooze. Off again in Larne and down the freeway to find the HD dealer just out of Belfast, well 30 miles out! I ran out of petrol just as we rolled into the driveway so Jim gave me a splash and after a quick coffee I left him there getting the job done. With Conor now leading we headed off only for me to run out of gas AGAIN this time on the freeway. By the time the other three bikes had stopped I had about 600 metres to push my bike to where they had pulled up. Conor bled some petrol from Kay's bike into my water bottle and off we went getting fuel another mile down the road. A couple of traffic jams (by now peak hour) to get to the south side of the city to Windermere House and a well deserved pint!
In Belfast our accom was just around the corner from where we stayed on our UK tour in 2009 and we ate and drank at the same pub, The Botanic, we did 6 years ago. The next morning dawned sunny and we all headed into the city to catch the Hop on Hop off bus for a morning's tour.
We drove past many points of interest and through West Belfast and up the loyalist Shankill road and the republican Falls road where the International Peace Wall is located. This was a very moving and confronting experience.
We had a sandwich at a top little deli and walked back to load up and ride off to Dublin around 2pm. Weather still OK we rode the A1/M1 stopping off for a coffee at Drogheda, about one hour out of Dublin. With our wet weathers off, we rode confidently into peak traffic only to have the heavens open and arrive at Abrae Court Guest House in the suburb of Rathgar on the southside quite damp...
Good little room, a triple, in a quiet groovy location. Dinner and beers at the local and then a deep and satisfying sleep.
Jim did not accompany Frank and me on Friday to go ride the Hop on Hop off bus so the two of us set off on the number 14 bus into Dublin City about 9:30am. We got a top seat on the top deck of the HoHo bus and enjoyed a couple of hours of seeing Dublin from atop a double decker. Guess what? The weather forecast lied and F and I got wet as we walked back to the guesthouse to meet Jim for lunch. Murphys stayed with relatives so the three musketeers spent a lazy afternoon resting in readiness for our journey west to Limerick on Saturday. Dinner on Friday night was at pub 10 minutes walk away where I ate one of the best meals I have had all trip.