We soon realised, that we won’t get to the good places on foot or by just relying on public transport. I stumbled across a website on the interwebs promising a bike tour for “Derry Day Trippers”. It sounded just right for us, inexperienced tourists, a simple day tour on bikes to see Ireland’s most northern point. Some 40 km of flat lands. Or so we thought.
We ordered the tour from cycleinishowen, included the meal deal and then one nice Tuesday we took the bus up to Cardonnagh and there got our bikes from the lovely guy working in his small office. We got some details on the way we should take, packed our stuff in the backpockets, grabbed our lunch and off we went.
The weather was rather grey and cold and windy that day. Perfect for biking.
Here I am, sporting perfectly a security west and an accidental skirt. Back in the days I was not yet used to wear skirts.
One of the bikes. Good quality touring bikes. Definitely not the weakest link in our plans.
Doro looks way better in her security west than I did.
The weather got a bit nicer. But the wind kept blowing mercilessly in our faces. Constantly. It took us ages to advance on the coast line, pedaling at full force and barely making 10 km/h. And the hills did not yet begin.
When we approached the first mountain we had to get off the bikes after some 20 meters. We pushed the bikes up the slope. We regretted the decision already, but spirits were still good enough to continue.
I concentrated on pedaling and so did not take more pictures until we made a significant amount of progress. Always knowing that every slope we could finally decent was a slope we had to climb again on the way back.
This cottage looked really nice, quite far north already. The coast in the background is also Ireland. Cows and sheep were standing on green pastures, having the most beautiful view all day long. “Like in a meat commercial”, as I clearly observed.
The country got rougher, worn down by the constant wind, nothing taller than a bush could grow here. We had our lunch on a small resting place, holding everything tightly as the wind nearly managed to blow a whole bike away.
This is it. The northernmost point of Ireland. Malin’s Head.
We quickly headed back to Cardonnagh as we spent more than two thirds of our time making the way up to this point. And although it was promised that the way back was easier, we didn’t want to take chances.
The yellow dot is Doro.
The coast was marked by volcanic stone with a lot of sulfur marks.
I then started to take the pictures while riding the bike. Don’t do this at home, kids. It’s highly dangerous and only trained stuntmen like me should do such a thing.
When going down the mountain we experienced another of these typical Irish moments. Having mostly seen grey skies for the whole day, wind in our faces, with rain from time to time, we suddenly had a clear sky, sunshine, the wind in our backs and a relaxing way back.
We even had the time to set the camera to self-timing and take a souvenir photo. We look happier than we actually were, after about 50 km up and down, with the forces of nature against us.
We arrived on time back in Cardonnagh to give our bikes back, have a chat with the guy from the office and then taking our bus back to Derry. We arrived in Derry at about 7 pm. We just made it under the shower before collapsing in bed. We slept about 14 hours before we were able to get back up. Yes, we are really good in shape.