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A tour of Ireland

Published: 23 November 2006

My friends David Thrussell,Kevin Howsen and Mathieu Booth, and myself, Graham Pugh, decided to take our two 2005 R1s, a Triumph 955i and a Ducati Monster on a five day trip to Ireland covering 1,442 miles on some of the best and worst roads in Ireland. We started in Ware, Hertfordshire at 5.15am on the Monday, travelling to Fishguard in Wales for the ferry to Rosslare. 
We pre-booked our four nights B&B with Leisure Breaks. Our first night was in Blarney, County Cork. The weather turned as soon as we hit Wales and the rain and wind followed us across the Irish sea. 
After a well earned night on the town and a full Irish breakfast, we set off up the West coast, round the `Ring of Kerry`. The rain having stopped and the sun braking through, we continued North West to Killaloe, Co Clare and on to Donegal for our 2nd and 3rd nights. 
Then across to Northern Ireland and the `Giants Causeway` and then an emotional visit to `Joey Dunlops bar` in Ballymoney. Our last night was in Dundalk north of Dublin, then for our first use of the motorways with a blast down to Dun Laoghaire for the ferry to Hollyhead.

Back in Wales we crossed the `Snowdonia national park` with great biking roads, then on to the boring motorways home.
The best moments had to be the N70 Ring of Kerry road, with great views and lots of twists and turns and the N22 from Mallow to Killarny,fantastic. Plus the full Irish breakfast, and a pint of Smithwicks. Yum!
The weirdest was meeting a newly wed couple on the ferry on their honeymoon, with a bike, a tent and little else.
Scariest was rounding a corner at 60 mph to find a slow moving tractor in our path! Wet roads and braking hard don’t mix.
Funniest was thinking Kevin had crashed when he went missing - he stopped for a pee but didn’t tell any one. Either that, or Matt doing line dancing in a Donegal pub. You had to be there. 
The next trip will be back to west coast after either the North West 200, Scotland or Assen...

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