The Pub Ride

Day 18: London to Gillingham – 69km

We had a later than usual start so that we wouldn’t be in rush hour traffic when we left the hotel at 9:30 am.

The ride I am on – “The Pub Ride” – was so popular is sold out in a matter of days, so TDA decided to run “Pub Ride 2” as well. Pub Ride 2 left Dublin three days after us so they will be arriving in London tonight. It is interesting to hear the differences as various riders from both groups talk to each other. As an example, the day we rode from Boston to Cambridge we had great weather with no wind. Pub Ride 2 battled a really strong head wind all day, and didn’t get into Cambridge in time to visit the town. However it also means what didn’t work well for us can be corrected for them. They still went to the Smoke House in Grimsby, but they were down stairs in the main restaurant, had quicker service, and had a great time.

I am very pleased, as is everyone else, that the proposed 43 convey out of London has been reduced to 10 km. Getting out of London was so much easier than getting in, and we came to the end of the convoy very quickly.


Convoy out of London, just passing St. Paul’s Cathedral

After a few kms through the city we then went for about 10 km along a bike path along the Thames, past housing estates and Thames Dock areas. We passed some more geese and ducklings swimming in the murky brown river.


Bike path along the Lower Thames

We stopped at Greenwich as we wanted see a few things. First of all “The Cutty Sark” which was clipper ship that bought tea to England 1869 to 1895. This was one of the fastest ships, and did well in the annual tea race to be first in port with tea. It’s top speed was 17.5 knots (32.4km/hr). The Cutty Sark is one of only 3 remaining original ships of this kind from the 19th century. It had an unusual name so I was curious to find out where it came from. Cutty Shark is the nickname of the witch Nannie Dee in Robert Burns 1791 poem Tom O ‘Shanten.


Next to see is the Greenwich Foot Tunnel under the River Thames. Opened in 1902, it is 370.2 metres in length. There are both lifts and stairs to get down to the tunnel and it is for pedestrians and bikes (being pushed) to get from one side to the other.


Brett and Tony in the tunnel (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook page)

Then off to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich prime meridian which is where longitude is measured around the world, east or west in degrees. This is where you find zero.


Straddling the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. With one foot in the Eastern and the other in the Western Hemisphere

We went through some quite busy towns, but also some quiet country roads. Just before lunch we came across a paddock with a number of horses and foals, some of them really small still.

Due to late start, and the stopping along the way, we didn’t get to lunch until after 3pm. No wonder I was starting to feel hungry.


Brett and me cycling into the lunch spot (Photo credit: TDA Instagram page)


Lunch stop (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook)

After lunch only 15 km to ride. Every day, along with our notes, Michael Coo – one of the TDA staff – recommends a pub to visit. Today is the “Coopers Arms” in Rochester. On the way up through the village we came across the most crooked building I have ever seen, and then on the hill to the pub we went past Rochester Castle.

Rochester Castle (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook)


The pub had a lovely outside area, and we sat outside having a cold beer in the sun. My legs weren’t that happy to get working again, especially as there were a couple of hills to climb.IMG_5192.jpg


Coming up one hill I was distracted by looking at headstones in a cemetery and rode straight into a pole – ouch! I have a nice bruise on my left arm to show for it, but luckily was not knocked off my bike.

We stayed at the King Charles Hotel, which was past its best days, but was pleased to get there. Only just had time for a shower and change before riders meeting and dinner.

There were a number of woman walking around in a range of costumes, it turned out the pub was having a ladies night that night. There were a number of hens parties taking advantage of the male free evening.

Had dinner with Shirley and Dan and Michele and Tony. We had soup which was most likely pumpkin, and a very small turkey main meal with boiled potatoes, carrots, and peas, followed by a ice-cream sundae.


Rochester (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook)

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Day 5: Kilmarnock to Edinburgh – 103km

103 k with 900 meters climbing

Some step roads but overall a better ride than yesterday. In the morning quite a bit of climbing but pretty much downhill from 61 k where we had lunch. Rode quite a bit of the afternoon with Shirley and Dan.

Mostly country roads but coming into Edinburgh was pretty busy.


When we got to the hotel it was only 1:30 and we had to wait until 3pm for the room to be ready . We are staying at the Apex Hotel Grass Market.



Edinburgh Castle from our hotel


To fill in time we went to the Fiddlers Inn and had a cold beer and a tasting platter that included haggis balls. They tasted ok but hard to tell with anything fried, especially when it was that big, whether you are tasting the frying or the actual flavour of the food.

While we were at the Fiddlers Arms a March for Irish prisoners rights came past complete with bands followed closely by police.

For dinner we went to a pub called The Worlds’ End. It is called this as it was where the golden mile from Edinburgh Castle stopped and that was considered the end of the city. We had a couple of drinks and dinner there, it was ok but nothing outstanding.


After that we went to to the White Hart Inn and had another drink before going back to the hotel. We all had an Edinburgh Gin was quite nice. The pub had a security guard that made us laugh, was not quite what you would expect and not sure they would be able to do the job in NZ.

After that, off to the hotel, yay a sleep in tomorrow.



Bodyguard outside the pub


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Day 4: Belfast, Ireland to Kilmarnock, Scotland

Up at 5am to be ready for bags to the truck at 5:30 and riders meeting at 5:45am. Getting the bikes out I was chatting to Sue and Duncan who are doing the ride on a tandem. They are from the USA. This is their first TDA ride but they have been riding a tandem since 2000. Duncan is about 6 foot and Sue is quite short so when they come to a stop Sue can’t actually put her feet on the ground. They had an accident on the last riding day and Duncan has sore ribs, hopefully he will be alright for riding today.

Also had a chat to Shirley and Dan, also from the USA. Shirley and Dan are doing the Africa ride in 2019 which goes from Cairo to Capetown. They are not going to do the whole ride, and are going to start in Nairobi. Another TDA friend of mine Jacqui from Australia did this last year and the photos were amazing. Shirley is trying to enlist me on the ride as well.

6am – off in a convoy for 6 km to the ferry. The ferry is a Stena line ferry and is about twice the size of the New Zealand Interislander ferry. The journey is two and a half hours and we dock at Cairnryan in Scotland.


Convoy to the ferry

The weather is cold and misty with a bit of drizzle and the forecast isn’t promising. To start up with we all line up for breakfast. To make it easy on the ferry catering staff we are all having exactly the same thing: 1 fried egg; bacon, hash brown, a sausage and a piece of Soda bread, and 2 slices of white toast plus tea or coffee. I didn’t eat the sausage or bacon but ate the rest as a long ride today. The tea or coffee was a bottomless cup which was good.

It would have been a good chance to catch up with the blog but unfortunately I didn’t have access to my bag again until tonight and can’t take the iPad on the bike. It was pretty boring sitting around on the boat and I got up a couple of times and walked around. In the gift shop I saw and bought a silly Scottish hat and amused myself taking photos of fellow riders wearing it.

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When we docked it was still misty and cold but not at this stage raining. We had been told to meet in a car park and a number of us were following Caitlin from TDA as we assumed he knew where to go, but it turned out he took us off in the wrong direction. It added a couple of kilometres before we got back to the car park. Esther TDA handed out some food to keep people going till lunch as it was already after 10 and we had 50 km to ride until the lunch spot.


On the road to Kilmarnock. Showers and thunderstorms around.

To start we had about 10 km of climbing which wasn’t too steep, mostly about a 6% gradient. As the road is long and straight I was not looking out for flags. I was riding with Brett but he is much better at hills than me so he disappeared into the distance. I had passed a few riders and then as I was riding along there was a couple of work trucks on a bridge which I had to swerve out to pass. I kept going and had a big hill climb and then down into a town. I checked my notes and it said “left at 31 km” so I went left but was a bit puzzling as I couldn’t see a bridge, but there hadn’t been any flags so off I went.

After a couple of kilometres and a few turns with no flagging I’m like “yep I’m lost” so I went into a petrol station to ask. So much easier in an English speaking country. They said to go back through the town and turn at about 7 km onto the A14 which I did. Once more no flagging but this is the A14 and it does have the right town name on it so off I went another substantial climb.

After another 7 km and still no other riders or flags I was getting really concerned and flagged down a motorist and asked directions. Just then another rider came up the hill from the other direction and the turn was just behind me. Thankfully I had managed to get back on track by another route, I hadn’t seen the flagging just behind me as it is set up to get the attraction off your eye on the right not the left.

Much relieved I discover I have now done an extra 21km, and am lucky as Rhonda was the last rider closely followed by the sweep, and if I had been a couple of minutes later they would have made the turn and I would have carried on down the road they had just come up on!

Lots of rolling countryside to lunch at 50 km – or 71 k for me! Brett was sitting waiting for at lunch wondering where I had got to. Remember the two trucks working on the bridge? Immediately after the bridge was a flagged turn to the left. Brett was waiting there but had popped into a bush and with having to swerve to miss the vans, I sailed on past.

After lunch we were riding along when Judy and Tim from New Zealand joined us from a side street. There was a traffic diversion after lunch and they had made a wrong turn and were heading off in the wrong direction when a van driver stopped and asked if they were with the group because if they were, they were heading off in the wrong direction. I could have done with the van driver earlier in the day myself!

Lots more hills and a number of them were not rolling, the rain that had been threatening all day arrived, so on with the wet weather gear. But hey, only 20 km to go and a room not a tent at the end.

I was getting pretty tired and did not enjoy the last 20 km, my legs did not want to climb anymore hills, but kept chugging along and at 5:30pm we arrived at the Park Hotel. Nice big room at the hotel. So far the riding day hotels have been better than the rest days.

While we were waiting for dinner a group of us had a cold beer in the bar, and I was chatting to Mary from USA. Mary is a good rider and got to the hotel in the first few, but having done the ride also went and did a gym session. The only exercise I am interested in post ride is hand to mouth.

We were having dinner in a separate dinning room and we went there straight after the riders meeting at 6 pm. At 7 pm they finally bought out some bread rolls, I was about to start gnawing off my own arm by this stage.

We didn’t get the main until nearly 8pm! The food was nice, but way too slow. I had chicken liver pate and chickpea curry.

At dinner I was sitting next to Ross from USA, who along with having done the Orient express from Paris to Instanbul, he has also done the Silk route twice (Beijing to Istanbul)twice! He said he got sick the first time so went back to do it properly.

After dinner I decided I needed to catch up on the blog which is a couple of days behind. However, I couldn’t keep awake and woke myself up snoring a couple of times and called it a day.

Tomorrow we ride to Edinburgh and another rest day.

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Day 2: Dundalk to Belfast – 95km

Today we had a 95.3km to ride, with another rest day at the end to look forward to.

To start the ride was busy but then we got out into the country which was beautiful. Coming through a town we nearly missed the turn as we were busy looking at a big Cathedral. It was nice to turn off out off the traffic.


There was meant to be 800 meters in climbing but was actually over 1,100 by the end of the day. Some of the climbs seemed to go on and on.

At one stage we had a big downhill and unfortunately missed a left hand turn, one of the other riders spotted us going the wrong way and took off after us which was very nice of him. Bruce is from USA, he and his wife Becky did the South American ride last year, will be interesting to catch up with them and share stories.

We had a border collie following the riders energetically for about 10 km, he didn’t stay with me as I was too slow for him. Every now and then I would see him as he came back from a farm driveway where I think he gone to get a drink of water. At the 10 k mark he stopped and turned for home. I wonder how many times a day he does this stretch. From memory they are the dogs who need the most exercise.

The lunch truck had stopped at a lovely spot by a river and I was reluctant to leave. As always the first couple of kilometers were hard to get the legs moving again. Not helped by quite a steep climb to start.


We had a nice path from about 10 kilometers from the town and arrived at The Hotel Ramada Encore about 5pm.



We met Michele and Tony at 6pm and headed of for beer and food. First stop the Duke of York Hotel where we chatted with Dean from California and Joe from Canada. We then went to the Northam Whig restaurant for dinner which was very nice, found out later it was a 4 star. I had a very nice steak.


We could all feel the days ride catching up so after dinner back to the hotel.



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Day 1: Dublin to Dundalk – 80km

We are off! After a week of not riding I am itching to get out on the road.

We have 80.2 km to ride today, the first 10 km in a convoy. First of all we ride to the temple bar for the group photo, and then we are on our way. Perfect weather – not too hot, not too cold. As usual a lot of stopping and starting getting out of town then after what seems like forever we are free to ride off at our own speed.

The countryside is very pretty, lots of rolling hills, very green – it rains a lot here. We saw a sign that there was a castle so we rode down the drive way to Bellingham Castle. However the gates were locked as it is a private residence and only open sometimes. It was a huge place, imagine the cleaning and the power bill.

We are staying at the Crown Plaza which is about 3 k out of Dundalk and we didn’t go into see the town.

When we came down for dinner it was windy and cold, and we were surprised to hear we would be eating outside, especially given it’s a large hotel. When we mentioned it was really cold to Gergo, the tour leader, he was like “so get a coat”.

Thankfully common sense prevailed and the staff moved all the tables inside. Henry Hold, the company founder and owner, is along for the first half of the trip and possibly he was responsible for the change of setting, or Gergo’s wife Esther. Regardless of how the change occurred, we were all really relieved as it would have been an evening to be endured rather than enjoyed.

The meal was great, I had a very nice goat cheese tart as an entrée, and writing the blog four days later I can’t remember what I had as a main but remember it was nice.

Tomorrow we ride to Belfast and then a rest day the day after.

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Extra Photos

Below are some photos that didn’t originally make it on to the Day 1 of Dublin sightseeing post (but were added later, so if you read the blog a few days later you will be seeing some photos twice) and some are photos that I wasn’t sure where to put for Day 2 of Dublin sightseeing.

Day 1 of Dublin Sightseeing: 


Day 2 of Dublin Sightseeing: 


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Man playing the spoons



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Day 2 of Sightseeing in Dublin – 28 May

This morning we had to change hotels, to the Arlington hotel, where all the  riders will be tonight. Plus this morning is the first riders meeting.

Leaving the hotel I was amused by a sign about Gin.


At the meeting we got to meet the other riders and listened to the rules. We have 4 Greggs doing the ride! As well as Shirley and Dan and Michele and Tony, I also know Gregg and Laura who did the South American Colombia to Cusco. The meeting was meant to be 9:30 to 11:00am but it ran over as Gergo, the tour leader, was spouting the entire European cycling rules chapter and verse. At 11:15 I left the meeting as I had planned to meet Shellbe to do some more site seeing.

We went to see an exhibition in Stephens Mall featuring the potato famine, but when we got there we found it was £45 to get in and see a few photos so we decided not to. During the Potato famine 20% population was killed (over 1 million). The potatoes were no good to eat because of potato plight. Largely because of the potato famine the population  today is half of what it was in 1840, which was between 8.2 and 8.5 million. According to 2017 statistics the population is now 4.749 million. We did have a look around Stevens Green mall, it had an interesting layout.

We walked around Trinity College grounds (University ) but didn’t go into the library where the books are stacked from ground level up to 4 stories. We wanted to go and see the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript which contains the 4 gospels of the New Testament done by monks, but the line was huge so we decided not to.

We did go to Stephens Green Park, where instead of ducks in the lake it was mostly seagulls, and despite it being duckling season there was not a single duckling to be seen. I suspect the seagulls!

We walked through the town and stopped and had a cup of tea at a book shop that reminded me of the unity book shop in Wellington, on the way we saw a few buskers. There was a man playing spoons, we probably left just before the Morris dancers!


We went to the Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland, established in 1198. I had seafood chowder which was like vegetable soup with hunks of salmon. It was nice but nothing like the chowder I am used to. Shellbe had goat cheese salad. Shellbe got a text to say her flight was cancelled, and despite trying she couldn’t get another flight and ended up having to stay another night.




Shellbe came out for dinner with Brett, Tony, Michele and I to a really nice restaurant called the Elephant and Castle restaurant. I had a really nice chilli burger. Then Shellbe went to an airport hotel and I did a last re-organisation of my bag, ready to start the ride tomorrow.


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Sightseeing in Dublin – 27 May 2018

I woke up feeling much better after a pretty solid sleep. One problem with the hotel is it has air con but it is controlled centrally by the hotel, and the room is constantly too hot. Fortunately solved by opening the windows and thankfully the room is at the back of the hotel so there was no noise.

Off downstairs for breakfast which was a pretty standard buffet. Irish Tea is really good, will look for it when I get home. Then it was time to meet Shellbe, Michele and Tony for a day of site seeing.

There are 4,749 million people in Ireland of which 1,345 million live in a Dublin, which makes it a pretty busy city. The Dublin Hop On Hop Off bus departs right outside the hotel, stop number one!

First on the list we wanted to get to the Guinness brewery before it got too crowded. We got there just after 10 and because our hop on hop off pass includes a number of attractions we didn’t have to wait in the queue. Pretty amazing place, it is Dublin’s number one tourist attraction. Arthur Guinness was brewing ale in Lexlip County Kildare. In 1759 he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum to lease 50 acres in St James Gate, which is where Guinness Brewery is today. Arthur and his wife Olivia had 21 children of which only 10 survived to adulthood. This was a bigger then expected percentage for the time, but pretty sad to think about.


The brewery started brewing dark ale which was named Porters as it was well liked by the hospital porters, but over time it became known just as Guinness Stout. The Guinness brewery is the largest producer of stout in the world with 1.2 million barrels per annum.

The visitor center is huge, it is 7 stories high, and as you go through you learn the history of the place. The bottles have a harp on them which is an Irish symbol and at the brewery there is a virtual harp that you can play.

One section had old ads and one I found amusing was one that said “A woman needs a man as much as a fish needs a bicycle” and there was a statue of a fish cycling. Not sure what the advertising gimmick was but made me laugh.

As part of the tour you get to do a tasting and they run through the proper way to drink a Guinness – you are meant to gulp Guinness not sip it. If you sip it, it has a bitter taste, you are meant to drink a glass in 4 gulps. At the end of the tour you get up to the 7th floor and you get a pint of Guinness to drink while you can enjoy the 360 degree view of Dublin. I certainly didn’t manage to drink my pint in 4 gulps, was more like 10, but certainly enjoyed it more than previously gulping instead of sipping it. I was pleased we had got here early as there were long queues outside when we left.

Next stop the Jameson’s whiskey distillery, also not too crowded, we only had to wait about 15 minutes before we could go on a tour. In 1725 England put a tax on malted barley to pay for a war against France. Jameson started using in-malted barley, which the population came to prefer and still uses some un-malted barley today.


The tour guide was very enthusiastic about the product, and we ended up with a tasting where we tried a Scottish whiskey, an America whiskey, and Jameson’s whiskey. The Jameson’s was far nicer. The tour guide said it’s because Jameson’s is distilled 3 times, versus Scottish twice and American once. Not sure if they used an expensive Jameson and a cheap Scottish and America whiskey . . .



Back on the bus again, we went past Dawson’s bar, the smallest bar in Ireland with a capacity of 40 people. The tour drivers have a running commentary on various places of significance, plus their own points of view. One tour driver noted that if Bono from U2 went to the Dawson bar, the capacity would be one given the size of his ego, and another asked us “How can you tell the difference between Bono and God? God has never thought he was Bono”, so clearly Bono is not appreciated in his home country.

We then went past a big sports stadium called Croke Park which is the historic home of Gaelic football. A couple of minutes later while we were driving along Shellbe pointed out a seagull who was eating a pigeon! I didn’t know they ate other birds! Shellbe later wished she hadn’t pointed it out, especially the third or so time I bought it up again that day.

We got off the bus to go to Christ Cathedral but we couldn’t go in straight away as the Sunday church service hadn’t finished. We went to a bar and had a beer. I had a Kinnegar Devils Backbone Amber Ale was quite nice. We got back to find we could go in to the Cathedral, but the 12 century crypt, which was why we had come here, was closed all day. We had a look around, it was a Church – nice stained glass windows but not much else of note. It’s claim to fame apart from the Crypt is that it’s the oldest building in Dublin.


Time to head back to the city and think about something to eat. We didn’t really have much of a plan and for four of us jet lag was starting to reappear, so we settled on going to J W Sweetman Craft Brewery again, this time to eat. It was certainly much quieter than the previous evening. We got a table and ordered a range of pub food.


Michele, Tony, Shellbe and I got the beer battered fish and chips which was cod and fries with mushy peas, was pretty average. I had a Hop 13 larger also brewed by Guinness. Brett got the Irish stew, which was delicious – tender and full of flavour. I had stayed away from Irish stew as an option having had some pretty unpleasant versions in the past but clearly a different dish here in its own country.


Then it was time to head back to the hotel. Lots of homeless begging, lots of them late teens to late 20s. The unemployment rate in Ireland is the lowest it has been for years at 6.2% but the youth unemployment rate is still 12%. The young lady beggar from the dairy asked for more money to get home, but she got a reasonable amount yesterday from Brett, so didn’t give her anymore, instead donated to a couple of musicians.

Tomorrow we have the trip riders meeting, moving hotels, and then catching up with Shellbe.

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Travel to Dublin (arrived 26 May)

The flight from Wellington to Melbourne was pretty uneventful. I spent the flight reading my new Peter James book. I chatted to a couple of people in Melbourne while waiting for check in for the next flight.

I have pre-booked aisle seats all the way from New Zealand to Dublin (thanks Rachel, my travel agent, for your on-going assistance) as I tend to get up and down frequently. I would drive my fellow passengers mad, especially as I continue to do this the whole flight.

I couldn’t believe it when the row I was seated in, there was a passenger at the other end with two spare seats in between. I kept waiting for the last minute arrival of a very loud or large person who was going to be my neighbour for the next 13 hours, or a parent with a tantruming toddler, but oh yay, plane doors are shut and off we go!

I was looking forward to the chance to be able to stretch out a bit more and hopefully even sleep. That was until about an hour into the plane ride when I got up to go to the toilet, and came back to find the end of the row passenger wrapped in a blanket stretched out over her seat and the 2 spare seats!

I did try at various times to get my feet around her and get comfortable but didn’t really manage to do more than doze. Looking back I’m not sure why I didn’t just slowly push her feet off the seat next to me. I guess it’s a bit of a grey area as it’s not my seat so I don’t have any entitlement to it, just rely on people to have a sense of fair play when there are two people and two spare seats, we should get one each. However at one stage she was encroaching on my actual seat, and I had no problem giving her a gentle shove off.

I watched a couple of movies, one called 42 Grams which is about a couple who set up a restaurant called 42 Grams, the name is based on the premise that a soul weighs 21 grams and their combined souls make 42 grams.

It was interesting to see the hard work and how their whole life revolved around the restaurant. They got two Michelin stars in the first year. Then I watched The Snowman which is based on the Jo Nesbo book. I always find this leg endless and at about 10 hours into the flight I start thinking maybe flying business isn’t really just a waste of money. I reckon if there was a spare seat in business class, about 3 hours into the flight the airline should have an auction amongst the passengers, they would always sell out.

I was a bit anxious with the change in Dubai as only had an hour from landing to boarding the next plane and had to catch the train from one part of the terminal to the other. However it all went smoothly, the airport was not as busy as some other times and I got to the gate for the Dubai to Dublin flight in plenty of time. Brett’s flight also arrived on time and he got to the gate just after me 🙂

This flight was 7 hours, I watched a couple of movies that I have absolutely no idea what they were, I may very well watch them again on the way back, and think “this seems a bit familiar”.

I arrived in Dublin and joy oh joy the bike and bag arrived with me! Unlike New Zealand, Customs had no interest in my bike – no questions about dirt, forests etc so straight through and the pick up driver with van was on time.

Off to the hotel called Gresham Hotel on upper O’Connell, nice and close to town. On the way there the van driver gave a running commentary on “all the places in Ireland I tink you should be cycling to now”. I love the Irish ancient and the way the “h” disappears.


On the way there, there were signs on every lamp post in relation to the abortion referendum that has just occurred.

We got there about 1pm, but sadly the room was not ready till 3pm. This felt like it was a life time away, especially having been travelling for about 36 hours and I just wanted to go to bed. So the bikes and bags were put in storage and then off to the town centre we went, into a pub called JW Sweetman.


Clearly I was very jetlagged as I nearly mentioned the surprising number of Irish pubs I had seen walking here (duh). I whiled away the time with quite a nice beer called Hop 13, made by Guinness. At 3pm we went back to the hotel, checked in – at last a shower – then into bed for a few hours sleep before catching up with my daughter Shellbe.

Shellbe is living in London and has come over for the weekend to catch up with me 😀👍

Because we weren’t arriving until mid day Shellbe had gone on a full day tour to the cliffs of Mohir and various other places.

Nothing like a shower and clean sheets after about 36 hours on a plane. I went out like a light, the next thing I knew the phone was ringing and Shellbe was at reception.

Off to catch up and get something to eat. What I hadn’t thought about was 1) it was a Saturday night and 2) a major foot ball match was on – the town was pumping, everything was crowded and noisy. Eventually we found a steak bar that wasn’t too crowded (also didn’t sell any steak).

I had a Guinness pie which was excellent, the meat was really tender and full of flavour, Shellbe had lamb shank, huge and very tender and nice also, Brett had bangers and mash which was ok.

We walked Shellbe back to close to where she was staying despite her protesting that she is 30 and has travelled around the globe. There were a lot of homeless  people and drunken Saturday night people, so not walking her back to where she was staying wasn’t an option.

On the way back we went into a shop like a dairy and were approached by a homeless young lady who just needed bus fare to get home. Brett gave her some money, but she must live a long way away as she was still there the next evening, still just needing bus fare…

There are volunteers who have set up tables around the place with tea and coffee, and soup and bread for the homeless.

We organised to meet up at 9am to catch the Dublin Hop on Hop off Bus to spend a day sightseeing. Michele and Tony from the South American and the New Zealand rides are coming with us.

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Leaving on a Jet Plane

(Post from Friday the 25th of May) 

I am at Wellington airport, ready to face the horrors of long haul flying again. As usual am I overweight, haven’t done the amount of training that I should have, and worked too many hours in the past week.

At least this time I didn’t exceed the weight allowance, as I have got what to take and what not to take pretty sorted, plus it helps not having to take a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat, because this is all hotels 😀😀😀😀.

I left the parking to the last minute again and decided for some reason that I didn’t need to make a list 😕 So far I am aware I have forgotten my iPod, earrings, and first aid kit, and no doubt more things to add to the list, but hey they are all first world countries so if I need anything I can buy it. I do have my passport, credit cards, and bike.

I fly from Wellington to Melbourne to Dubai to Dublin. It is now 3:30 Friday pm, I will get there midnight Saturday night New Zealand time!

I have two new books so I should have enough to read. Yep I forgot to get the kindle off my son . . . hmm maybe next time a list would be a good idea.

I am looking forward to getting to Dubai and catching up with Shellbe, my third daughter, and also Michele and Tony who did part of the South American ride in 2013 and the New Zealand ride in 2016. I am also looking forward to catching up with Shirley and Dan who did the South American ride from Colombia to Santiago 😀😀.

Dublin, Guinness, whiskey, pub food, here I come 🍺🥃 🍻👍

Thankfully for us Kelly, my eldest daughter, has once again agreed to be editor extraordinaire so you won’t have to put up with my creative spelling and appalling grammar.

Categories: The Pub Ride, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 4 Comments