Jos had wanted to reroute the ride out of Belfast along some routes that he has ridden before. The route I had chosen followed the coast more closely. Jos’ route shaved 7 kms off of my route and avoided a big climb. To accommodate these changes all of the Gramins had to be reprogramed. So I was up for an early breakfast and then Jos and I sat down to draw up the new route on Garmin Connect so that I could then download them to the Garmins. Jos had his i-pad and I was laying the route out in Garmin Connect. Using the two machines took a lot less time as you did not have to switch back and forth from screen to screen to watch where you were plotting the course. Nevertheless we spent 2 hours laying out the new course. I had the feeling that nobody believed me when I said that I had spent 3 to 4 hours building each course. Two of the Garmins synced right off but two of them took a bunch of fooling with to get the new course in.
Agnes and I were joining Ken and Sally on a Hop-on, Hop off bus tour of Belfast so we had to get going. There was a pick up bus which came right to the door of the hotel and drove us over to where the tour started. The tour was excellent. Belfast has a lot of really unique stuff to see. It is a pity we are not staying longer as I would have loved to see more of the sites we drove by. The tour took us down through the Shankill area which was the center of the “Troubles” in Belfast. There we a lot of the wall murals depicting memorials to those killed during that time.
We did one hop off at the Cumlin Street Jail. It opened in 1845 and operated through 1996. The history of this notorious prison goes from the harshness of Victorian period, through different prison reforms, the time of the Troubles when people were incarcerated without trial, and to the modern times. It was built for 320 prisoners in solitary confinement with no toilet facilities to housing 1500 in the same 7’ x 13’ cells. During the Troubles both sides were housed in the prison so there was a constant state of war inside the prison. It also was the scene of 17 executions. The tour took us right inside the execution chamber where the hangman’s rope used in executions still hung.
We took the tour back downtown and Agnes head for the hote
l and Ken, Sally and I headed over to St Georges Market. On the way we meet up with Patrick who had been foraging in a supermarket. We had lunch of sausage rolls and huge cupcakes in the market. Patrick and I headed back to the hotel. I needed to finalize the Garmins for tomorrow and Ken and Sally went for a hike to look at more wall murals.
I have had a couple of questions on what is the Start/Finish line for? This is a bike geek thing. The Mizen Head to Malin Head is a famous ride. Mizen Head is the furthest south point of Ireland to the most northern point of Ireland, Malin Head. It is a highly contested race. The record is something like 19 hr. Our tour rode from Mizen head to Malin Head so we accomplished this goal. Check that bucket list item.
Tomorrow we are off to DownPatrick and the final leg of the trip. Weather looks good and we are ready to roll.