It seemed a shame to leave Casey’s Guest house after only one night. It was such a beautiful place. It has been owned and operated by the same family since 1884. The place was renovated and completely modernized but it still retained the 1880’s charm.
So we were on the road at 8:45 Am with a 107 kms ride and a 1340 meter climb in front of us. However no one was complaining as the sun was out and without a cloud in the sky it was shaping up to be another glorious day.
We turned west just out of town and headed straight up a long grade. Being on the main road it was only 5% however after about 6 kms it was getting to be drag. However after we crested the hill we were treated to a 10 kms downhill which was around 3 % down. Sailing along in the bright sun so early in the morning was marvellous.
We stopped to buy sandwiches in Castletown but as it was very early in the ride we continued on.
The road was fairly rolling as ridges ran out to the sea and we had to climb over each ridge. At the 38 km we were at the end of the Beara Peninsula and we had to climb over the ridge of mountains which runs down the length of the peninsula. This was immediately followed by a whole string of really steep pitches each one being approximately 150 meters high. It was tough going but the views of the ocean were outstanding. The coast line ranged from towering cliffs to sandy coves. This is all set against the lush green hills and the colourful houses.
We found a great place to sit and eat sandwiches and marvel at the scenery. At the 85 kms mark we hit the killer climb and while it was only about 2.5 kms long it was 15%. I made it about a third of the way up before I was spinning out. So I jumped of the bike and went for a walk. Jos was the only one to make the top of the hill without walking. The view at the top was out of this world. The sea off in the distance with the rocky hills and green pastures spread beneath us. WOW!
The last 20 kms into town were primarily downhill. Everyone was glad of that as we were beat. It had been a great ride down some very nice roads, past some unforgettable scenery but we were glad to be done.
As I rolled up the doors of the guest house I spotted some cycling jerseys in the doorway of a souvenir shop. Bright green with a picture of the coast line on the front and Ireland emblazoned proudly on the front and “Wild Atlantic Way on the sides there was no doubt I was getting one of them. It is a prize!