First off let me apologize for yesterday’ post, I thought I had hit the post button but I was so bushed I obviously did not and as a result it wasn’t posted, but it is up there now.
Breakfast in the West Cork hotel started at 7:30 am so we were down there lined up when the doors opened. We elected the continental buffet which had more stuff on it than you could possible eat. I never got past the croissants and marmalade well ok I did have some of the grapefruit slices.
It was a long day at 109.7 kms and 1133 meters of climb. For some reason my back was kind of sore when we got on the bike and it was worrisome but get over it and ride. So we were off down the road to Mizen Head. It was a beautiful day and I was just pumped.
About half way to Mizen Head we were headed down this very steep incline when I hit this lose gravel and the bike started to come out from under me. I thought for sure I was going to have an off the bike experience. However I grabbed first the front brake then the back, hit the pedals, slide the bike sideways. First sliding to the left then the right, across the road then back, headed for the brambles. Finally after about 15 meters the bike found some purchase and I pulled it out. This should have been a trick riding video on Youtube.
We stopped to take pictures of the Wedge Tomb on the road to Mizen Head. It was first erected around 5000 BC. It has been in use by various groups’ right up to current times where it is not a photo opportunity. What is totally amazing is you can walk right up to is as there is no fence or barriers around it. No graffiti either.
When we got to Mizen Head the weather was perfect. A light breeze and low 20’s with only a few high clouds. This was a total postcard day. I would bet my chances of having this kind of day would be 1%. I was so clear you could easily see the Fastnet Light house which is 10 kms out. We parked our bikes and walked out to the signal station at the end of Mizen head. It was absolutely spectacular. There is a big concrete walking bridge out to the end of the rocks where the station is over this huge gap in the cliffs. Waves are crashing hundreds of meters below and the sea birds whirling around. It is a one off experience like nothing else. Maybe like the Grand Canyon but with the ocean.
After we left Mizen Head we headed along the north shore of the Mizen Head peninsula. The country side is completely devoid of trees with the granite rocks sticking out. This makes me think this is a pretty harsh climate. My hat is off to the hardy souls who call this home and all the more glad I was lucky enough to hit a perfect day to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
After we hit the main highway (R591) Patrick was gone. There was no way I could catch him. Over the next 40 kms the closest I got was about 100 meters. Jos and Ken were miles back. Whatever he had I want some. He gets the stage award.
By the time we rolled into Glengarriff my back is in serious trouble. It was all I could do to get off the bike and lug my duffel bag upstairs. A few aspirin, a hot shower, a nap, a pint of Murphy’s Irish stout, and a huge beef steak and Guiness pie and it feels fine.
Wow What a day!