(Our first photo point was an old church and graveyard overlooking the river Boyne)
It’s been a long time but we finally dusted off the motorbike, charged the cameras and took to the road. As I write we’re just outside Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. About two hours from home. We’re taking it slowly this time. You might remember two years ago we went to Florence via Venice on the motorbike? I haven’t been on the bike since. Every time Denis would suggest a possible trip I’d remember that last journey and the heat (40 degrees C in full bike gear) and the length of time spent sitting on my posterior (some days more than 8 (eight!) hours) and the motorways in Germany (lots of big scary trucks.)
(Going over a little bridge we realised we were crossing the Royal Canal (at Coolnahay Harbour) so we stopped for tea and soda bread (baked by the daughter of the last lock-keeper))
But Denis is very persistent and eventually he came up with a formula I was willing to test… travel (on mainly country roads) for one hour, eat, travel for one more hour, eat and sleep. Also, temperatures would be less than 30 degrees… probably much less. This week we’re testing the formula. In order to make the test more interesting we’re following the Irish photo rally. This is a list compiled by Gerry Christie with twenty four GPS points around the island of Ireland. There are clues as to what you might find at a point but you have to go there to see. The idea is that you get to travel to places on your motorbike around the island that you might otherwise never find. They’re dotted around the country so you can spend your time meandering from one to the next for days. Have a look at the map on irishphotorally.com.
(Bumble Bee at work)
Anyway, it was with a bit of trepidation that I got on the back of the bike this morning but I was soon rewarded with the forgotten truth – it’s an amazing form of transport. I had forgotten. The heat and daily distances of the last trip had erased my memory of it’s beauty. The beauty of the smells… just five minutes from home we smelled the most amazing wild garlic smell. We pass this point at least four times a week, every week never smelling the garlic, but on a motorbike…. The beauty of fresh air! I know it’s free but it’s gorgeous and it smells kinda green, yep it does.
(There’s a lake right next to our hotel with a little jetty)
Anyway, we’re off to dinner now and tomorrow we’ll drive for an hour, eat, drive for another hour eat some more and sleep. We’ll also take some pictures and smell some more smells.
Bye for now, Mairead.