A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

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Holy Water On Departure

By Rev. Mick!

Day 1

“Your bike is going to catch fire, Eileen Nicholl told me at mass tonight. She should know, her husband is in plant hire and her son is an apprentice mechanic.”

These are the sort of opening gambits that can make starting a trip a bit challenging. However after some frank and open discussion (husband and wife stuff) it was agreed I could go only if doused in Holy Water. So slightly soggy I roared of from a perfect Kerry morning on my latest adventure. 

Gentle waves lap a sandy beach with hills and a small town in the distance

I have mentioned before that I get anxious before a trip but once down the road all good. That was until 3 miles down the road I realised I had no passport. Yes I don’t need a passport to cross the border to the North. Yes a ferry from Belfast to Scotland doesn’t need a passport. So I turned and rode home. My wife and her twin of course found this as further evidence of my foolhardiness. Passport found, back on bike, more Holy Water and away.

A Honda Innova in silver with just a top box and small saddle bags ready to tour
A light green Vespa 200 on a rack fitted to the tow bar of a Range Rover car

The ride was perfect. The Innova just does what you ask. Stopped in Adare at The Hub and Sprocket, Ireland’s Royal Enfield dealer in Adare. The owner and I discussed life, bikes and the meaning of everything. He related that a man with a full dress BMW GS had arrived just before me. The man put his foot down on the ground after stopping, only the ground was not there as it was a pothole. So aging man (aren’t many full dress touring GS men so) fell over. It took the entire staff of the shop (2) to right both of them. I remarked that in Mauritania I had witnessed a similar incident.

He gave me directions to get from Adare on to the old, pre motorway road to Dublin, which while once a feature of our family life I have not travelled for over 20 years. It is now a very quiet road. I saw pubs that I remembered somewhere from those many pre motorway drives. They had the frames, in rusting angle iron there still, where signs once hung and paint peeled round boarded up windows.

Got lost in Limerick city. Since they built the motorway I’ve not been there. Just kept passing places and going, “Oh yeah, this is all familiar”. Then up through Offaly to Kildare and a night in Clane in County Kildare. My good buddy Morris feeding me well and taking me to rehydrate in Jones, a nice pub in the town.

Off to Belfast in the morning early... ish. 

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Holy Water On Departure It's Rev. Mick!'s day of departure, in spite of his wife's misgivings. He's crossing Ireland and he's already lost in his own country.
Countryside, Culture And Carlingford Lough Rev. Mick! is finding a ferry and fascinating sights as he makes his way northbound towards Belfast. A good day all in all but there may be just one small hiccup ahead.
Police, Passages, Pals, and Pints Rev. Mick! is escorted by the police, hangs out with Scooter types and catches TWO ferries. It seems he can't have an "ordinary" day.
Ferries And Fun But No Food It's all ferries and frolics for Rev. Mick! as he gets deep into The Highlands and islands. The riding and crossings are good but there's a problem with acquiring sustenance.
Motorcycle Meditation In The Wild And Wet Rev. Mick! is having one hell of a day. The Hebridean weather is throwing it's worst at them as they make their way northbound to their raison d'etre.
Lovely Lewis And Chilled Chums Rev. Mick! finds today to be much calmer and enjoyable rather than endurable. A tour of the northern half of Lewis and some good company sees Mick swinging and snoring.
A Laid Back, Easy Day On Lewis While their hosts are working Rev. Mick! and Drew enjoy and easy mooch around. There's just that one place Rev. Mick! still hasn't managed to reach.
Homeward Bound From Lewis To Mallaig It's way too early for Rev. Mick! this morning but needs must. Sadly it's time to head homeward but that won't spoil a good day looking around Skye.
Veggie Brekkie, Bikes And A Blast Rev. Mick!'s enjoying a day through some classic Highland scenery then pondering the past, present and a future yet to come.
The End of the Fellowship With the parting of the pals comes a tinge of remorse yet Rev. Mick! still has many more miles to cover before his heroic return to home. Did anyone notice he'd even left?

Reader's Comments

Upt'North ┬╣ said :-
Nice pictures your Most Reverend.
04/10/2022 18:59:26 UTC
Ian Soady┬╣ said :-
When we were on our caravan trip to France this year, a very hot and sweaty rider pulled up on a large BMW just behind us. Well it was 40 degrees at the time. He then proceeded to capsize in just such a way as you describe. Very easily done when you're tired and the judgement is going a bit. The two of us managed to right the bike and get it on its stand but it wasn't easy.

The rider told me later over a glass of Bordeaux that he'd decided to cut his trip short and head for home as riding in the heat was just too unpleasant.
05/10/2022 10:15:04 UTC
Crofty said :-
Nice picture of Kerry,Rev Mick, makes me long for Ireland,looking forward to the rest of your tour pics.

Ian that story resonates with me. This year I had a 3 week tour of Austria/Italy and the temps rarely got below 30 and that was in the high mountains, in the valleys it was in the high thirties every day. I never saw 40 on my bike thankfully, anyway i have decided never to tour in Europe in July/August again.
07/10/2022 09:13:48 UTC
Bogger said :-
The mighty Innova. Great bike, crap seat.

07/10/2022 10:29:17 UTC

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