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Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Moville to Derry - Ireland 2026

I had arranged to have lunch with a friend in Derry. Derry is a short easy ride from Moville, and I figured I'd have a nice rest day, that is, until she told me I must to the GrianĂ¡n Ailigh, a very well preserved ringfort. I changed my plans and decided to head a bit more west, taking in another climb before heading for the ringfort.

The forecast had suggested I could pack away my rain jacket, but that quickly proved wrong. The clouds made for lovely dramatic photos at least.

 


 


I've joked a bit about SadiB, my alter ego on ridewithgps. SadiB sits up late at night planning the route for the next day. She finds the tiny white lanes, and seeks those that cross the most closely spaced contour lines. Then I download the route onto my GPS and follow SadiB's route the next day. SadiB and I are quickly becoming less and less friendly. She sends me up brutal climbs. She seems to be able to locate wind farms with ease. These, of course, are located at the tops of steep climbs, and uhhmmm, there's a good reason there are so many wind turbines here!

 


But SadiB's taste for climbs seems to pale in comparison to my friend who suggested the ringfort. The rain came and went throughout the morning, but little bits of blue sky would break through, giving me hope of drying out before lunch. I looked the route profile and spotted the final climb.  It had actually stopped raining and I was getting warm so I stopped to remove my jacket.
 


After some steady climbing, I turned at the brown sign for the final pitch up to the ringfort. The road rose up before me, and taunted me. I huffed and puffed and arrived at the gate just as a text showed up from my friend. It said, "the weather is clearing in Derry. I hoped you are too soaked." I replied in colorful language about being drenched in sweat.

I could sense cackling from my friend. She was quite happy with herself.

 


 


 


 


It was well worth the effort, both for the nicely restored and preserved structure and the view.

 


We had a lovely lunch. I talked about what I might do next, with possibilities of pressing on through the North and doing a full loop of the island or making my way back south to hit some areas I had missed. 

But first I had to find accomodation, and that again proved challenging. I cycled around and stopped at multiple B&Bs and hotels, before I pulled out my phone to let my fingers do the walking. After lots of calls, I found what had to be the last room in the city.

After checking in, I headed back out to walk along the walls of the city.

 


 


 


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