Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Beara: Coppermine Road

This trip to Ireland began in mid September 2017 - I'm slowly getting around to posting

The route that we took to Allihies the previous day circled around south of Knockoura Mountain. We spied the masts on top of Knockoura as we approached from the east and then noticed them again from the west side. John looked at the map to try to find a way up. I wasn't sold on the idea though and told him he could ride up before breakfast. I had mapped out a route over something called The Coppermine Road, that looked hard enough as is without doing a 1500 foot out and back beforehand. Looking through maps as I work on this post now, it appears we should be able to ride from Allihies all the way to Castletownbere via Knockoura on some future visit - when we will also plan to stay at the Buddhist Meditation Center.

Luckily for me, the climb up to The Mountain Mine Man Engine House and beyond was tough enough to get John's attention (and make him very happy). However, it nearly broke me! Just when I thought it couldn't get any harder, it turned to gravel AND got steeper. In the previous post, I talked about how gentle the Healy Pass was. Maybe that's because I was comparing it to this one. This was definitely the hardest climb I've done in Ireland.  John, of course, loved it.

And then we got to descend. It's not often I have to stop to catch by breath on a descent, but I just had to stop and take it all in!

 John gives me a thumbs up for the route. He officially forgave me for not climbing to the mast.  That said, we do have to climb to the mast on our NEXT trip.

 We did encounter one traffic jam on the way down.

 The gate did open, but John had to go the harder way.

This was a brutal day, with lots of rough gravel and lots of vertical. I'm happy the weather cooperated and that bike and body survived.

Beara definitely ranks high on the places to come back to for more exploring.

Kenmare also ranks high on our list for great food. Our first stop was at Maison Gourmet, a fine French Patisserie, where we found excellent Paris-Brest pastries last year. They did not disappoint this year. Here one can find a proper French croissant. We spotted a hostel right across the street and decided to go for budget accommodations, meaning we could splurge on dinner - and that we did. Walking around town, we spotted The Lime Tree Restaurant. The menu and the setting were enticing, so we headed in and had our best meal on the trip.It turns out it's ranked as one of TripAdvisors Top Ten in Ireland!


  1. More fantastic photography .. and writing ;)

    1. Sometimes I think John only rides so he can have new things to photograph