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Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Friday, September 29, 2017

Dingle: Castlemaine to Tralee

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

Today was to be our last day of touring. Plans were to head back to Dublin to catch up with friends there before flying home in a couple of days. I checked the train schedule and determined we could  have a leisurely breakfast in Killarney and do some browsing in town before catching a mid day train back to Dublin, or we could have a quick breakfast and then climb over the big hill out of Castlemaine into Tralee and catch the train there (which would pass back through Killarney).

This is the very steep climb we did 24 years ago, after replacing our busted freewheel with a new one with giant cogs (i.e. much lower gears). It is a brute of a climb. I recall begging to stop and take a break on the tandem when we did it the first time. John had promised a great view, but it was so foggy and cloudy that I could barely make out the back of his head!

We went out of our way last year to take in this climb, leaving Camp, on the north side of the peninsula, climbing a horrendously steep road over the ridge to Castlemaine, then climbing back over the ridge towards Tralee on a similarly steep narrow road. Now rumor has it, there are much easier ways to get to Tralee, but despite having reasonably fresh in my memory how tough this climb is, I mapped out the route to take it in. This was to be our last day of touring with gear, so we might as well make it a good one.

Despite the orientation of this sign, we are going up that gradient!








It was every bit as brutal as I remembered, but we survived at arrived in Tralee in plenty of time to grab lunch and coffee before hoping on the train back to Dublin.


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