Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kerry: Gap of Dunloe and Molls Gap

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

We woke to heavy rain. We are in Ireland after all, so it shouldn't be a surprise. After finding that the tiny lawnmower/bike shop in town didn't have any pulleys, I initially planned for us to head into Killarney and get some pulleys with the proper number of bearings before tackling the two big climbs. However, once on the road, I started to feel confident that our repair from the day before would survive the day. When we reached the decision point, a signpost indicated it was a bit farther into town than I'd thought, so we decided to take the risk and head straight up the Gap of Dunloe. I'm happy to report that we made it  up and over the two climbs and then into Killarney with no further problems. Once there we found a bike shop and acquired new pulleys and hopefully I am good for another 10,000 miles.

Last year we rode the Gap of Dunloe in the opposite direction, but on a similarly gloomy day. We didn't see a soul. On this day, we were surprised to encounter loads of horse and carriages. The area is famous for these tours, but it just seemed exceptionally busy. We also were surprised to continue seeing them on the other side of the gap. But I suppose if that's all the traffic we'd have, it would be fine. The rain also eased off as we climbed and soon I had removed all my rain gear and was down to shorts and jersey.

We had lunch in the gift shop at Moll's Gap and then bundled back up for the long descent down to Killarney. This was the only place we had traffic on our entire trip. At least it was all downhill, but it reminded me why we avoid the big roads.

We stopped for photos along the way, but soon arrived in Killarney, where first order of business was to find a bike shop. Once pulleys were acquired, we took the shop owner's recommendation for a nearby hostel, which turned out to be one of the nicest hostels we have found in Ireland.

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