Sunday, 1 July 2012

Eire and there - unlimited horizons.

A quiet wild pitch at Strumble Head with the light sweeping round rhythmically saw me down to Goodwick in good time for the afternoon ferry across to Rosslare in damp but reasonably calm conditions. A newly purchased sat nav with full European coverage for the forthcoming year then delivered me to Mount Leinster where I spent a quiet night in foggy and mild conditions in the hope of  walking to the summit the next day. Continuing low cloud prevented this but as the day unfolded the clouds dissolved and I enjoyed a couple of historic sights before tucking myself away in the Slieve Bloom hills. A German outfit consisting of a coach towing a large trailer that served as a mobile hotel seemed to me at first sight to be the ultimate in impracticality but then again with a good crowd of say twenty mates ..............
The empty and peaceful tops provided a good walk in sunny conditions after which I stayed on a well presented site and met a couple from Brecon - the first of many 'small world' encounters this week.
Kilkenny provided more interest with its castle and other sights in the area including the several wonders of Fore - not to be missed. A wet and wild night in the Iron Mountains near the border led to a damp day so a planned walk was left for later and I dropped across said unmarked and invisible border to spend a day in Enniskillen with its impressive castle and museum displays.
For the weekend I joined the Horizons Unlimited get together as planned and enjoyed the event tremendously. Inspirational presentations by skilled and entertaining travellers gave us insights in to adventures in all corners of the globe with the South American coverage of particular interest. Practical talks and demonstrations combined with an excellent social side made for a successful gathering despite the poor weather. Whatever your mode of transport the chance to meet up, learn, absorb and be involved at similar events should be taken - small world encounters included input from individuals and companies in Ystradgynlais of all places and a biker from Perth who has trucked across the Nularbor over a hundred times. Saturday night's entertainment from local bands and dancers plus good food and organisation created an event to be proud of. As I had hoped it has inspired me for future years although I remain convinced that for me at least four wheels are better than two - most of the time. A massive thanks to all those who worked so very hard before, during and after the event.
So its off to the hills again staying in NI for a week or so, starting with the Sperrins and heading to the coast for a lazy drift anticlockwise over the 3 weeks until friends arrive in Dublin. 

Latest pictures appear here, locations here and the next post will depend on the availability of wifi once I leave Derry.

A milestone for the trusty van in the shape of clocking up a quarter of a million miles en route to Enniskillen gave me pause to recollect on the many adventures enjoyed whilst incurring half of that total - it has all been a total privilege and a wonderful set of experiences.
Incidentally a recent MOT for me recorded a cholesterol at 3.8, axle weight of 74kg,  oil pressure at 120/80 and revs ticking over steadily around 45 bpm so it looks like we may both have a few miles left in us yet.

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