With the Easter break from my University studies, and the girlfriend getting some time off work, what better way to spend the holidays than going away with the bikes? Ireland the destination, I had never been before, the girlfriend however is from an Irish family some of which still live over there and so knows this journey like the back of her hand. Myself on my 2001 Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer and my girlfriend on her 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 636 packed up as much as we could, loaded up the bikes and set off bright and early at 6am from East London.
The ride to Holyhead port from East London should have only taken us just over 5 hours, however as this was my first real long motorcycle journey it was good planning that our ferry to Dublin was not until 14:10pm, giving us plenty of time for fuel stops and rest breaks which I so desperately needed at times.
The ride itself was progressive and entertaining mainly due to me and the girlfriend chatting the time away over our Sena Bluetooth Intercoms (Dual 20S) and thankfully due to not running into much traffic we arrived at Holyhead port just after 1pm. Bikes loaded and strapped down on the ferry, we checked into our booked cabin and caught some shut-eye before the second part of our ride.
We arrived in Dublin just before 6pm and shortly began our second journey, a supposed over 2 hour ride from Dublin to Ballaghaderreen where we’d be staying with the girlfriend’s sister for a few days. This journey however took so much longer than expected, Ireland at first seemed to have tolls everywhere and motorcycles were not excluded from the charges, this with the sudden temperature drop and poor lighting on some of the L roads at night made for more cautious riding.
We made it to Ballaghaderreen just past 10pm to complete what was over 16 hours of travelling (bearing in mind stops and sleeping on the ferry). We spent a few days in Ballaghaderreen where the locals were really friendly and welcoming of me on my first time to Ireland “A thousand welcomes” was a message well felt within, it was everything my girlfriend said it would be and more.
Soon came the day we’d be back on the road, this time with the girlfriend’s sister and her boyfriend who’d be leading the way in the car followed by us on the bikes. We were off on a 4 hour journey to Killarney where we had booked in one of these houses you rent out for the duration of your stay kind of thing.
The ride to Killarney through Galway, Limerick and up the hilly roads in Kerry made the journey so much better, the scenery was so amazing it was hard to keep your eyes on the road, however thankfully we made it to Killarney in one piece and settled into the nice little holiday house.
The few days we spent in Killarney before travelling back to Ballaghaderreen were well spent, we visited Killarney National Park which had some incredibly open spaces with some truly fantastic scenery and photography opportunities (See photos on my Instagram). We of course, spent a lot of time eating out at some lovely local bars and restaurants. We even made a day out of some leisure kayaking which quickly turned competitive.
All of this, however was topped off on our final day in Killarney where we all travelled to the Gap of Dunloe where I can confidently say I have never rode anywhere more breathtakingly beautiful. Everything there was stunning from the rock edges of the cliffs to the up and down twisty roads around them, it is somewhere I would recommend all bikers go and enjoy at least once.
So we left Killarney to travel back to Ballaghaderreen where we would spend a few more days before it was sadly time for me and my girlfriend to travel back to London. The journey back was challenging given the amount of riding we had already done, that and my fazer had started to show it’s age just before the ferry back to Holyhead. Once there however we had booked a night’s stay in the Waterloo Hotel in Bettws-y-coed to split the journey back home in half, calls us weak but it was a much needed good night’s rest.
We left Wales and got back to London in again what felt like hours and hours of riding, but we made it back alive and well and finally completed what turned out to be a 1236 mile long complete trip. Both bikes made it there and back well enough, mine with a bit less oil and coolant then when we started due to split hoses along with a chain that had plenty much seen its day, but aside from that we were both very pleased we had done it.
I already miss Ireland so much, the scenery, the roads and the friendliness of the people, all this and more are things I cannot wait to experience again when I undoubtable go to Ireland again in the future. I liked to thank my girlfriend’s sister and her boyfriend for inviting me and for being super welcoming on our first meeting, I’d also like to thank my girlfriend’s father who I was nervous meeting for the first time but was quickly relaxed by his friendly, funny and welcoming nature.
Finally I’d like to thank my girlfriend who without her I’d of never experienced what was without doubt one of the greatest times of my life. Thank you so much for putting up with me over the intercom and throughout the entire holiday, riding with you is also a pleasure and I couldn’t have done the journeys without you. I love you with all my heart.
Thank you all so much for reading and thank you also for giving me the opportunity to share this trip with you all.
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