The Journey from home was as good as we could hope for, traffic was flowing freely and the weather was warm, with blue skies and sunshine. We arrived in plenty of time and were able to opt for an earlier crossing at no extra cost.
Wednesday morning was a wet one and it had been raining all night so we didn’t go for a run. After Mel’s briefing we decided to go for a drive in the van to Dunfanaghy where we had a coffee and a wander around the town. On the way out of Dunfanaghy we took the scenic route on the Wild Atlantic Way to Horn Head where, once again, the scenery was breathtaking.
Monday morning was bright, sunny and dry so we both went for a run towards Baltoney and back, about 6km.
Tuesday was another bright and dry morning so Mel went off for a run first, again towards Baltoney and then towards Falcarragh, about 8km. Then I set off and did the same run by which time the sun had come out so it was very pleasant running along the lanes in these conditions.
We drove from Belfast to David & Mary’s place at Rhosguill Holiday Park in Melmore on Saturday 16th September. We arrived in the middle of a wet and windy afternoon so we sat in the caravan looking out at the amazing views across the bay and had a good catch up. Charlie, David & Mary’s son was there too and it was good to see him again and hear about his studies and aspirations for the future.
David and Mary cooked us a lovely meal and after a few (non-alcoholic for us) beers we retired after a long and tiring but very enjoyable day. We had a good sleep and woke the next morning to a fine and sunny day.
After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon we had a walk along the spectacular beach which almost deserted other than a couple of dog walkers.
Then we went up the road and over to another cove where there were more beautiful beaches. Murder Cove, as it is called was backed by caves and washed by Atlantic waves which were mesmerising to watch and listen to.
When we went back to the caravan it was very hot and sunny and we sat on the decking again enjoying the view and a lunch of bacon sandwiches. We eventually gathered our things together and left David, Mary & Charlie for our short journey to Gortahork. On their recommendation we drove around the headland on the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, a route which goes around the west coast of Ireland and takes in some breathtaking scenery. It was a fantastic day to see the views and enjoy the incredible Irish landscape.
It had been a great start to our week in Ireland and it was lovely to see our friends again. We had been treated like royalty and had thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you David, Mary & Charlie!
Arriving into Belfast on time (6:30am). We didn’t need to set an alarm as the loud cabin announcements started at 5:30. Now enjoying a nice cup of tea before disembarking.
Last time for running this route until next year. Just over 10k and nearly 400m climb. Lovely swim and finished with a frappé.
On Tuesday 25th July we went for a bike ride with Gill & Andrew to Agios Petros. We left at 7.30. am and had a steady ride up to the village stopping a few times to enjoy the view.
At Agios Petros we stopped at the cafe in the square for the usual frappe and several other groups from the various centres arrived after us. Ian was there too but riding on his own.
After the frappe stop we continued on up to the turning for the deserted village. We cycled back down to the olive groves, stopping at the well-looked after church, the only building still there. We took Gill & Andrew back on the route Mel had recently discovered, off the ‘P’ route and back to the ‘Swiss house’ road and out onto the main road by Andromeda.
We finished with another frappe stop at Livinaki’s and a pastry from the bakery – a very enjoyable morning’s exercise. Thank you, Gill & Andrew.
On Saturday 22nd July we went for a bike ride to Sivros but we started off on a different route through the olive groves. We continued up the challenging hair pin bend (there are 12 of them with the eighth being the steepest) route to the village where we stopped at the Verani Cafe for a frappe as usual.
We continued on after the village on the road towards Fterno, stopping at the church on the way to enjoy the view. Mel is trying to identify a place to take night pictures of the Milky Way – this could be such a place.
We went back to Vassiliki via the Monastery road to Kontanera with one last hill climb before the long decent into Vass.
We felt we had earned another frappe stop so continued into Vass to stop at Livinakis where we also treated ourselves to a pastry for breakfast.
On Sunday 9th July we went for bike ride to Agios Petros with Sim, yoga teacher and bike guide from Neilson. We had a very enjoyable ride at a steady pace up to the village with lots of chatting along the way! We stopped for a coffee at the cafe in Agios Petros and then continued up to the Nikolis turning and then down through the deserted village of Roupakias.
Sim showed us a bridge over a dry gorge that we hadn’t noticed before, opposite where a Polish couple are renovating one of the deserted houses.
We continued back to Vassiliki via the olive groves – a very pleasant ride.
We had a very early start on Sunday 2nd July! Mel had planned a run to Sivros with Sim, the yoga instructor and bike guide from Neilson but she had to do an airport transfer later so we had to meet at 7am.
We set off through the olive groves and up the main road to Sivros. It was pleasantly cool as the sun had not come over the mountain yet. Mel and Sim ran on up the short cut and I cycled round the hairpins to meet up with them at the Verani cafe in the square in Sivros.
After a frappe we continued on up the road towards the monastery turning.
Mel & Sim ran and I cycled back towards Vassiliki admiring the views as we went. I headed down to Kontanera and Mel & Sim went straight back to Vassiliki. We met up back at the Imperial Studios and agreed we had all enjoyed the morning’s outing!