PART 2 – Escaping the island for an Irish Rally | FEATURE
In part one of Michael’s roving scooter tour from Jersey to Ireland he revelled in the warmth and hospitality of the emerald isle. In part two he heads further south before a hop skip and a jump back to France and then home to the Channel Islands.
Wednesday morning, my destination was Dingle, with a few detours. Most memorable was riding past the ruins of Kinvara Castle, stunning, then heading to Ballyvaghan and up the Corkscrew Pass, another great winding hill with epic views. From there I headed to the Cliffs of Moher, breathtaking natural beauty, then onto Killimer for ferry number three to Tarbert.
Off the ferry and onto Ballybunion, great beaches and smooth roads again. From Ballybunion I headed up and over the Conor Pass, I was literally riding through the clouds, another surreal moment. From there I rolled down the other side to Beautiful Dingle bay for the night. Long and enjoyable days on the saddle makes for early-ish nights you know. A great little harbour area, well worth a visit.
Thursday morning and off to Killarney, yet another few incredible detours. I left Dingle and headed out to the Irish Amalfi coast. First stop Ventry, then following the coast rd to Ballyferriter-Slea-Head and back to Dingle again. Quick pit stop in Lispole then off again. Next stop Castlemaine, Rathbeg, then I hit Killarney for the night. Killarney is a fantastic place, great atmosphere with loads going on and I found a great little Tapas bar up a side street.
Gap of Dunloe
Next morning, Friday 18th, I headed for another spot of sightseeing. First stop through Killarney National Park was Muckross Abbey, then Molls Gap, then Black Valley to the Gap of Dunloe. Yet again I was speechless, everywhere I went it got more and more beautiful, it was like a dream. I also had a wee look at the Torc Waterfall.
Saturday, my last day in Ireland, heading to Cork for the ferry to Roscoff in France. My route took me through yet more beautiful towns, like Macroom, Crookstown to Old Head in Kinsale. I arrived in Cork with time to spare, the ferry terminal has the unfortunate name of Ringaskiddy, very strange.
Overnight ferry, no 4, to France, I arrived at 06:30 in total darkness with thick fog till about 08:00. The locals here have very different driving abilities than in Ireland. I took my time and stopped off on my way to St Malo, (for the Jersey ferry) to my fellow scooter club member’s house for breakfast. Julian and family hosted me perfectly. He lives in a town called Prat. If you’ve ever met him you’d know how appropriate that is.
So a quick breakie and off to St Malo for the ferry no 5, home.
The best thing on two wheels
To sum up my trip, it was the best thing I’ve ever done on two wheels in my life. I met some incredible people, Big Ernie for one. From Galway to Cork, every route I took was emailed to me each morning by him over breakfast, a true gentleman in every respect.
The weather was perfect, I’m not sure it would have been as much fun in the rain but I’d still have done it. Also, my newly restored Rally never missed a beat. Apart from a few loose cables and a perished petrol tank seal – easy fixes, it was superb, which is testament to the quality of the rebuild. Big thanks to Steve – the Vespa maestro of Jersey.
From door to door I covered 2853 riding km (1772 miles), took five ferries and visited three countries, not bad for 11 days away. I loved every single one of them. Ireland is a very beautiful island, the roads are first class and I can’t remember seeing one pothole.
If you’ve never done it, I can’t recommend it enough. Magical!
Words and photos: Michael Fitzgerald
Share your scooter trips
2020 may not have been the most memorable year for scooter riding but if you have a story about a trip you’ve done, either this year or in the past and want to share it, let us know. You can email us at: email@example.com
Michael’s part 2 gallery
Don’t even consider a trip to Ireland without decent waterproofs…