Ireland: the route 1100km
Route planning is always a pleasingly creative process, and the process continues into, and through, the ride itself. A combination of deciding on possible destinations, diversions to see sites of special interest, visiting relatives (in my case), offers of a bed for the night, and all the whimsical ingredients that go into making last minute decisions to go in one direction and not another.
As ever, I will carry my little tent, and expect to use it for several nights, but I am also contacting members of Warmshowers (the hosting website for cyclists) who lie somewhere near my route, and so far I have very kind offers from 4 members of the group to stay the night with them, or to pitch my tent in their garden and share a meal with them.
The Warmshowers hosts made my trip through Japan very special two years ago. They each gave me an opportunity to experience Japanese domestic life, share their hospitality, and get a truly inside view of life in Japan. Although the Irish culture is not in any way alien to me, I have a great deal to learn and appreciate about some of the finer detail that make up the foundation of Irish sensibilities and customs.
My route this time reflects a slight change of emphasis in my thinking. Although it is an End-to-End ride, the starting and finishing points are quite incidental really. They simply provide a framework for a ride that is not intended to be the most direct route, nor the quickest but, hopefully, will be the most interesting allowed by the timescale of three weeks. So I will be seeing a lot of the west coast and, no doubt, seeing a lot of the famous weather that makes Ireland one of the greenest countries on the planet.