Malin Head: the end 72km

I quietly crept out of the caravan, leaving a ‘thank you’ note to Elaine and Roley, but was greeted to a dank and misty morning. The 14km trek out to the Head had a mighty sting in its tail…..both a headwind and a 20% kick upwards at the end…..but I was treated to a free coffee by a mobile coffee stall perched on the top of the hill.
What had started at Mizen Head 1300km ago, roughly following the Wild Atlantic Way

came to an end at Banba’s Crown at Malin Head,

a name that is well known to insomniacs who hear either, or both, of the shipping forecasts at 00.45 and 05.20 on BBC Radio 4. In the morning sea fret, it had a sense of drama all its own.

Even so early in the morning, a steady flow of people had begun to arrive, some on motorbikes, others in cars, to spend a fleeting few moments, take a “I woz ‘ere” photo, and scurry off to their next destination. Notable by their absence all along my route from the south were other trekking cyclists like myself. Unfortunately, the MizMal route is primarily seen as a classic charity ride, taking the shortest and least interesting route across the heart of the country. When I met people who proudly said they too had ridden the MizMal, I was always disappointed to discover it was invariably with a fully supported charity ride. Doesn’t Ireland have any unsupported adventurers who carry their own stuff and sleep in a tent?
So, now in Derry (Londonderry) to unwind, box the bike for the flight, and spend a few days discovering the fascinating but disturbing past of this troubled community. And the only indication that I was crossing the political border of NI was this sign telling me that kms were changing to miles. I wonder if that will change with Brexit…..?

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on July 25, 2017, in Ireland End-to-End 1300km and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Enjoyed reading this! As a heads up, in a few months I will be one of those ‘unsupported adventures’ in Ireland, at least for a bit.

  2. Hi Frank,
    Enjoy reading your about your travels, I still do some travelling on the bike, but smaller journeys. Did you master the gps or are you relying on maps?
    Enjoy the guiness and the crac!

  3. Well done! A great achievement … Glad you made it safely and hope you have a relaxing and interesting time in Derry :).

  4. when we used to do a lot of sea kayaking in Scottish waters , Malin was the most listened to bit of the forecast so we could know what we were going to do and when.

  5. As always Frank I so enjoy my morning update on what you have been up to the previous day. Safe journey home and interested to know how you pack your bike up to return: bike box sent ahead? wrap in bubble wrap? Buy/rent a bike box?

    • Thanks David, always good to have your company on these ventures. Bike box? Yesterday I found a Halfords and they gave me an empty one that was going into recycle. That’s what I do on all my trips. Keeps it simple.

  6. Always enjoy reading about your cycling adventures, Frank. When will you be cycling through Africa or S.America from end to end? – or would they be a step too far? Well done and keep it up!

  7. Richard sledge

    We are all equally ‘one offs’ but some are more ‘one off” than others. Well done, and thank you for the pleasure you have given through your delightful reports.

  8. Have loved reading of your adventures in Ireland. Hopefully one day I will get a visit there.

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