Day 1: Bloxham to Roundwood

Saturday July 12, 2008, 38 km (24 miles) – Total so far: 38 km (24 miles)

It was a fine morning as we loaded the car and embarked on our journey to Ireland. The first leg was 200 miles by car to the port of Holyhead on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. We arrived in plenty of time for the 3pm sailing and after a calm 2-hour crossing we were deposited in Dún Laoghaire ready to start touring.

We left the port and followed the road south to Bray, it was a nice bit of coast road and in places looked like the shores of the Italian lakes. We then cut in land and continued south to Roundwood, famed for being the highest village in Ireland in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains. We took to the country lanes and enjoyed a steady climb to the village experiencing a light, yet welcome, rain shower.

We arrived at the campsite just after 8pm and once the tents were up, and we were showered and fed, we headed in to the village centre. We sampled our first Guinness of the tour in the Coach House Pub and watched a live band play contemporary covers, they were pretty good. The Guinness was delicious. It was to be the first of many to be consumed over the next two weeks.

Ballinastoe Mountain Bike Trail - we were attacked by midges up here

Ballinastoe Mountain Bike Trail – we were attacked by midges up here

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