The first days in Cork, journey to Killarney, climbing Carrantuohill and on to Limerick & Dublin
On arrival at Cork airport from London I was given 10 euros for Christian Aid while assembling my bicycle which was an amazing boost! Thank you Robert Walker – www.virginmoneygiving.com/nick.simon – At least there was a bonus to taking my time with the assembly! I’m still not very proficient at it but micaculously the bits all fit together (thanks to the London Bike Kitchen www.lbk.org.uk for all the helpful tuition and advice).
I was glad to have a few days to get my act together before Emma and Katherine joined me for the start of the ride. I felt a bit like when you first arrive at a holiday destination after a period of work and suddenly all the tiredness starts to come out of you.
I thought for two milliseconds about swapping my bike for this one but then changed my mind! While in Cork I got about 10 minutes with Patricia Messinger on C103 radio. I knew what I wanted to say but found it difficult to talk about people I met in Africa who are living in extreme poverty without getting emotional about it. Good to practice it though.
On Sunday in Cork I went with Emma to worship at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral. The cathedral is in the background of the photo of me on the bridge. We received a great welcome and send off from the Very Rev Nigel Dunne (Dean of Cork) on the left in the group of four and Rev Ted Ardis (Dean’s Vicar) on the right. http://corkcathedral.webs.com/ Thank you to Andrew Coleman and Tess Purcell at Christian Aid for organising this and other things. http://www.christianaid.ie/
On the Sunday evening Katherine (my son Guy’s fiancée) arrived and we celebrated her birthday and the start of the ride with dinner at the Cornstore restaurant. Emma & Katherine are joining me on the ride from Cork to Dublin before they return to England.
At the start line in Cork. Still smiling!
En route between Cork and Killarney. Those are Katherine’s birthday balloons!
Stream on the way up towards Carrntuohill, the highest mountain in Ireland. We had cycled from Sugan Hostel in central Killarney to Cronin’s Yard and walked from there to this stream.
At the top. Poor visibility but we made it!
On the way down, looking down the Devil’s Ladder.
On the way down, looking back up the Devil’s Ladder. Maybe you can see Emma & Katherine coming down.
Katherine crossing a stream at the bottom on the way back to our bikes. We had completed the climb!
On the cycle back to Killarney from Carrantuohill I noticed a potential future home for my retirement. Needs a bit of renovation! That evening I gave a talk at Killarney Methodist Church and received 140 euros which was brilliant. Thank you to Rev Karen Spence and KMC.
A stop on the road to Limerick from Killlarney. In Limerick I got an interview with Limerick Live (radio). Will put a podcast link here if/when I can get it.
We celebrated our arrival in Dublin by a visit to Temple Bar which probably has the most expensive beer I’ve ever had so won’t be rushing back any time soon. Emma’s partner Tom from Norwich joined us.
I had a radio interview with Dom Perrem at Spirit Radio based in Bray http://www.spiritradio.ie/, met Christian Aid people, had my rear wheel axle repaired (thanks to Paul at River Cycles www.rivercycles.com for doing such an excellent job without charge) and worshipped at Abbey Street Methodist Church where I received a warm welcome and talked about the CtCT Challenge.
Thanks to Emma & Katherine for being such wonderful and helpful companions between Cork & Dublin.
Please consider donating £1 or more to Christian Aid’s work in Africa to help reduce extreme poverty – www.virginmoneygiving.com/nick.simon and if you are already there do join me on facebook – www.facebook.com/nicksimon29 or twitter – www.twitter.com/nicksimon29