Still, we made it and the process of clearing customs through Shannon Airport more than made up for the discomfort of the flight. It was so easy, so uncrowded, lovely.
The gentleman whom we are renting a Royal Enfield 500 Motorcycle with Cozy Sidecar attached, Chris Davidson of Retroventures, was just walking up as we walked out of the airport terminal. We placed our luggage into his truck and off we went for a short ride to Adare, Ireland.
Adare claims the title of Ireland's prettiest town, and I must say they sure try to do live up to the claim. A very quaint town, clean and friendly and apparently a slight traffic nightmare as crowds of visitors descend upon the town during the holidays and weekends!
We met Chris' wife Elaine at their shop: Sprockets and Hubs, Motorcycle Shop and Gentleman Bazaar. A small motorcycle shop to be sure but they more than make up for their size in their offerings. They not only rent Royal Enfield motorcycles, they are the official dealer!
In addition, they've been renting vintage cars to folks who want something different to discover their way through Ireland's many beauties and attractions. For example, at their open house which was held today to celebrate the official opening of the dealership:
Martha and I signed off on the paperwork and got instructions from Chris on the itinerary he'd planned for us for the next seven days of sidecar rig rental.
They're both beauties aren't they?
We're going to call the rig: Mary Kate from the movie
"The Quiet Man"
Our first run on the rig was to the shopping mall in the town of Dooradoyle near Limerick. It was quite strange at first, driving on the left side of the road and maneuvering a rig with the sidecar on the left side!
Turned out, it was easier for me to adapt to driving on the left side of the road and dealing with their roundabouts than remembering that the sidecar was on the left side! There were a couple of close calls but thankfully, no impacts. Things were much better on the way back after we secure cellphone sims for our iphones.
Back in Adare, we left the sidecar rig parked at the dealership so people could admire it while we went and took a tour of Desmond Castle nearby. There were only four people in the tour not counting the guide so it was quite nice. This castle is known as one of the better preserved examples of Norman castles, over 1400 of which dot the Irish countryside apparently.
The inner castle keep. It's a very informative and relaxed tour that's
put on by the Adare Visitor Center, highly recommended.
Views of the castle ruins later on in the evening after we'd had
dinner at Sean Collin's Pub. Nice food.
No rig in the above pictures, we'd walked in from the Coatesland B&B after dining. Its a small town so not too much walking so far. After all, we had been sampling the local beer and driving under drastically new conditions was hard enough today without adding alcohol to the mix!
Florence, the lady who owns and runs the B&B has a very nice display
of daisies in the front lawn of the property.
So ends our first day in Ireland. More photos of the rig and us to follow of course. But for now, it's time rest up and see how much jet lag we have to deal with tomorrow.