Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Ireland-UK Trip: Day 1 - Adare, Ireland

Martha and I flew over in a Boeing 757-200, from Newark Airport to Shannon Airport in Ireland this morning.  I must say, through a combination of stomach issues and the plane's configuration, it wasn't as comfortable a flight as the longer flight to Rome, Italy was last year.

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.


RichardM said...

Interesting rental. And I think that it would be a challenge with things reversed. That is, sidecar on the left and driving on the left.

Bridget is interested in Martha's view of the ride as she hated riding in the Cozy enough to push for the Ural.

Bob and Sharon said...

I am jealous, I would love to do something like that, I going to follow this closely.

Steve Williams said...

I'm all messed up. I go to your blog to comment on the Denver sunsets and what do I find -- you've left the country for Ireland. And renting a sidecar no less. Quite a vacation. I'm on vacation this week too. I'm going nowhere and probably will find myself in the office once or twice. I'm not doing something right.

Lovely place to tour around. You, Martha and Mary Kate should have a fine time. Look forward to seeing and reading more of the adventure.

Be safe on those left-handed roads!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

SonjaM said...

Well that's a surprise! Welcome back to Europe, Dom & Martha. I haven't been to Ireland just yet (not counting a business trip long time ago), and look forward to your journey. Enjoy your Sidecar adventure.

redlegsrides said...

I'll relay Bridget's question RichardM. It's definitely a challenge but getting used to it.

redlegsrides said...

Just fly out with Sharon Bob!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Steve Williams, it should be quite the vacation. For the record, it was Martha's idea to rent the sidecar.

redlegsrides said...

It appears we managed to surprise quite a few of you loyal readers, SonjaM!

Martha said...

Yes, I shall take ownership of suggesting we rent a sidecar for a week, as I know the way to my man's heart is through his passion for side cars! One quick google search this Spring and things fell into place with such ease I am still pinching myself to make sure it is all real!

Trobairitz said...

Fun!!. I like that the crowds are so much less than Italy. I bet you enjoy that too.

Kudos for driving on the other side of the road.

Anonymous said...

You guys are my heroes! That is a nice motorcycle and side car, and the Delorean isn't bad either! :-)

Have fun!

redlegsrides said...

Trobairitz, yes, you know me and to kudos for driving on the left side, there's still a few more days riding....keep your fingers crossed!

motoventures, thanks for the kind words, the DeLorean was pretty cool....

David Masse said...

Oh dear, my life sucks, compared to yours. I pop over here to check on Colorado sunsets, like Steve did, and look at this. I'm like 15 posts behind and you guys are bombing around the UK in a side car rig. Holy moly!

redlegsrides said...

Now see, David Masse, I must gentle correct you. And you, a citizen of the British Commonwealth at that! ;)

Ireland, where we went sidecaring, is not part of the UK and they'd take exception at that statement, but that's OK, I completely understand. Now I know the differences between UK, Great Britain and just far, I've not messed up when talking to the locals. But, there's still time.

Sadly, we couldn't find a sidecar rental outfit in the UK so will have to "make do" with the two-wheeled option for a couple of days in Scotland and a day in Wales and England. More to follow.