Friday, 3 August 2007

End Of The Road

2 August - Latest substandard sleeping arrangements turned out to be relatively acceptable - crashed on wooden bench at ferry terminal for a few hours and once we boarded the couriers took over the padded floor of the children's play pen - best three hours sleep i've had in a week. Next thing I knew we were woken by the announcement that we'd hit the coast of Ireland and after some vague inhalation of caffeine and nicotine and other remedies (by a few) we headed off to the campsite where we were supposed to be the previous night. Got caught up in a line of some of the faster riders and we set a blistering pace over the 15 miles to Wexford - and because we were now in a civilised country it was actually 24 kilometres and even though there are more of them they click down much faster. Me and Luis headed out slightly earlier than the others because we wanted to break the fast (which turned out to be an irish breakfast which is pretty much the same as an english breakfast or even an american breakfast (if you're in thailand) or an australian breakfast with the vegemite subbed by black and white pudding) and we took the very nice coastal road up north. Somehow managed to lose him again and after a bit more coastal plodding decided it was time to hit the motorway (also considering that my map didn't cover Ireland it was really the only route I had any possibility of making). Had my first irish guiness at a pub in Inch (and I stand by my statement that's in no better than one poured in England or even Australia (unless its out of a can and vibratetd with sonic shock waves) and then took off in a group that had an unexpected traffic race through the next town. Knees were really starting to suffer (as well as back, shoulders, hands and crotch) and had to stop every 15k or so to stretch and cry a little. Eventually found myself riiding into Bray where I was yelping from the pain of every hop skid all the way down and found our welcome party (of one - Owen, one of the dublin organisers). This was pretty much the spiritual end of the journey as most of the couriers who arrived before I did (and there weren't too many, mmind you) had already started the proces of getting very, very drunk. Went on the WHeel of death at the seaside fair, zoned out for a while and waited for the last of the straglers to come in. Eventually announcem was made that we were rolling to Dublin and despite the several hours rest i'd had I was in agony every pedal of the way - the planned route of heading via the motorway was thwarted by the Garda and all forty or so of us had to walk the entire 2km stretch of motorway before we got to the place where you could legally ride - not that there was much legal riding going on. And then we were there - just in time to see the end of an alley cat ld that day and to meet some of the hundred and fifty or so messengers who'd already arrived. Far to tired to do anythingexcept try to find my accommodation and find some form of sustance but there's a whole week where I can drink with those couriers and i'm sure they won't miss me tonight ...

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