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A pleasant retreat

As often happens, it rained as I was about to leave the hotel, heading for the south of Ireland. All other riders had departed, except for Michiel and Gerhard, who were ensconced, presumably asleep, in their rooms upstairs. It eased, I raced out, pressed the starter button - and a wussy whirring was all I got! Damn! I had a flat battery. The culprit was the heated grips, which I must have left on when I returned to the hotel in the early hours of the morning. Why they had been wired direct to the battery and not the ignition has got me stuffed!

There was no-one around to ask for a jump start [I had jump leads with me], so I sat in the hotel lounge, frustrated, not knowing quite what to do. Then Michiel appeared out of the lift, and offered to help. Unfortunately, after dismantling his auxilliary fuel cell from his Harley, we discovered that the battery wasn't where we expected it to be, and couldn't find it! So, as a last resort, I rang Gerhard, who brought his 1200GS around and the Wee immediately burbled into life.The only problem was, I needed fuel as I was on reserve. I decided to set off and see how far I could get, both timewise and fuelwise before I had to switch off.

After 25 minutes riding the freeway, it was getting dangerously close to empty, so I pulled off into a small town. Rather than switch off, I thought I'd use the spare key to open the fuel tank, so leaving the bike running while I filled up. The moment the fuel lid was opened, the engine faded and died. So much for that thought! I was hoping it would restart. Had the 25 minutes been enough to get a decent charge into it? I wondered. It was. Bewdy!

It was overcast and threatening rain, so I decided to head for a Youth Hostel near Enniskerry, not far away. After twisting around tiny country lanes, I arrived at the hostel, and got sorted, sharing a room with two mature age Irish ladies from Killarney, Ann and Kay, who were in the area for hiking.

It is stunning countryside.

Below and above: Sugarloaf Mountain

Below: the tiny lane heading past the hostel entrance

Below: Horses, in beautiful condition, grazing in the paddocks below the hostel.

It was so nice and restful here that I stayed an extra day, although it meant moving rooms as a school group had booked up several of the rooms, including the one in which I'd first stayed. Ann and Kay had left after the first night as they were moving on to climb more mountains.

So on the Tuesday morning, spirits and soul revived by the peaceful scenery, I packed and departed, taking some of the smaller roads along the coastal areas to the south, heading for Wexford.

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