Day 7, half way… sort of. Leaving The Artist Hostel relatively early, this was our only other day we had a deadline… A ferry ride to Scotland. We had a lot of ground to cover, so we had a quick breakfast at our hostel, before our ride along the northern part of Ireland, and all the way through Northern Ireland… those are different… to get to Larne. We headed towards the coast and on our route, we realized we were going right past Giants Causeway. We didn’t have much time to dawdle, so we briskly walked down (the ocean was completely calm), looked around for 5 minutes, and took the bus back to the top of the hill (we are on vacation here…).
We continued on our route, and found some AMAZING roads right on the coast! Up and down, curving and winding, all with the ocean to the left, and fields of green all around. It seemed like every day, the roads were getting better and better. We could have stayed on those roads for forever, right along the coast, winding and curving… it was stunning. We ended up in Larne early, checked in, and then had a coffee while we waited.
Once we loaded on the ferry, we found a corner, dropped our gear, and relaxed for the 2 and a half hour ferry to Cairn Ryan, sampling some food, and walking round. We met another biker on his own, named Volker, a German, that joined our band of merry bikers for the rest of our ride that day. He was meeting a friend the following day. As we arrived, we looked through the windows… and the rain was there to greet us! Welcome to Scotland! We got our wet weather gear on, and started our ride.
We had a shorter ride to our final destination in Largs, riding through spells of hard rain, with the sun peeking out occasionally, and passing numerous golf clubs along the way. We arrived in Largs to an apartment on the second floor where our Airbnb was, and started parking, before both first floor tenants popped themselves out of windows and doors saying, “You’re not parking those bikes there!” in the best Scottish accent. So, we locked them, and left them on the street. We did a load of laundry, drying everything on the radiators, and headed on a walk into town.
We popped to a local pub still serving dinner, and had a pint there before walking down the street to Weatherspoons (Mike was unimpressed with the beer selection at the local pub, so we went to this chain). This did not sit well with my dad, and the rest of the evening, the discussion was a big debate between visiting the local pub with the local flavor and an unknown local selection of drinks, or the reliable chain for the pint you want. In the end, my dad turned in early, and the rest of us walked over to Ye Olde Inn. When we walked in, Mike’s first question was “do you have any Ales”, and the response was a resounding “No…”. The rest of the evening, all we heard from Mike was squabbling about the silly local pubs with their fake wood beams, and the accordion player in the corner. Nevertheless, a wonderful day, and a great night sleep.
Here was our planned route for Day 8!