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Merthyr to Mayo - Cork to Macroom

Imogen and Mole from The Bungee Bunch

24th May

An epic day in Ireland! We are woken at 4.45 by the ferry cafe/shop opening announcement after a brief sleep. Up on deck for sunrise over cork point as Julia (our ferry) makes a few nifty manoeuvres to dock. Terns swoop and duck in the ferry’s churning wake.


A welcome second breakfast of porridge on the beach

We set off on our 20 km ride to Cork only to be hijacked by an unexpected welcoming committee, with coffee and toast in a small community centre, closely followed by a trip to the beach where we met our Spanish amigos. Second breakfast was being cooked in a cauldron over a driftwood fire. A member of local environmental group CHASE gave us a talk about local ecological struggles.  These included guerrilla tree planting, a dead black bit of land that was a steel works 15 years ago and still has nothing growing on it(!) He showed us the bay crowded with stone throwing giants of legend, and present day pharmaceutical giants.

We cycled en-masse to Cork, the route led by a man and a baby who spontaneously joined us to show us his favourite route into town.  We arrived at the Solidarity Bookshop, gave them a bundle of newspapers, and sat down to an amazing feast provided by Lentil Disorder, it was corkin’ (sorry, that’s for Tim).

A few hours in Peace Park and a puppet show later, we left Cork as a 60-strong critical mass, corking the roads as we went! After a mishap with an angry driver and a back wheel (we’ll leave it to your imagination, no one was injured, thankfully) we stopped and finally had a chance to meet each other.  We reformed into small groups to cycle the final 38 km.

Our group, The Bungee Bunch, cycled at a rate of knots along to a pumping soundtrack which caught the interest of local livestock.  The route meandered through a series of glittering lakes and bluebell woods, crossing the river as we entered Macroom.  Only 3 hours late for food, we passed through the castle gates and had hot stew with nettles, and wild garlic pesto mmmmmmmm.

Later we made our way to the soccer hall, where a few of us camped on the pitch.  A perfect camping spot.  We slept vociferously (phew) while others went down the pub for some live music.

Imogen and Mole, from The Bungee Bunch xx