Northern Ireland

6.9.2018 (Day 111: Castlefinn-Bushmills):

Before departure, we could wash our dirty dishes in the house of the kind farmer’s family and use the toilet. From the beginning the ascents and down hills switched as fast as the weather from sun to rain. At the end of the day, we could record the fifth biggest ascent in one day since the North Cape with more than 1100 metres. Shortly before the daily goal, the Giant’s Causeway, we reached the coast and therefore the Irish Sea. The wind increased and we were looking for an ideal place to spend the night. Instead of a suspected forest, there was a golf course were we wanted to sleep. As an emergency solution, we asked an older woman, directly next to a hostel, if we could put our tents in her garden and she agreed instantly.

7.9.2018 (Day 112: Bushmills-Belfast):

Directly after breakfast and the tidy up of our night camp, we visited the more than 40’000 basalt columns, which formed roughly 60 million years ago. After we viewed the special rock formation, we got closer to Belfast. We cycled up and down. The ascents got longer, the down hills faster, more adrenaline was secreted into our blood system, and the road quality got worse. Directly before the city centre of Belfast, Joel’s chain broke and we had to stop. After a short evaluation, we changed the chain link and put the chain back into its position. Relieved, we started cycling and suspected nothing bad. 3km further, we heard a crack and the rear wheel blocked in a second and stopped abrupt. Since Adrian could not react fast enough, he fell sideways, because he could not get out of his clipless pedals. Luckily, nothing bad happened and no cars were approaching from behind. Joel’s rear derailleur, especially the sprocket was broken. We tried to switch the hanger, which was the broken part, but this did not work and Joel had to walk the last few kilometres. Exhausted and glad to reach our destination, we were welcomed by Pia in her home. We can stay at her place during the weekend.

8.9.2018- 9.9.2018 (Day 113-114: Beak Days: Belfast):

After washing our cycling clothes, we went to look for a suitable bicycle shop, to replace Joel’s rear derailleur. In the first bike shop (McGarvey Cycles), they had no spare parts in storage and send us to the very competent Bicycle Workshop Belfast (1A Lawrence Street). In the late afternoon, we picked up the repaired bike and were very happy with the service. In the evening, we enjoyed the self-made vegetarian lasagne by Pia and had nice conversation during dinner. Pia showed us, including her boyfriend, through the capital of Northern Ireland and we learned a lot about the city. In the harbour area, we found out that Belfast had one of the largest shipyards in the World in the beginning of the 20th century and the Titanic was built here. Pia showed us many graffiti, which are distributed all around the city and was very impressive to see. In the backyard of a pub, there was a flea market and we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere with a beer and pizza.