RideEatCamp

Planning and panting

Europe

We weren’t sure where we were going to camp that night, so we needed to formulate a plan. Without proper maps or any guidebook, all of our planning is done with help from the internet. So we headed to the nearest cafĂ© to have a second breakfast and to plan the day.

This is the north side of the Mamore Gap. We didn't ride up it. We ride up the other, harder, side.
This is the north side of the Mamore Gap. We didn’t ride up it. We ride up the other, harder, side.

Just an aside, but it’s funny how in our modern age with our modern gadgets we really haven’t gained any freedom. At every campsite and hostel we stay at we see people carrying their smart devices and cables in search of a working socket. We’re tethered to our wireless toys as much as the toys are tethered to a charging source. On occasion I’d like to throw the electronic toys in the trash and unplug from it all, but then this blog wouldn’t exist. And what would I do with myself between dinner and sleep? Read a book? How quaint.

The internet helped us decide to head to Malin Head, which happens to be the most northerly part of Ireland. On the way there we took a ferry ride short cut and watched a curtain of bad weather chase us. When we landed in Buncrana and started heading north, the curtain caught us. We managed to find a pair of mature trees to act as a large umbrella and waited five minutes for the rain to stop. By the time we stopped we were sharing the trees with four other young women who hadn’t dressed for the occasion.

Onward and further north we came to the Mamore Gap. We could tell we were approaching the gap because there was a cliff in front of us and painted on it was a road. Carrie and I stopped at the foot of the cliff and just stared at it. They built a road up that? Then it started to rain. We needed warm legs to attempt the ascent so we stopped staring and started pedaling. I managed to make it to the top by zig zagging up the one lane road. Carrie faltered at one point and lost her balance. There was no use in hopping on the saddle again so she pushed the bike up the remaining wall.
After a steep descent on the other side of the gap, we rolled through a lot of farmland before finding the caravan park, which was tucked away in some wheat fields.

This area has an interesting history. Back in the early 19th century, this area declared itself independent from Ireland. Their independence lasted three years. What was their motivation for independence? The people were tired of getting hassled by the authorities for producing moonshine.