Day 29 - Past the port
As I was cycling into Kinsale last night I had a feeling of deja vu and then I remembered that I had been part of the crew of a yacht that we had brought from Lymington to Kinsale to take part in the annual regatta. I forget the reason but I jumped ship almost immediately and flew back home from Cork to Stansted airport necessitating an overnight stay in Kings Cross - not a trip I remember with any great fondness. I’m also fairly sure that, before leaving, we had a pint in Jim Edwards’ pub which was where I stayed last night. Unusually for me I’d booked this direct and got a deal for a bed and four course dinner for 70 euros. They don’t do breakfast but if the price of the set meal of 27 euro is taken out of the equation the room, which was a good size with a superb shower, for 43 euro was very good value. The meal was excellent; a tasty goat’s cheese salad starter and well cooked hake with plenty of veg and some extra chips followed by apple crumble. I declined the tea or coffee and went for a quick stroll around the town before composing the blog. Kinsale was humming, like Kenmare last week, full of Americans and the pubs and restaurants were doing good trade.
The large bed was comfortable, although there was quite a lot of late night shouting and laughing outside the window and I didn’t sleep particularly well. I was up and out shortly after 8am for breakfast round the corner at the Cosy Cafe who dished up very good scrambled eggs, tea and toast which set me up for the day.
I was packed up and away on the first day of October at 0918. It was chilly and overcast and remained so all day but there was little wind so the initial climb out of Kinsale was relatively benign
The road descended to a creek and I followed it up to Belgooly. I passed lots of early morning exercisers, some with dogs, but exclusively female: maybe they had just got the children off to school and were taking advantage of the lull. From Belgooly I had a seven mile climb, mostly easy but at times over 8% followed by a sharp descent to Carrigaline where I wiggled through a housing estate. I came up behind a man with his dog on a lead, he on one side of the road and the dog on the other. I dinged my bell twice, normally it’s very effective, without any response and I had to pull up beside him before he apologised and moved out of the way.
I was heading for the Passage West ferry that crosses a strait from Glenbrook to Cobh. It only takes four minutes to cross and goes backwards and forwards from 630am to 930pm, saving a long journey upstream through Cork City.
Cobh used to be known as Queenstown in honour of a visit by Queen Victoria in 1849 and it remained that way until 1920 when the Irish were getting ready for home rule. In 1912 RMS Titanic left Southampton, crossed to Cherbourg and then dropped anchor in the natural harbour at Queenstown.
On 11th April she set sail on her fateful maiden and final voyage with 123 passengers who boarded in Ireland, only 44 of whom lived to tell the tale. At least 1500 people died when she hit an iceberg and sank less than 3 hours later on the morning of 15th April. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was agreed in 1914, heavily influenced by the tragedy.
Once across to the Cobh bank I followed the water, for once on my left hand side, until I reached the bridge at Belvelly which has a fine tower house castle which is undergoing restoration and is covered in scaffolding