Day 23 - After the Lord Mayor’s show
John welcomed me to Adrinane House and put the bike in the garage whilst I cleaned and washed myself and my clothes. He suggested that I eat at the South Pole Inn directly across the road so, having started the blog, I went across at about 7pm and ordered a pint of Guinness. When I asked for food I was told that the kitchen had closed at 5pm but there was another pub up the road that would be open.
The South Pole Inn is so called because it was the home of Tom Crean who had run away to sea at the age of 15 and, lying about his age, had joined the Royal Navy. In 1901, now 24 years old, Crean was serving on board a torpedo vessel in New Zealand which was asked to give assistance to Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery which was about to depart for Antarctica. When a vacancy occurred in the Discovery’s crew Crean volunteered, was accepted and sailed with Scott, remaining in the Antarctic until 1904. When Scott decided to return to attempt to reach the South Pole in 1910 Crean was part of his crew but was not included in the final party that made it to the Pole but died on the return journey. Crean subsequently joined Shackleton’s 1914 expedition and played a major role in rescuing the crew when the Endurance sank in the pack ice. An extraordinary and modest man who never gave an interview in his lifetime whose feats are commemorated in pictures and writings around the walls of the pub.
However interesting the story of Tom Crean, there was no food available so I went up the road to Patcheen’s Bar and ordered soup and beef stew - pretty it was not, but it was tasty enough. After I’d finished the owner Andrew asked where I was staying and I told him of my journey. There were a couple of other locals in the bar and we got talking and a few pints of the black stuff later were having a good craic. What started as a rather disappointing evening ended on a high note and I went back to finish the blog in high spirits.
This morning there were an Australian and American lady already having breakfast. They are both (separately) walking the Kerry Way which seems to be a popular route. I had a bit of craic with John before leaving. It transpires that he was made redundant by the Irish Civil Service and set up the B&B about 10 years ago. He went off driving tour buses for a while whilst his daughter looked after the B&B but returned and now does that whilst his wife still works for the Government.
I set off at 0949 knowing that I had under 50 miles to ride. The day was overcast and I had a significant climb over the hill from Annascaul to Inch Beach looking back at the Conor Pass that I crossed yesterday
Over the top of the hill I looked down on Inch a huge sand spit that provides miles of golden sand for surfing and swimming when the conditions are somewhat better than today
I swept down the hill and joined the coast road that makes its way to the head of the bay at Castlemaine. The wind was in my favour but the road was uninteresting and I was just intent on getting to the turning point. Once round the corner the wind was in my face once more and a lot stronger than I had anticipated. Fortunately at this point I got off the very badly surfaced N70 and took to, at one point, an unsurfaced lane but through trees and sheltered from the wind. By chance I spotted an old ruined church attached to a graveyard and stopped to take some pictures