A gorgeous morning saw Pamela climbing up to Red Gap in western Wicklow.
The low sun made for some dramatic light.
I don't think I told Pamela exactly how gratuitous the climb up Butter Mountain was. Ah, but the view was splendid!
From there, our twisted route took us up the Ranger's Road, with "up" being the operative part of the expression...
And still we went up.
A full bodied, robust road, with a heady aroma and a long finish.
Finally, we started to head down towards the Sally Gap road, with Kippure in the background.
Working off a rather delicious lunch in Blessington.
The sun setting on a delightful day awheel.
We had a nice relaxed start to our day, with coffee at the Battle of the Boyne visitor centre, followed by a stop at Dowth Castle, the birthplace of John Boyd O'Reilly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boyle_O'Reilly).
The Dowth passage grave (http://www.megalithicireland.com/Dowth%20Passage%20Tomb.html) is next door. It dates from ca. 2500 B.C. and is one of a number of prehistoric sites in the Boyne river valley.
Declan brought us on some terrific roads.
There's a reason wind turbines are now a common sight in Ireland!
John was actually on the ride too.
The boys doing what they do best - not asking for directions.
We cunningly tried to ensure shelter from the wind by seeking out mountains of hay bales.
En route, we also partook of the views from Baldongan Castle (http://www.skerrieshomepage.com/history9.htm).
The always quotable Eddie in Skerries harbour. Many cyclists in New England unknowingly quote Eddie, with the attribution given to me. I, however, am merely passing on Eddie's nuggets of wisdom.
I told Pamela this would be an easy, downhill ride...
…but I forgot about the motorway overpass in Kill.
We got a late start and dusk comes early in late November.
Happily, we made it to Moone before the shop selling heavenly biscuit cake closed!
We rode by, but didn't stop to peer at the Moone high cross (http://www.megalithicireland.com/High%20Cross%20Moone.htm) in the dark, but it was over yonder.
A great wee boreen!
Wildlife spotted in Clonegal.
"I'm telling you, Sha-Roe Bistro (http://ireland-guide.com/establishment/sha_roe_bistro.5080.html) is right across the street!"
However, the highly recommended Sha-Roe would not open until later that evening. Ever resourceful, Dave concocted the cheddar fig-roll culinary creation to fuel the trip home.
Sadly, we didn't have enough time to visit Huntington Castle (http://www.huntingtoncastle.com/). Next time...
Our token sunlight for the day. Quick, where's the sunscreen?
A sphincter testing descent...
...followed by a lung testing ascent.
Next up was a tasty stop at The Chocolate Garden (http://www.chocolategarden.ie/). We're not sure about the message that eating these figurines would send...
We'll be feeling a little crappy soon...
The lead-up to the Corrabut Gap, which is just visible in the top right-hand corner of the shot.
The top is getting close...
Oops! Just a little further...
The Corrabut Gap down...
...but the climb to the Nine Stones still to come.
They're up there somewhere!
Taken on the descent from The Nine Stones, looking back at the summit of Mt. Leinster, which we did not climb today.
A room with a view.
Appreciating Mile Bush Hill.
And there's more to appreciate.
A conveniently located spa. Just the thing to calm the nerves after the preceding descent!
The unmistakeable profile of Duckett's Grove (http://www.duckettsgrove.eu/).
A view from the walled gardens.
And the sun set on a simply wonderful day.
Waiting for the train in Carlow.
A blurry shot of the bike facilities on the train.
Pamela in front of the Wellington Monument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_Monument,_Dublin).