We got off the boat and looked around. And then, simultaneously we both asked each other, 'where are we?'
'Ringaskiddy' a sign said. So we started riding in the right general direction, or so it seemed. Until we took a turn down a side road, one of the best side roads we've ridden in months, beautiful surface, barely any cars, framed by old stone walls and tunnels of green.
And then we came to a river, where we saw another ferry.
And it seemed in the right general direction so we decided to get on.
But it said we had to pay, one euro each, but we only had one euro and fifty cents between the both of us, but the man said it didn't matter, we could go for free.
So we got on the boat, and went to the other side of the river, a river sparkling blue, twinkling underneath the boats above its surface alongside the houses that line its stone walled shores.
You would like this place, really I think you would, you might, if you came here and the sun was shining like it is right now, even start to imagine yourself living in a place like this. Well I did.
And then we discovered that we were on an island, the Island of Cobh. And so I was thinking, I was thinking that no-one really talks about how beautiful Ireland is, and apparently, at least we were warned by some Irish people before we came that this was the ugly part, the part we shouldn't bother with. So I'm wondering to myself, bloody hell I'm thinking, have they ever been here, because how much better than this can you get?
And right about then as the road, framed by stone walls goes over a crest I see a big tree growing out of the water, and then we look ahead and see a beautiful bridge, and behind this beautiful bridge there's the remains of a castle. And I'll stop here and just say that you should come here, if you can, and ride these streets on a bicycle. But don't just take my word for it, have a look at some of the photo's. I took those and I'm not even much of an amateur photographer.
We crossed the old bridge, hundreds of years old, centuries, and left the small island.
And then, thirty kilometers later, busting to go to the toilet we stopped at a little pub at the side of the road. It didn't look much, but we got inside and the old couple said, 'this ere' place is more than three hundred years old.' Wow.
And then it got really, really, really windy. And then, when we got to the beach, a beautiful freezing cold Irish beach we looked up and it began to rain, a cold sleeting rain.
So we looked left and we saw a family, running excitedly for the water, shirts off, diving into the icy ocean, cries of joy, body boards out. And then, unable to believe my eyes I look to my right and see some elderly gentleman bobbing gracefully among the waves and the spray. And I look over through the rain and the wind at Shanna and say, 'crazy bloody Irish!'
What a country!
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia