Sidecarland

Irish Shindig in the North 2019

We left home planning to meet Ozzy at Mainsgill Farm Shop and Café https://www.mainsgillfarm.co.uk/ at around 11:00 but with very little traffic we were there just after 10:00 and Ozzy wasn’t far behind. The café is very good with plenty of room, well worth a stop. While we were there a bird took a fancy to Ozzy’s sidecar.

We arrived in Stranraer mid-afternoon, found the overnight B and B and took a stroll to see the sites, and there are a few. The pubs are very much hit and miss, in fact, we could only recommend one Custom House https://www.belhavenpubs.co.uk/pubs/dumfries-galloway/custom-house/?utm_source=g_places&utm_medium=locations&utm_campaign= as we were on the early ferry it didn’t matter too much as we were not going to be too late to bed. After a full Scottish breakfast we were ready for the short ride to catch the Cairnryan to Larne ferry. Lesley likes this as it is only a 2hr crossing although they did have a bit of a hiccup on one crossing in December https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/six-lorries-blown-over-on-larne-to-cairnryan-ferry-deck-7jv8xvgth and it does get a wee bit choppy https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:373126/mmsi:311027000/imo:9208394/vessel:EUROPEAN_CAUSEWAY but we was in luck, for once the sea was like a billiard table. Once at Larne you are off the ferry quite quickly and straight onto the main road were you can pass the HGV’s with ease and we arrived at the site not long after lunch. This gave us plenty of time to set up and the head back into Draperstown for supplies and to have some fish and chips. A pleasant evening was spent in the pub on site in front of the fire, sampling the various beers on offer. When we headed back to our tents we could see the stars and we could see our frozen tents, yes it had dropped to below freezing while we were all warm and toasty in the pub.

The next morning, after breakfast we headed off to Ulster Transport Museum to see Tim Peake’s return capsule https://www.nmni.com/our-museums/Ulster-Transport-Museum/Home.aspx how three people can get into something so small, I don’t know.

There will be a separate report and picture of the museum on this website on the museums page as there was lots to see. If you are ever in North Ireland it is well worth a visit, in fact we were there well over 3 hours!

Spaceman Ozzy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGVwreJNWlk

With the weather so good we dined alfresco style once we got back onsite with Steve arriving on his oval wheeled Ural; wheels odd in shape don’t really matter on a lot of the Irish roads according to Steve. When we went in the pub Colin, the landlord, had set up some glasses so we could sample some of the beers that had arrived for the rally that day including one special from https://kinnegarbrewing.ie/ called Thumper, a double IPA brewed for the Thumper Club and at 7.8% all I can say by the end of the night Lesley told me it was time for bed as I couldn’t put a sentence together. Friday and we headed off to Ballymoney https://www.ireland.com/en-gb/destinations/northern-ireland/county-antrim/ballymoney/ to visit the family Dunlop’s memorials and the museum and with a spring fair going on there was plenty to see and do. After lunch we headed up to the coast and rode part of the Causeway Coastal Route https://discovernorthernireland.com/about-northern-ireland/destinations/causeway/causeway-coastal-route/ before heading back via Northern Ireland’s highest pub “The Ponderosa” http://www.theponderosabar.com/ On the Saturday the run was to the home of Dart Mountain Cheese, for tour, very informative and some lovely cheeses to sample http://tamnaghfoods.com/index.html .

Seems that the Tepee tent is quite popular.

In the evening there was a meal laid on for all and, I can assure you, it is all you can eat and you don’t go away hungry. Sunday with the weather being windy we did think the crossing back to Scotland would be a little ruff but while it was a little choppy I didn’t think it was too bad, Lesley may have a different opinion! You couldn’t go outside on deck due to the weather so Ozzy consumed a box of Tic Tacs but it was to get worse. Once at Cairnryan it was straight off the boat and on the road not stopping for 110 miles until a quick fuel stop, where I said to Ozzy “are you OK? We will keep going and stop at Wetherby” which was another 140 miles or so. By the time we got to Wetherby, Ozzy had been without a cigarette for over 7hrs and he, in his own words “was on the ragged edge”. Anyhow with food, coffee and cigarettes he was refreshed for the final blast home. It was a great trip, good weather for most of it, no rain, a wee bit cold on the journey home, there was still snow on the hills coming across the A66 and, best of all, a really good rally (Thanks to Steve for organising) at super site with a landlord who couldn’t do enough for you.

http://www.swmmotorcycles.co.uk/
They are selling a few of these at the moment.
Still going Mark!