It was a little bit of an on the spur of the moment decision to go over to Northern Ireland for the Irish Shindig in the North Rally. We rode up to Cairnryan on the Tuesday to catch a ferry Wednesday morning as we thought it would be best to stop in a B and B instead of arriving at some silly hour and putting the tent up in the dark.
After a cracking breakfast Wednesday morning it was a case of riding a few hundred yards and booking in for the ferry. The crossing was fine, although in open water it was a little choppy which didn’t agree with Lesley who thought being at the front of the boat would be the best place, she did join me in the Club lounge which is located in the middle of the boat, the best place to be if it is a little rough on the water. We were give a free upgrade to the club lounge and Lesley found me scoffing my face and drinking cappuccinos.
2 hrs later and we were in Ireland and heading for The Shepherd’s Rest near Draperstown, needless to say we were the first to arrive. We had a nice evening in the pub in front of an open fire, they even fed us for free and we were made very welcome. The Irish Sidecar Owners Club had arranged a joint rally with the Thumper Club with several turning up on outfits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OdrV3kFcMk and here’s a link to The Shepard’s Rest site https://shepherdsrestpub.com/thumper-club-meeting-shepherds-rest-campsite-2017/ If you are looking for a centrally based campsite with excellent facilities and who welcomes motorcycles I can recommend The Sheppard’s Rest, nothing was too much trouble for Colin the landlord and he went out of his way to make sure Lesley had some lovely meals.
We did some touring / sight-seeing on the Thursday arriving back at tea time, Colin gave us a few handy money saving tips.
We first visited Ballymoney
From there to the Giant’s Causeway https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway you can visit for free, thanks to Colin the landlord who explained how, simply ask me how. If you do go and pay you will be disappointed, yes it is quite famous, but it attracts tourists by the bus loads from all over the world
From there we was going to visit the https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carrick-a-rede but the weather was closing in on the coast and it was will misty. So we went inland where it was dry.
Friday we went on a run, organised by Tim of the Thumper club, to a private collection http://theabingdoncollection.com/ well worth a visit and don’t be put off when you arrive at what looks like a simple private bungalow. With most of the ISOC arriving during the day Friday night in the pub was much more lively with music and singing until the early hours https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV8J02sRKDU
The Abingdon Collection
Saturday and Steve had organised a run to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wellbrook-beetling-mill via http://www.an-creagan.com/ where we had a bit to eat.
This hand weaving loom belonged to Tim’s mother Carol, Tim and Barbara kindly donated it to the mill
Saturday night we all had a full sit down dinner for a tenner each in the pub followed by, yes you guessed it, lots of singing and drinking.
Sunday it was back with the Tim of the Thumper Club and a visit to a very private collection of motorcycles, which the owner wishes to remain private, all I can say is, it was one hell of a collection containing bikes from the early 1900’s to TT racers. Again we left the group and headed into Belfast to visit http://titanicbelfast.com/
Monday morning arrived all too quickly but we could see off the Thumper Club who were having a couple of days in Southern Ireland.
We then packed and headed off to catch the boat at Larne, we had elected to take the 13:00 sailing simply to give us a leisurely pack up. The water was calm and Lesley was well happy, although when I turned up with a full roast, her words were “you have got to be kidding me” even though the sea was like a billiard table she still didn’t want anything to eat.
It was an uneventful ride home with one stop at Wetherby Services for a Burger.
Motorcycle parking, I thought we was pushing it a bit taking up 2 of the solo bays, but when we came out two cars and a van seem to think they are motorcycles! They even had pictures of motorcycles on the posts for those who cannot read!
Tim on his thumper.
Many thanks to Tim of the Thumper Club, Steve of the ISOC and Colin the landlord for making sure we had a good time. Plus, is Black the new red, as the CTX picked up the Best Outfit award?
Martyn and Lesley
A few more pictures