Freewheeling through Ireland: Enfield Pedals the West Coast [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Edward Enfield
eBook Category: Travel/Travel
eBook Description: 'At one moment you seem to be in the Lake District; then you could be on the moon; then you are in a wilderness; and then beside a Norwegian fjord.' When Edward decided to cycle around Ireland, he was enchanted by prehistoric fortresses, rugged landscapes, and landladies who insisted on washing his shirts. He takes you with him on a gentle ride up the west coast, eating enormous breakfasts and fresh fish for supper along the way, and stopping to chat to peat-cutters, fishermen, eccentric tourists and a famous matchmaker. With his trademark dry wit, observant eye and a sense of the absurd, he is the perfect companion for a tour of Ireland's most beautiful areas from the lakes of Killarney to the idyllic Joyce's Country, and from the dolmens of Clare to the deserts and neolithic remains of Mayo.
eBook Publisher: Summersdale Non Fiction/Summersdale Travel
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2006
1 Reader Ratings:
I had a number of reasons for not taking my
bicycle to Ireland until I was 64, the main one
being that I had been twice before and did not
like it. I went on holiday to Tipperary in 1946, and
again 20 years later to Waterford on business, and it
seemed to me that the countryside was dull and the
?Have you been in Ireland before, Mr Enfield?? they
asked in 1966.
?Oh yes. After the war in 1946.?
?Ah, it would have changed a lot since then.? ?No. Not a bit. Not at all.? Fortunately they did not
press the point, or I would have had to explain that all
the buildings which were peeling for lack of paint in
1946 were still in the same state in 1966, and every third
shop was still a pub or a bookmaker, and the walls were
still supported by men who leant against them with their
hands in their pockets, having nothing else to do. When
I went for a third time, on the trip I am about to describe,
the whole place was transformed. Nearly everyone now
lived in a new white bungalow with a trim garden, and all
the walls stood up by themselves. This, they say, is due to
the Common Agricultural Policy, which poured millions
of subsidy into Ireland. They did not produce an extra
egg, slice of bacon, or pint of milk but instead they took
the money and built themselves houses.
Why, you may ask, did you want to go again? To give a
rather roundabout answer to this simple question, I have
found that there are three times in life when life itself
improves. The first is when you leave school; the second
is when your youngest child leaves home; and the third
is when you leave off work. At each of these steps your
freedom increases. At school you spend most of your
time doing what you are told to do by other people, then
as long as you have children at home you spend much
of your time doing what they want you to do. When the
youngest one decamps and there are just the two of you at
home, you seem somehow to get a second youth. Finally
when you leave off work, that is the best of all, because
every day becomes Saturday.
I had been, for many years, a local government officer,
and now I was a retired local government officer, which is a good thing to be as the pension arrangements are
admirable. I was, to my great delight, rich in time
and comfortably off for money. I had a wife of a most
tolerant nature, who remains quite calm if I propose to
get on my bike and clear off for a bit. A couple of years
before I had had an exhilarating time riding my bicycle
across France from the Channel to the Mediterranean,
and now I wanted to do something similar. The west
of Ireland, they said, was very beautiful, and the whole
place had come on a lot since I was last there. Possibly
I had misjudged it on my earlier visits so ?To Ireland,?
said I to myself, ?I shall go.?