A glimmer of bright sunshine made its way into my room in The Kenmare Bay Hotel this morning giving hope of a bright day ahead. Being my final day the plan was to ride a short but scenic 24k loop before heading for home.
A flat first section out the Sneem road, passing by school kids walking to school led me to a right turn where I now passed farmers bringing in their cows for milking. Everyday life was taking place all around as tourists from Australia and America boarded their busses and headed for another days sightseeing.
The quiet road that I now found myself on is a back way up to Molls Gap and off the tourist trail. Kerry flags abounded from gate posts and gable ends of houses already built whilst a solitary bike stood out on the road at the gate of a house which was now just constructed to roof level.
Bullocks curiously looked over ditches as I passed by on my bike aware that this was a road not regularly frequented, but all the more enticing as a result. Grass grew from the hedgerows but also found its way to the middle of the road in places. Silence abounded as petrol and Diesel engines became noticeable by their absence.
Mountains rose up before me as a long valley stretched out to my left. The summit approached and I would soon join a busier road for the last 3 kilometres before Molls Gap. This was a very gentle, sheltered meandering way to climb the side of a mountain and one which gave a decent rise in altitude without the corresponding rise in heart rate.
A small fishing lake caught my eye as I approached a viewing area overlooking The Black Valley. The lone fisherman seemed unperturbed by my stopping to take a closer look. He was not concerned about bright cycling gear frightening away the fish that were his prey. Having travelled from Scotland in order to relax and cast out his lines far removed from elections he seemed very at ease with the World.
The more time I spend here the more I notice that this place has that effect on people.
Molls Gap around the corner presented a small blue yellow number plated Fiesta which came to a sharp halt in the parking area before it’s two occupants jumped out. They almost ran to the wall at the edge of the road to take three photos before running back to the car and being on the move again. All in under thirty seconds they had ticked another location off their list and totally missed the beauty and splendour that took thousands of years to evolve.
The descent back down Molls Gap to the Kenmare Bay Hotel finished of a very enjoyable couple of days exploring an area that ticks all the boxes that any cyclist would place on their to do list.
This route would rate a four out of seven for difficulty.
Here is a downloadable map of todays Kenmare Bay 24k
Here is todays Strava file
And here is a smartphone downloadable file on mapmyride
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