Escape the rat race and get away from it all in the peace and quiet of Southern Ireland. Leave work at 5:30pm and the next day you could be here for just £82 plus a few tanks of fuel
Fishguard ferry port at 2am is like a scene from Night of the Living Dead. Half-human figures stagger around in a state of near-consciousness while cars tickover as their occupants attempt to stave off the boredom with late night radio. It's bleak, cold and mind-numbingly tedious. But not without its curious charms.
"What you boys doing then?" a thickly Irish accented voice squeaks in our direction from an open car window. Despite the hour the occupant seems full of the joys of life, ready to launch into conversation. Damn her. I mumble we're heading over the water for a day's riding.
"Oohh, you want to go to Courtown Beach, thats where. Courtown Beach, it's lovely. Courtown." Obviously overjoyed to find someone to talk to, our new friend is on a roll. She prods the sleeping figure in the passenger seat next to her, "they should go to Courtown, shouldn't they? Courtown beach.""Courtown. Courtown!" the figure enthusiastically squawks, without opening an eye.
By now I'm convinced of several things. Not only is this Courtown place one of the wonders of the world, but the Irish can hold a conversation in their sleep and their friendliness is bordering on the obsessive. We utter some thanks, which isn't quite enough as it still takes a good five minutes to get out of a conversation. Courtown is mentioned 50 more times and just in case there's any doubt we're even shown it on a map.
After this bombardment of one-way conversation I'm left feeling mentally drained, but also boosted. If the Irish can be this happy at 3am, what will they be like during opening hours?
Exploring the Emerald Isle has always been a target of mine, but short of a few boozy nights in Dublin I've never really had the chance. Having been cooped up in London for the last few months I was starting to go a bit stir-crazy and an escape was needed, a few hours away from it all. But like most of us, time off was an issue so a proper holiday was out of the question. But a ferry leaves Fishguard heading to Rosslare at 2:15am and returns at 9:15pm, a whole day in Ireland for only £82 return and the slight discomfort of spending two nights kipping on a ferry floor. Leave work at 5:30, ride the 280 miles from the office to Fishguard at a gentle pace, catch the ferry and be in Ireland for breakfast. The plan was made.
A quick shout around the office and Barry, the only member of staff who doesn't have children or a wife was onboard, along with the photographer. Lots of miles, mainly motorway, and tired bodies riding them limited the choice of bikes. The choice fell to big tourers, Kawasaki's all-singing GTR1400, Yamaha's old favourite FJR1300 and Honda's tried and tested Pan European. So, as everyone else in the office filtered home to screaming family bliss, we left on the route to peace and tranquillity.
Continue the Eire Tours Road Test - 2/2
Budget for £120 in petrol to get there and back from London. B&Bs in Ireland cost from £50 to £50 a night, depending on remoteness. Ferry crossings from Fishguard to Rosslare are £35 for the slow boat and £45 for the fast one each way for a bike and passenger. Book tickets at www.stenalive.co.uk or call 08705 707070.
i am just about to but a New gtr 1400 but i really want to know if the bike is ok for the passanger..... i 've seen ,many videos about gtr 1400 but none of them were with a passenger
Posted: 24/08/2008 at 16:57
Posted: 17/12/2008 at 15:50
Rave reviews on it.
I was looking at buying one but they're a bit pricey and I can't afford it right now. Even the damaged Cat C one I looked at would 've worked out quite pricey to put right.
Your best bet would be to go to a make speciffic forum and see what others are saying. There are loads out there, just google kawasaki bike forums and something should pop up.
Posted: 17/12/2008 at 16:07
Oh, wouldn't get the Pan if you bought it for me!
Even the police have got rid of theirs.
Posted: 17/12/2008 at 16:09
Posted: 17/12/2008 at 18:19
Exactly. So hardly good for a two-up tourer, which is what the OP specifically wanted.
Steer well clear of the Pan, or buy an older one. Better still buy the GT or the FJ.
Posted: 18/12/2008 at 12:35
Posted: 18/12/2008 at 12:37
Posted: 24/03/2009 at 20:52
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