Current Location: Fermoy, County Cork
Distance this Trip: 2,734 km
Coldest Day's Ride This Trip: 16 July, 56 km from near Dungarvan to near Youghal.
A one day heat wave threatened to melt southern Ireland today. The temperature soared to 18 degrees C, the sun shone all day, and two cyclists were forced to peel off their merino wool tops for the first time in a week.
Waterproof leggings and overshoes were stuffed away in panniers and the Irish flocked to the beaches at Tramore and Clonea Bay where they paddled, swam and picnicked.
The cyclists - still not convinced summer had arrived - sat on the beach in their fleece jackets and ate fish and chips in an attempt to ward off what they perceived as a cool breeze.
Afterwards, they admitted it had been a perfect day, cycling along the coast road with views out to the Celtic Sea. Even the hills were rideable.
The cyclists began by doing a good turn for two men stranded on the roadside with three large dogs.
"Couldn't borrow a cellphone could we? asked one of them.
"Our mate has just left us here. Don't know what's the matter with him. I think he's crazy in the head".
Judy passed over her cellphone and a rescue call was made.
"Thanks a lot. I'll pray for you. You're good lads," one of the men said, leaving Judy wondering if she had forgotten her lipstick.
At Bunmahon an elderly couple offered to make coffee when they learned the cyclists were waiting for the only cafe to open at 11 am. The offer was declined with thanks, before the cyclists perched themselves at a table at the cafe in the sunshine - not too hot, not too cold, just right.
The cafe was in an old church - repurposed as a tourist information office - and staffed by at least four women, one of whom was a Finnish student on work experience. She chatted to the cyclists but eventually it became clear she was less interested in them, and more interested in an excuse to stand outside and soak up the sun's rays.
Finland was cold she told them, but at least the houses were built to be warm, unlike those in Ireland. She hadn't been warm since she arrived.
The cyclists resumed their journey west along the coast, but decided it was too nice to spend the day clocking up kilometres. At the first campground they turned off, put up the tent and spent the afternoon at the beach.
The forecast for tomorrow is summed up in two words - rain, wind.