Friday, November 28, 2008


9 days since I've left Naas and today I crossed in to country number 3I'm one of those cyclist who likes to potter along,constantly stopping to check my map or take a picture of something which I'll probably delete later. My main reason for stopping regularly is generally to have a bit of a rest and considering I've no deadlines to keep and no knowledge where I'll be at the end of the day, this system works best for me. One thing about stopping regular, (especially if your head is buried in a map) is that people will always come up to help as they assume you're lost.They never assume that getting lost might be the priority. This morning while having a rest/studying my map, a guy on his way to work came over to disturb my rest/offer assistance and while I generally like to go my own way and don't get at all bothered unless I get very lost, this guy turned out to be real helpful. I followed his instruction and so today I got to see Cardiff(capital of Wales) and then followed the A40(which truly was very flat) and eventually crossed over the river Severn and into England. I'm presently camped up beside the river and my view for the evening,while cooking dinner, was that of the 4 kilometre bridge that crosses the Severn over to Wales.I covered 90kms today,(the wind still at my back but it rained all day) but I'm looking forward to finding my own route tomorrow


I'm back on the road after spending the last 3 nights staying at a good friend's house.Andy and I have done 4 big trips to different regions to the world and have also met up many times in London or Dublin,so considering I was starting another big trip it would only be rude not to call in and see how life's treating him. Fair play to Andy,He jumped straight in tour guide mode and drove me around to all the local landmarks,while his mum, Shelly fed us huge portions of all the best grub. Its great to get such a welcome from Andy,Shelly and Simon(Andy's dad)and hard to leave such a comfortable warm house and be back in the tent again but the freedom of the open road and the adventure of not really knowing where I'll be staying the next night has its rewards.Just as I was wheeling out my bike this morning and ready to set off again, I looked at the overall distance on the bike computer and told Andy, that from my house to his house is exactly 297kms."well,if you make it all the way around the world on this bike then you are presently about 1% into your journey". I must admit when he put it like that, this trip kinda scares the living daylights out of me. My legs feel way more than 1% tired. But anyway, today was a pleasant enough run, no major hills and following the coast for most of the day. I'm presently camped up in a field full of the autumn leaves next to a pub in Llanharan in central Wales about halfway between Swansea and Cardiff. For the first time on this trip, I put on my raingear today. It wasn't even that heavy a shower, just a bit misty. My aunt from Mullingar, Brigid Ann, told me to "Make sure you pack up God in your travels, he wont take up too much space". Well, if your reading this Brigid Ann, I've had a no rain and the wind has been behind every day since this trip has begun so I'm guessing Im getting Devine assistance.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So I woke up early,packed up the tent and made my way down to the ferry. Its a fair deal, just to bring a bike on board costs an extra 6 euro. Tied up the bike and made my way upstairs to spend the last of my euro coins on some breakfast.The ferry was filled with a large contingency of the traveller community from Limerick. Even when we were queuing up for the ferry there were full of questions(which were cautiously answered).Once we set sail, they were over again with loads more questions.So where are you off to? And how do you finance such a trip? Have you no wife? Do you know, you can get 1 in China for a tenner? And,of course any I asked was vaguely answered and followed by more questions.Anyway, they were in high spirits. Apparently one of them had won a sizeable amount in the lotto,(Hard to believe really,when you consider they got ordered out of the 'freight drivers lounge' for helping themselves to the free coffee). Anyway,at 1pm we touched down in Pembroke in Wales. I got a brilliant map of Wales on board the ship, so for the remainder of the day, I've been riding down country lanes past castles and beaches,through tunnels and side streets.I'm presently camped up on a coastal hilltop.I can hear the distant crash of the waves on the beach below. For dinner I sat out on my coat and cooked up a load sausages while looking out at the spectacular view of the different islands and as the darkness set in,I cracked open a can of beer and watched the towns light up.In the distance, I could make out Swansea,where I plan to be tomorrow night.


Kinda a lazy day today, I biked a good bit yesterday so I took it easy today. Woke up good and early and decided to have a swim and give myself a wash in the process. It was pretty cold so it was a short swim/quick wash,then had a bit of breakfast and made my way into Wexford.In the afternoon I went off on a bit of a spin around SE Wexford looking for Rathmacknee castle. At a distance it looked spectacular.A typical 15th century castle, but as I got closer I noticed a satellite dish on the defence wall and when I looked in the main gate, some clown had built standard farmhouse in the middle of the grounds of a 500 year old castle.Oh well,only in Ireland.After that I made my way towards Rosslare,camped up on the beach, and headed into town looking for a beer,food and a bit of warmth. Well we made it to Rosslare and are eager for more so I'll head to Wales in the morning to visit country no.2


A grand day with the sun generally in my face and wind at my back,I managed a total of 90kms covered passing through the (mostly) small towns of Kiltegan, Hacketstown, Tinahely, Gorey, Courtown and then the coastal road down here to Curracloe beach.For dinner I cooked up an Italian dish with a slightly crunchy texture.The crunch being sand,(with the wind blowing,its gets into everything.) Then sat out and watched the sun set and the distant lights across the Irish sea.I'm presently camped up in the sand dunes with the sounds of the waves in the background


At long last,we're finally on the road. A busy day. Sorted out a bike computer so as to record speed, distance and time in the saddle. Then I packed up the bags, wheeled the bike out the front door, said goodluck to the dad, "be careful now son" was the good advice. Hugs all round and I handed him the keys of the house and then it was time to start pedaling. Oh my god, but this bikeload is heavy. I'm carrying about 50% more stuff than my heaviest bike ride up to now, and about double my lightest load. I was almost struggling up the hill out of my home town past the police station.Its been a while since I've been on the bike,but generally the first 10 days or so can be quite difficult until your body adapts to the extra workload.It was a lovely ride down through the little villages of Colbinstown,Grangecon and eventually into Baltinglass. I'm camped up in a 'nice spot',in what seems like the remains of a mill. Im right beside the river Slaney and in the background is Baltinglass abbey. This fantastic ruins dates back to 1148. That's before the first stones were laid at Christchurch Cathedral. So I threw up the tent right beside a park bench and heated up a Mexican dish I prepared earlier. I'm was a bit rusty on putting up the tent, firing up the stove and all the rest, but in time I'll be flying again at all this. So in all a great day, I couldn't wait to get going. I feel I've been waiting for this for this for so long. I know I'll be a little stiff tomorrow as my body adjusts to the new routine

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So, its my last night in Naas. The bags are loaded up and tomorrow morning,I'll try and get outta town early and head south east. A bit of a busy day today,sorting out a few last minute things. I took the bike on a test ride out near Ballymore. Its way heavier than what Im used to carrying while on a bike tour. I need a good bit of wind and rain proof clothing to get me through Europe at this time of the year and with the laptop,tent,stove,pots and pans and all the rest, Im crawling up them hills. Anyway the fun starts tomorrow.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I should be outta here in the next week or 10 days. Just finalizing a lot of the little things this week; fixing up the bike,making sure there is enough cash in the different accounts, sorting out a few bills,getting a bit familiar with this computer etc.etc. It is getting close now. I must admit its gonna be hard to get started. Its a bit cold out there in mid November to be considering a lenghty bike ride,but I know once I started, the jigsaw will all fall into place. Over the last year, I've been doing very little biking. Its just been a hectic year (not that I'm expecting the remainder to be relaxing). But I'm real keen now to get out there and start clocking up a few kms. In fact at this stage, I getting a bit sick of planning rather than moving and I know once I get moving, Plan B will probably take the place of whatever Plan A was. But the main plan is head south east across Europe,and basically keep heading east. And if you keep heading east, you'll arrive from the west.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Well,well, How are we all doing?

Welcome to Mark Doherty's blog. This blog is to record my attempt to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle. Around the middle of November 2008, I plan to wheel my Koga bicycle out my front door in Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland and cycle down to Rosslare Harbour in south, west Ireland. From here, I hope to get a ferry across to north France and continue cycling across Europe. If I make it as far as Turkey, and the mind, body and bicycle are still strong, then I hope to continue biking through Asia. And as long as I'm enjoying myself, I'd hope to continue through Australia, America and eventually return to Ireland in about 2 years time. The 'dream plan' is to cycle around the world, but the 'reality plan' will be to continue cycling as long as its fun. Welcome to my adventure....