Sunday, 31 May 2015


The sun was out as we left Londonderry this morning. We were bound for Ballycastle. "I am putting on my shades" said Dagmar. "Ah oh" I replied "This could be the kiss of death for the weather".
We peddled off to Greencastle on the west side of Lough Foyle and arrived to catch the 12 noon ferry to take us to the east bank. "This is perfect" we thought.
We saw the ferry arrive as we were having a cream tea in the nearby museum cafe. We confidently finished our cream teas and cycled over to the ferry. There were no cars on it despite a queue earlier. We went up to the ferryman. "The sailings are cancelled" he said "We took over the 11am sailing but it was a Force 8 gale and we could not land on the other side so we brought everyone back. It will be a Force 10 tomorrow, maybe Force 11. There will no sailings tomorrow either."
Our plans were now in complete disarray and there was no prospect of us cycling in Scotland as we wanted. "It must be your fault for putting on those shades" I say to Dagmar. She replies that she is often unlucky with ferries.
We cycle back to Londonderry and this time it is a headwind with lots of traffic. The scenery was stunning and I take an image of Dagmar looking longingly at the opposite bank
Our new plan is to stay another night in Londonderry and catch a train tomorrow to Ballymena as the forecast is terrible. On the following day we hope the weather is better and will cycle from Ballymena to Larne for the ferry to Scotland.
We cycled 40 miles today. The weather was sunny with a gentle tail wind when we left and we both felt confident to reach Ballycastle. However the weather here can change very quickly indeed and even caught the ferry man by surprise. We were on the sheltered leaward side for the return trip. The gale mostly went over the top of us but every now and again we caught a sideways gust and these can be dangerous, especially with heavy traffic. We could see showers coming and when they arrived we felt we were being peppered with bullets, then they vanished and the sun shone again. We did a little exploring of Londonderry by foot this evening. It has tastefully built waterfront and the city seems to be developing a vibrant air, mixing history with modern.

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