Kells to Dungarvan

We had quite an adventure trying to find a place to stay in Kells; there was one well-signed B&B, which was beautiful and fully booked up. The proprietor helped us by calling another B&B in town, The Chestnut Lodge, and then proceeded to give us wrong directions. We biked to the next town before realizing that she had omitted to mention a turn. We eventually found a house with a sign out saying it was The Chestnut Lodge, but we were a bit concerned when it had a large fence in the yard covered in graffitti. Skillfully done graffiti, but still not what you expect from a B&B. A youngish man came out and told us it was now a house for troubled inner city youth from Wexford. Did he know of another Chestnut Lodge? After all, we just called and got directions to this place, and for $@%*! sake it has a sign outside saying “Chestnut Lodge”. He had no idea, he was from Wexford.

So we went to the neighboring house, one of the many nouveau-riche looking country houses that dot the Irish countryside. In keeping with the Irish inclination to name their country houses, it had a sign out front saying it was “The Grange”. Another youngish tattooed man answered the door. Did he know where the Chestnut Lodge was? Oh, yes, this was it. They had sold the old Chestnut Lodge and built a new one next door.

It was all a bit Bates Motel (albeit a nouveau riche Bates Motel) since we were the only guests and there were no women in the house — just the guy who answered the door and his father. But we survived the night, and in the end it turned out to be a fairly nice place with good water pressure and an outdoor balcony.

Since it was predicted to rain on Thursday, we decided to try to go further on Wednesday in case it was really pouring and we needed to take a rest day. We got into a stride yesterday, taking slightly more “main” roads that had a bit more traffic but required fewer stops for navigation and were smoother to allow for drafting. We made the 62km from Kells to the seaside town of Dungarvan, arriving at a fairly reasonable hour of 6:30pm. We are pretty close to Cork — where we take a ferry on Saturday — but we’ll still break up the ride there into two days, probably staying in another seaside town like Ardmore or one further west.

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