Up "The Reek" with a bike Croagh Patrick, Mayo, Ireland 1997
(If yer wondering what this is about check it out HERE)
Before 1986, the closest I'd ever coming to getting "out of Ireland" was getting to Achill Island or The Aran Islands off the West Coast of Ireland. I think it was in my blood though. I certainly wanted to travel. My father had lived and worked in New Zealand in the late 1950's and when me and my brothers and sister were young he held us spellbound with tales of his travels.
When he went to New Zealand, according to the neighbours where he lived, He'd spent "two day's and two nights on a plane". In truth he'd flown on a De Haviland Prop from London via Chicago and over nighted in San Francisco, continuing on via Honolulu and Sydney to Auckland and the entire trip probabaly did take over 48 hours.
On the way back he'd taken a cruise from New Zealand via Sydney, Ceylon (Where he went to see the Tea fields), Stopped off in Suez and bussed up through Egypt (Via the Valley of the Kings, where he emptied his pockets of loose change in the pyramids to fool an American with a metal detector who was following behind!,) reboarded the ship at Alexandria and cruised across the Mediterranian to Naples (where he's went to see Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii) and, after passing thru the Straits of Gibraltar and across the bay of Biscay,finally arrived in Southampton six weeks after leaving New Zealand.
With something like that to live up top it was not surprising my itchy feet were compelling me to go from an early age.
The Ma, The Dad (Back from HIS travels), The Auntie Ann (Godmother), The
Big Brothers, Tom & Pat (The bikers) And a little bundle of joy (ME!) June 1969
In 1986 I made my first foray out of Ireland, on a school tour to Paris.
On the ferry on the way to France, some sick (perhaps even slightly intoxicated) teenagers from Davitt College
LONDON January 1988
It was two years before I got away again, this time on a college trip to London in January of 1988.
During the Summer of '88 I lived and worked as a plumbers mate in Chatham, Kent in England. My main memory of that crazy summer is the European Cup Soccer Finals when Ireland beat England 1-0 in Stuttgart. What a day! AND Summer Sunday Morning's spent in "The Mean Fiddler"
Another College trip, I was the trip leader on this one so I spent most of the time preoccupied with "organising things". Stayed out in Noordjick (?) on th North Sea. Made two jaunts into Amsterdam which I recall as a seedy looking place, which entices you in and makes you want to see more. Also visited The Hague (and saw the queen!), The Zuider Zee and some Edam cheese farm.
The beginning of four and a half years of Exile. I officially became one of Ireland's Emigrants. I would say generally I liked my first two years living in London. The Autumn and Winter of 1989 was bleak but the Summer of 1990 was fab. Will never forget The World Cup "Italia '90" nor Scillachi's penalty that knocked Ireland out in the Quarter Finals. I think few people that were at my 21st Birthday party that night (29th June 1990) will forget it either. Hell of a party. The most people I've ever seen in one semi-detached house at one time.
Be Japers, I forgot this first time around and dunno how I could have 'cos it was a fab holiday. Spent a week in Marbella in the South of Spain with the Bro Vin and a mad Corkman, Mick "Corky" Fitzgerald and Paddy Hoban. Great craic flying arounf in a crock of a Seat Marbella (Smaller than a Fiat Panda!)
Porto Banus, Marbella, Spain 1990 Peter, Mick "Corky" and Vincent
A cycling trip from St Malo down throught the middle of Britanny to Vannes, out to Carnac and back.
SOMME & CHAMPAGNE 1992
Another cycling trip, If you'd like to read my notes on it they're here
"The Escape": London, Sailsbury,
Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Welles, Cheddar, Bristol, Chepstow, Tintern
Abbey, Brecon Beacons, Swansea to Cork, Ringnaskiddy, Kinsale, Kenmare,
Killarney, The Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Tralee, Listowel, Doolin and home.
LOS ANGELES (Crazy town, Did the Disney things, Universal, Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, blah, blah), PORTLAND, OR, Great town, loved the beer and a great bunch of cousins. BEND, OR (Wonderful, first time I ever saw cycle cops) AND Taught an entire family of Cousins to sing a song about a Rooster (How could I forget Vern!!), DENVER (also wonderful, and my first Mexican "Kickass Chimichanga" and Margerita, The Rockies, Red Rocks, and more great cousins. NEW JERSEY; More Cousins, more great people, Did Manhattan in two days, another crazy city, scared the hell outta me (That was the UN trip!!!)
It started as an idea to visit a friend in Slovenia. So I went Ireland to Cherbourg, Down thru central France to Lyon, Stayed with a friend in Aix les Bains, Across the Alps by The Little St Bernard Pass. Across northern Italy from Aosta via Milan, Verona, and Vincenza to Venice. Trieste across to Postonaja in Slovenia, Up to Ljubljana, Bled, Train to Salzburg, Munich (For Oktober fest, Great week!), by bike again to Freiberg and Strasbourg and by train back to Calais and ferry back to England (And SNCF lost my bike for a week!!)
Self, and three friends, Elmer, Ogie and Swoon took a flying trip down thru France in my Fiat Uno. Caen, Le Mans, Cleremont Ferrand, Puy, Nimes (Where some thug tried to beat me up for no reason!), Arles, Marsailles, Cannes, Monaco, A quick jaunt into Italy to San Remo, Back up thru the Piedmontse to Grenoble and a crazy night time dash to Reims and then back to Caen. All in 6 days. And Elmer wrote song about it
Schitzoid on the Cote D'Azur (After a trip to the south of France) You and me and Italy when all we did was drive
You showed me that it could be a real celebrity dive
The mannequins with human minds and eyes that burn your soul
The living proof of false mankind with money as its goal
You told me that youl'd shoot them all and I said OK fine
You told me that they put you down, You'll disagree in time
The mannequins are walking past and talking just like me
"We don;t care" came their voice, "We don't care you don't agree"
Now you and me we've come to see the real mistake is ours
We shouldn't care about what they are, or if their taste us sours
The mannequins are just like us, they just dole out more to be
And you and I, well we don't care we're happy to be we.
ROMANIA - Skiing, March 1995"
My first ever package tour holiday: An interesting and quite fascinating place. Stayed and skiied in the Transalvanian Alps above the city of Brasov. Did the excusions to Vlad's "The Impaler's" (AKA Dracula) Castle and went on a cart ride thru a beautiful valley with the assistance of a local small rural tourism co-operative. Shocked by the sights of hundreds of kids appearing out of the houses along the roadside. None of them were under 6 and ever house appeared to have at least four. A hell of a legacy to "mad" Eleni Ceauscui's population growth efforts. Oh the skiing was good too, I learned how to do parellel and traverse turns.
PORTLAND, OREGON (again!) February-May 1996:
Had to get away so I went to visit the bro' who lives and works there. Then I did Portland to San Fran by road. If you'd like to read about that look here
It wasn't exactly major travel but I had the pleasure of living and working here for a year. If ya want a tiny taste of what it was like Check this out.
IRELAND TO ISRAEL with a bike 1997
This is the subject of a book I have written and am trying to get published (If ya know someone who'd like to publish it
e-mail me. If you like to see bit of the book check it out
SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE 1997 (Soulac sur Mer on the Atlantic coast actually!)
FLORIDA 1998 & 1999 Oooh, Margereta!!!!
Lived and worked in this wonderful part of the
world for seven months in 1998. (and got back again in April 1999 and
now live here!!!) Did the beaches, the Everglades, Orlando, Tampa, Miami
Beach and the Keys. Great Snorkelling off Pennikamp Park in Key Largo, "Dicey Reilly's" in Fort
Lauderdale used be the best Irish pub I'de ever been in but like all
places that one frequents too much it also loses it's novelty. However
I'll always recall my initial day in Fort Lauderdale with fond
memories of the time spent in this den of ill repute and loads of craic!
OREGON - 1999
Lewis & Clark, The Trail of The Nez Perces and Snake River
I've created a separate section for this with lots of photos CLICK HERE
These are all the places I've been so far. As for the places I'd like to go? Africa, Russia (And take the Trans Siberian railway to Bejing), The South Pacific, Hawaii, Eastern Europe again. Nepal and The Himalayas, South & Central America (to view what remains of the Aztecs, Maya and Incas.) and also I'm fascinated by Antartica, to follow in the footsteps of a great Irishman from Kerry,
Tom Crean who was on both Shackelton's and Scott's Ill fated expeditions and survived it all to return to Aunascaul in Kerry to open a pub, logically enough called
"The South Pole". SO if you know someone who works for National Geographic or if you've got a budget to commision freelance writers or you've got a great job for me in one of these places, be sure and e-mail me straight away NOW. ALTERNATIVELY,if you have a vacancy as a radio presenter, I figure that's my second career of choice. Check out my play list here