SUNDAY: DAY 2
Distance options A 26 miles, B 33 miles, C 40 miles or D 45 miles
Accommodation: Kinvarra Guesthouse, Kinvarra
Today you experience one of the fundamental advantages of our tour. This is where our ability to move the entire group, bikes and luggage to a remote starting point comes into play. Bikes are loaded the evening before so no delay on Sunday morning. Once we arrive at the start point (village of Crusheen) it takes us less than 3 minutes to get every bike on the road and ready to go thanks to the Thule snap release bike racks. Toilet facilities are available before we hit the road as well as a small but very well stocked convenience store in the village. Its a very popular stop for Sunday morning cyclists so a good opportunity to chat with some local cyclists
Irrespective of which distance option you choose you will be able to enjoy lunch in the village of Corrofin dining in Bofey Quinn’s. You will find yourself in the picturesque village of Kinvarra this evening. Home to one of the finest example of Norman tower house and one of the pettiest harbours along the West coast of Ireland.
The transfer only takes about 35 minutes in the buses. We are anxious to get you into the Burren National Park as early as possible in the tour. Within 20 minutes of commencing to cycle you will find the scenery beginning to change very dramatically. You begin to notice some rocky areas to begin but steadily the limestone pavement begins to dominate the landscape.
The Burren region is internationally famous for its landscape and flora. A visit to the Burren during the summer months will leave a person amazed by the colorful diversity of flowering plants living together within the one ecosystem. Arctic-alpine plants living side by side with Mediterranean plants, calcicole (lime loving) and calcifuge (acid loving) plants growing adjacent to one another and woodland plants growing out in the open with not a tree nearby to provide shade from the sun. Also found here are certain species which although rare elsewhere are abundant in the Burren. Even more amazingly they all survive in a land that appears to be composed entirely of rock. The highest point in the park is Knockanes (207 metres) which continues as a curving terraced ridge to Mullaghmór to the south. East of this ridge is an area of extensive, low lying limestone pavement containing a number of semi-permanent lakes. West of this ridge the pavement sweeps down to partially drift-covered ground which gradually rises again to reach the foot of a rocky escarpment. To the south of the park the limestone bedrock disappears under a layer of glacial till. This till area is far more intensively managed for pasture and silage.
The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. This is an extremely appropriate name when you consider the lack of soil cover and the extent of exposed Limestone Pavement. However it has been referred to in the past as “Fertile rock” due to the mixture of nutrient rich herb and floral species. Smashing roads to ride today. Very quiet and a good road surface.
In 1651 a Cromwellian Army Officer named Ludlow remarked, “of this barony it is said that it is a country where there is not water enough to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury them. This last is so scarce that the inhabitants steal it from one another and yet their cattle are very fat. The grass grows in tufts of earth of two or three foot square which lies between the limestone rocks and is very sweet and nourishing.”