Hi everyone !!!!
Well, the absolutely awesome news is that Bruce has thrown away his crutches and cast, and has started physiotherapy (ie bike riding). Yep! Just 3½ weeks after breaking his ankle Bruce is successfully riding a bike with little pain. In fact riding is much easier than walking, so we aren’t doing much walking but have started our cycling adventure around Ireland. I know it’s hard to believe, it’s like a miracle has occurred.
But this is what happened………
The day after the final Worldloppet ski race in Lillehammer, Norway we caught a train to Oslo and went to stay with Sarah Beney, an Aussie who has married Rune, a Norwegian and they now have 3 wonderful children Fredrik, Lilly and Freya who kept us entertained playing Monster Snap. After a final ski in farmland just down the road from Sarah’s house in suburban Oslo, we sorted our gear and left our ski equipment at Sarah’s. A final walk through snow and ice, as Oslo countryside is still completely covered in the white stuff, we caught the bus to the airport before flying to Ireland with just daypacks on our Ryan Air budget flights for $100 each.
Our Irish Worldloppet skier friend Jan picked us up at Dublin Airport, with Bruce managing the long airport walk much faster than ever before on his crutches. S till we were the last passengers out of the terminal. We stayed with Jan and hubby Joe for 3 nights in their suburban terrace house which is what most people in Dublin live in. Every street seems to have rows of similar two storey houses mostly co-joined. They have a real character about them.
On our first day in Dublin we visited the city with Jan and Bruce decided to have a go walking around without crutches and wearing his walking boots. After that success Bruce had a go on Jan’s bike and was surprised to discover he could easily ride a bike. There were big celebrations that night! So the next day we purchased bikes on a buyback scheme where the bike shop will buy the bikes back for at least half the price we paid once we finish using them. It should work out much cheaper than hiring. The 15kms ride from the bike shop back to Jan and Joe’s house was great test for Bruce’s ankle.
So on just our third morning in Dublin, we set off on our around Ireland cycling adventure at a much slower pace than usual. We headed to the coast and are following the coast south of Dublin because it appears to be much flatter than some other areas of Ireland. We are gradually increasing the distances as Bruce feels more and more capable. So far we travelled 15km the first day, 25km the second(Bray), 35 km the third day (Wicklow), 51km the fourth (Courtown) and 54kms today (Wexford). We have visited some lovely coastal towns that aren’t on the usual tourist trail. We’ve had fine dry weather everyday with the sun appearing for most of the days. But the sensational thing which is usually unheard of in cycling is that we’ve had light tail winds for four out of the five days which has really helped our progress.
We are really enjoying the slow relaxed pace after the last 11 weeks of full-on pace with so many deadlines to meet, buses, trains and planes to catch, ski races to participate in and of course Bruce’s broken ankle. We’ve been staying in a mixture of B’n’Bs, hotels and a hostel tonight. We have had extremely relaxed starts as most of the accommodation offer breakfast but not until 8 or 8.30am, so we’ve even enjoyed some sleep-ins too and then indulged on delicious cooked breakfasts.
Therefore we are thoroughly enjoying cycling around Ireland and are looking forward to continuing for the next 2 months.