Here Comes The Rain Again

When the milkman was doing his rounds and the birds were starting to chatter, the Oblivion Tourists said goodbye to the excellent Canal Court Hotel and headed out of Newry.
We were surprised to find ourselves on the Newry Canal Path which offers mile after mile of smooth tarmac for cyclists running along the side of the disused canal and derelict locks!
But our navigation took us a slightly different route from the canal and as a result of a largely unappreciated leap of faith, the group got split into two groups.
But with messages flowing backwards and forward between Postman Patrick and a number of other locals (and after 2 punctures) it wasn’t long before the Tourists were once again reunited in preparation for the run through Banbridge to Warringstown.
The Tour was met by a wall of friends, family and supporters as they entered Warringstown’s Moss Road orchestrated by the Robinson clan. And Breast Cancer Care received a few more generous cash donations.
As with any Irish welcome, copious quantities of tea and coffee washed down home made scones and cakes – one Tourist is rumoured to have had 7 scones!!!
Then, after a photo session with a photographer for the local Portadown Times, it was off into the spectacularly scenic hills with lunch at a lovely picnic spot near Benburb Priory.
After lunch, the clouds got darker and more threatening until, as the group entered Augher (and lingered a while at a specialist bike shop) the rain finally came down.
This wasn’t rain drops – these bad boys of precipitation actually bounced about 6 inches off the ground – and the group were soaked – so cold and wet, the Tour did the only sensible thing and went into a pub for a Guinness!
The landlady was seen to blush at the rippling Lycra-clad muscle on display and very, very kindly gave us a donation to the charity.
As the rain eased, the group focused on the final run-in to Enniskillen and with just over 86 miles completed, the tired travellers checked in to the Belmore Court Hotel.
But unbeknownst to the riders, there was one more treat in store, so after a very quick change, the group was led gown to the waterfront where Geoff and Des had a cruiser and a speed boat ready with beer, wine and Dorittos for a cruise around the lower part of the Lough Erne lakes.
This was a fabulous way to relax after a hard day in the saddle and we are very grateful for the hospitality shown by Geoff and Des.
With a dinner and then bed, Day 2 comes to a very satisfying if slightly damp close!
Bring on Day 3!

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