Pork Units: 2 eaten, 6 raced
Route: N25 / R600 / small roads
It turns out that Monday is a common day for restaurants and such to be closed in Ireland, so there was no cooked breakfast waiting for us. Pork Units denied! However, the fresh pastries and other breakfast items provided were all tasty, and we scoffed the lot.
There weren't too many km to do this morning, so we had time to have a bit of a potter about town before getting back on the bikes.
Legs suitably stretched, it was time to load back up and press on to Cork... using the main road as we were just limbering up really.
We found ourselves a nice pub in town and ordered a stack of Special Toasties - a seemingly pub-standard combination of ham, cheese, tomato and onion. Finally, the day's first pig product!
Right, now that we're properly refreshed we can get to some proper local roads. We headed south out of Cork on the R600, aiming straight for the coast in order to pick up a wiggly route and a view of the sea - and there's plenty of that available! I seem to have a basically limitless appetite for little country roads when the sun's shining.
As if our route wasn't picturesque enough, we decided to take a little detour to visit Courtmacsherry for another break...
Then, more excellent coast roads as we head on to Rosscarbery, where we're staying at the excellent de Barra Lodge. Looks like we're ready for the evening...
The owners for the B&B very kindly gave us a lift into town, which means we can all have a nice pint...
... and maybe one or two more over our meal at the hotel. Just as we were finishing our meal and heading to the next venue, someone was setting up to sing some songs. I half expected the very traditional style that you might find being offered to tourists in Dublin, but instead Ring of Fire was the first number. Turns out the locals prefer country music!
Now, on to the reason for leaving the hotel just as the entertainments were starting... the B&B owners had mentioned that the annual pig race was happening in town this evening! We were all a little bit skeptical, thinking this might be some joke to play on tourists, but lo and behold, the town square was cordoned off and six expert racing pigs were being unloaded from a trailer!
Suddenly the day's Pork Quotient had increased significantly! First event was for dogs though, where dogs (and usually their owners) would chase after a rather weathered-looking toy rabbit on a winch... or rather, as often seemed to be the case, would dash off into the crowd in search of dropped sausages and burgers.
Then volunteers would be picked from the crowd, given a pig and a paper bag to waft at the pig, with the aim of guiding their pig to one end of the course and back again before the other one, without the pig taking any short cuts or for that matter just getting bored and sitting down for a nice rest. As you might imagine, the only real winners in most of the races were the pigs... but here's one skillful contestant reaching the finish line:
After the pigs went to bed, we still had time for a pint or two in the town's bars. There was more live music on in the first one, wonder if it'll be more touristy... nope, Ring of Fire again!
This song appears to be stalking us. Great atmosphere in the bars though, and our beer scooters were well fuelled for the walk back to the B&B... day 2 complete!