18. To Tralee and Listowel

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We cycled directly to Tralee on the R558, and almost directly through it. Tralee is big and quite possibly worth a visit, but leaving four laden bicycles locked and unattended while we ambled around might have invited trouble.

According to Pete McCarthy (McCarthy's Bar, 2000), '[a] place like Tralee puts you in touch with a remembered but recently disappeared past, and makes you realise how long it is since you walked through a British town and thought, "Oh good. There's a branch of Dixons".'

With just the odd unintended diversion and a supermarket stop for fodder, we found our way to Tralee Racecourse on the east of the town.

You can go from Tralee to Listowel by the N69, or slightly less directly by the R556 and R557. Our route lay on minor roads between these two, over high ground, the lower slopes of the Stack's Mountains, on the summit ridge of which a line of windmills marched north with us.

From the racecourse we cut across northwest by Ballybeggan to Killeen, and then took the minor road by Curravagh to the village of Kilflyn.

To the west flat land stretched to the coast at Ballyheige. North we could see Knockanore Mountain, across the shoulder of which we had cycled on our way to Ballybunion.

Our route dropped down to cross the Shanow River at Kilfyn, on a bridge decorated with hanging baskets.

From Kilflyn the way took us up hill and down dale, through Knockburrane Cross Roads. We passed a church where a wedding was iminent (there was a man outside with a shotgun), and from there on many cars with streamers, flags, and bunting passed us down the narrow road.

We joined the N69 for the final two miles into Listowel.

Roadside flowers near Fenit.


7 days of racing a year,
and this wasn't one of them.

Tralee racecourse, with the Slieve Mish Mountains and,
in the distance, the mountains of Dingle.

On the bridge over Shanow River at Kilflyn.

18. To Tralee and Listowel

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