10 February 2023 14:30
4-Xtremes – Part 64: Overlanders meet a RoadStar
Series: 4-Xtremes – The World Tour
On Ireland’s wild west coast, Andrea and Mike are finally happy with the weather again. Nevertheless, they get to taking their tents down early on the Emerald Isle. And not just because they’re meeting with a member of the RoadStars community in southern England...
We are now crossing the border to the Republic of Ireland, and just as in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, we drive on the left. We’ve now had a while to get used to this. One change, however, is that distances and speeds here, unlike on the other side of the border, are not stated in miles, but rather in kilometres and kilometres per hour. As indeed is better for us: even under the increased time pressure, we are more comfortable on the road with our Axor and can better avoid any risk of getting caught out speeding.
Our route of choice is the Wild Atlantic Way. The panoramic road winds along the west coast of Ireland for more than 2,600 kilometres. From here, we occasionally turn off onto smaller roads: sometimes towards remote beaches, and sometimes further inland, such as in the far north into Glenveagh National Park. Here, we once again get our bicycles out after a long time. It's taken us this long because to the wet weather.
Cultural monuments and peat extraction.
Nevertheless, there are also many highlights along the main route. Just north of Galway is Kylemore Abbey, Ireland’s oldest monastery for Benedictine nuns. Connemara National Park is also located near this cultural monument. There we take a look at the industry of peat extraction, a fuel which has been used in Ireland for centuries. The bogs that serve as their source are easily accessible for cutting. Although they cover only about three percent of the earth’s surface, they store around 30 percent of all the earth-bound carbon. That is why peat extraction is highly controversial today and is a hot topic in Ireland.
The next destination on the journey southwards is the karst landscape of the Burren National Park. We had planned a longer hike there. But just as we laced up our boots, the weather took a turn for the worse. So we then broke off this endeavour and continued along the coast to the Cliffs of Moher. Just as we arrived, the sun was setting on the Atlantic Ocean. Even though it wasn't exactly planned this way, it was the perfect place and moment to say goodbye to the west coast.
A revised itinerary.
Recently, we had been thinking over and over again about the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” route. Since 2020, we had been touring through almost all of Europe with our Axor, even getting a taste of Africa in Tunisia. However, we still had not taken in anything from the rest of the world, largely because of the ongoing pandemic. Would we be able to do so after all? Why yes! We will soon reveal where this journey will take us.
But for now it’s time to head east to Dublin. We take a quick look around Ireland’s capital, and then the ferry leaves for Wales. The crossing is stormy. Fortunately, the ferry is a good size and ploughs confidently through the waves, which are up to eight metres high. Taking tablets to counter sea sickness as a precaution would probably have been a step too far.
Confidently to southern England – to meet a RoadStar.
Back on dry land, we confidently motor on to London. Just south of the metropolis, we park up at a married couple's place we know. Although our Axor meets the London emission standards, we only have one day, so we don't bother registering for the low emission zone. We take a train to the city and it goes without saying that we would only be able to dip our toes into the London life in such a short time. We still do our best, visiting Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, eating lunch in Chinatown, walking through Camden Market, and taking in the sunset at Tower Bridge.
Then it is time for our meeting with RoadStar Dominic, with whom we have been in contact for some time now. You might be familiar with him from one or two other reports? Meeting someone from the community in person is a nice change. Especially since Dominic comes to visit us with his award-winning NG 1622 and has a lot to report about trucking in the UK. For example, the semitrailers, which can be up to 4.65 metres high, or the special aerodynamic profiles that can be observed on many vehicles here.
First we go on a hike, and then take the crossing.
The last stop on the island is Dover. Once again, we park up the Axor, and take a walk to the edge of the famous White Cliffs. And after we go a little bit further we discover a narrow path that leads down in a zigzag.
The last section passes through a small tunnel and then down some very steep steps. Depending on the tide, these can lead onto black stones or directly into the English Channel. We then cross this body of water just a few hours later, using the ferry of course.
4-Xtremes – The World Tour.
An unparalleled journey.
Andrea and Mike Kammermann have been on tour in their Axor for three years. "4-Xtremes – The World Tour" is the motto of the journey that the two Swiss nationals embarked on in mid-2020 and which they share with the RoadStars community. Keep up to date and don't miss out on any of the stunning destinations visited by the adventurous pair.
You can find the current parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.
You can find the route of the trip before the crossing to South America here.