Tag Archives: Utracks

HOLLAND BY BIKE AND BARGE

The barge, ‘Holland’, and its intrepid crew getting ready for a great day’s riding.



As I’m going to be chained to a desk and a computer for the next few weeks, I’ll take the chance to look back on some of the highlights of the travel year to date.

Our time in Holland started with a great little trip by barge and bike though the classic Dutch countryside…

For forty years, the grimy little barge Germa carried sand around Dutch canals. Then someone decided that carrying tourists would be more fun, and perhaps more lucrative too. So in the 1960s Germa was given a total makeover, with guest cabins built inside and a coat of cheerful paint outside. They changed Germa’s name too, to the more appealing Holland.

Now proud skipper John and cycling guide Marcel lead people on leisurely canal cruises, along the way taking their guests on bikes, to pedal round those Dutch icons – tulips, clogs, windmills and cheese. Continue reading

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BARGING AROUND HOLLAND

The day on a Dutch barge begins early.

Holland is mainly made out of water and cycle paths, so a barge and bike tour is an excellent introduction to life below sea level. The Utracks organisation has organised the Tulip Tour experience for us. Continue reading

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DINGLE WAY, IRELAND – a walk with character

They're supposed to be 'drystone' walls, but when it rains, they get wet too.

The newspaper which has first publication rights on my articles has just published the piece I wrote about our lovely walk on the Dingle Way, in County Kerry, Ireland. That means I can now release the full story on this blog… Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Ireland

RYAN’S DAUGHTER – film location as tourist magnet

The old school house can still teach visitors a thing or two.

There wasn’t much going on in the village of Dun Chaoin (Dunquin) perched on the end of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. Until 1970, when film director David Lean arrived to make Ryan’s Daughter. Continue reading

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THE NEW FACE OF OLD IRELAND – Dingle, Kerry

We tourists love to see boats, and the older and rustier they are, the better we like them.

I first visited Ireland in 1976. It was a poor country, and I didn’t see anything which looked at all like the town of Dingle looks now.

That may be a pity for visitors who come looking for an authentic Irish experience, but I bet it’s a relief to the people who live here that the worst of the poverty is behind them. Continue reading

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DINGLE WAY – an Irish walk with character

Any dry stone wall looks good to me.

The ‘Dingle Way‘. It sounds like a gentle amble. It’s not a macho name like ‘Inca Trail’ or ‘Kokoda Track’.

And indeed, although along its 179km length there’s some slogging through mud, some scrambling over rocks and some modest climbs, it’s a walk that any active person can manage comfortably. But there’s more to it than just the walking. This is Ireland, and it’s a place with character. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Ireland