After a long physical and emotional day we made it to Belfast.
We had an amazing night’s sleep at The Log Cabin in Armagh. If you’re ever in the area you have to stay, another 5 star review coming soon.
Once coffee’d the first priority was to look at Helen’s bike (Livingstone) to see if we could fix the brakes. It has a funny combo of cable and hydo discs, which was beyond our capabilities. We knew that there was a bike shop in Armagh, but if they couldn’t fix it then we would catch a train to Belfast from Portadown.
Before leaving, Brenda the owner came over for a quick chat. She told us that her husband is a builder who usually works over in England, but when he had a month off he built the cabin where we stayed. Proper grafters the pair of them as Brenda had just finished a 12 hour night shift as a carer. Interestingly, like Aiden at the Rossgier Inn, she no longer user Air bnb due to double bookings.
With our bikes fully loaded we set off to find Cycleology in Armagh, slowly as Helen could barely stop.
A quiet mechanic took both brakes apart, found some spare pads from an old bike and repaired Livingstone, charging us £5 for about 40 minutes work. Absolute hero.
It was close to 11am once we’d found the correct road out of Armagh, but we weren’t in a rush. We stopped in Richhill for snacks, to buy some stamps and post some postcards. The village of Richhill looked fairly affluent and was at the top of a hill. No sure how it got it’s name!
We arrived into Portadown in the sun to find a thriving little town. A place we’d only heard about from the troubles. We avoided the temptation to catch a train and pushed on to the shores of Lough Neagh, the huge body of water in the middle of Northern Ireland.
From there it was only 20 miles to our hotel in Belfast, although our route would go over a fairly large hill.
I’d plotted our route on what I thought would be a quiet B road. Obviously a B road on a Friday afternoon into Belfast is a bit different to a B road near Lancaster. It also started to chuck it down. A bit harried we made it to the outskirts of Belfast to find traffic chaos. We got off and walked to avoid the worst of it, until we found the segregated cycle path alongside the river.
Very stressed we took our bike up the lift to our room on the fifth floor of a Premier Inn located in the Titantic Quarter. Showered, fed and watered we snuggled into bed.
Saturday will be a busy day’s sightseeing around Belfast, which we are both looking forward to, although I don’t know how we’re going to fit it all in.
Day 6 can be found here.