#TAW2018: Day 2 – Omagh to Manorcunningham

221km, 2792m elevation

Total so far: 412km, 4459m elevation

Despite being in hotel last night I didn’t get any sleep. The glow of the sun exposure and tired muscles keeping me awake. Had a nice chat with the night porter the who had lived in Tottenham for 30 years. He brought me a breakfast at 5am which took a while to eat and I didn’t get ready and going until 6:30ish the night porter stood at the hotel entrance, watch me unfold and waved me off down the road. The first part of my ride was to cycle the 50km to Derry Peace Bridge. I thought I would make it by 9 but was quite a bit later due to there being a lot of hills.

After cycling to the centre of the bridge (check point 1) I found a petrol station that was serving food, and had two fried egg rolls – my first hot food since breakfast yesterday.

The road out of Derry was not very cycle-friendly – having the option of lurking at the left hand of the car lane with fast traffic, or cycle along a badly surfaced hard shoulder. However, it wasn’t long before the coastline came into view, making things a lot better.

After a while the road turned inland and upwards, climbing up and giving a great view of the coastline. But it was steep and there were large chunks where I had to push the bike up. The next couple of hours offered lots of short steep hills and amazing views.

I heard a rattle coming from the front of the bike and stopped to discover the mounting bracket for my front light had snapped. Some sheep came over to watch me fix it with a bit of tape.

On the road again and low on water I passed through a village and spotted Julie who I had met yesterday and we caught up. I had a lunch at the pub.. ravioli and chips (piling on carbs!) – the ravioli was amazing.

A short while later I bumped into Iona who was planning to have a catnap. Both Julie and Iona had pressed on to Derry yesterday and when they arrived nothing was open so they shot through and bivvied and had uncomfortable and brief sleeps.

Cycling around Malin Head was amazing. The route stopped short of the view point at the top so I added a hundred metres so I could catch the view.

By then it was around 5pm. I aimed for a BnB on the route which I could reach by 11pm.

Well at least that was the plan. I didn’t count on Mamore Gap being such a steep or high climb. It just kept going up. Really beautiful though. And the downs were as impressive as the ups.

I then had to press on quickly to make it to the BnB. When I arrived I was presented with some scones and a pot of tea. Really welcome!

In other news: My clothes stink!

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