Valentia Island

Off on the bikes again today. This time we are taking the ferry to Valentia Island. It’s a 4k cycle ride to the car ferry.

It’s at the bottom of a hill and we don’t have long to wait for it to arrive. It’s a tiny roll on/roll off ferry and we wait in line with a couple of cars and some foot passengers. It’s only a kilometre across so it’s a 5 minute sail across to the Knightstown Harbour. €3 each return for us and a bike.

We head up the road and spot The Valentia Island Heritage Centre. It’s a €4 entry fee but definitely worth it. Having never heard of Valentia Island until yesterday it’s amazing how significant it’s been in technological developments. It’s one end of the first cable connecting Europe and the Americas and was critically involved in measuring longitude. It’s also the site of the first weather forecast transmitted in 1860.

First notable life saving incident for the lifeboat is the Lusitania
The observatory moved and is now next to our campsite

The Valentia slate quarry opened in 1816 and it’s slate was used in the Houses of Parliament so we buy a slate key ring as a souvenir of our visit to the museum.

Valentia Island slate

A quick stop at a church and a couple of photos. The rooks are noisy.

A rather noisy rookery

It’s a long haul up and down to the lighthouse and I’m worried my e-bike battery won’t last the day as we forgot to recharge it. We make a stop for a distance photo instead and pop into a derelict church that was moved in Knightstown when the congregation got too big.

Valentia lighthouse

We decide to cycle to Chapeltown instead approx halfway across the island and about 3km away. It’s started raining too and it’s quite windy. Of course it turns out to be about 2km uphill into the wind and then down the other side with absolutely nothing to see once we arrive. We take the coast road back to the ferry and it’s mostly flat so that’s a bit easier and we get some good views across the bay.

We pass a large house that turns out to be the Cable station. Next a quick pit stop in a church and then we eat a butty outside in the wind and rain before we finally we get a cuppa in the Royal Victoria Hotel.

Valentia Island cable station
Looks empty but filled up after this

Back on the ferry in the rain we scoff the second half of our sandwich and then cycle back up another hill to the campsite. 13 miles today, mostly up and down hill, so the legs are feeling it now and I am ready for a sit down in the van.

Valentia Observatory next to our campsite

A quiet night in, eating Nasi Goreng Lidl style, and watching Firefly.

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