Monday, 20th August 2018
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Michael Garland bizBoost PR

Where is 'The Home of the Greenway'?

After 40 day and 40 nights of brilliant sunshine, it actually rained on Sunday 15th July - a day that will surely live long in our memory.

There's a very fine line between riding the crest of a wave and drowning in your self-importance. It's a strange game to want to participate in and to those that do, I readily tip my hat, as you really can never win - damned if you do and damned if you don't.

If you were watching the footie, you'll remember in years to come, that on this day, France won the World Cup in Moscow, 20 years after lifting the trophy in Paris.

It was also the day that Novak Djokovic lifted his fourth Wimbledon title. Made all the more remarkable, when you consider the injury hampered last two years he has endured. Oh, and Kilkenny tumbled out of the Hurling Championship! They'll be joining Waterford, Wexford and Tipp on an extended Summer break.

The rain also caught me out, whilst on my Penny Farthing. Up at the top of Templeorum, with two fellow Biscuits, we had to make the treacherous descent into Piltown.

To me, this mountain road is my very own piece of the Tour de France. The wee "S-bends" halfway down, with the stunning views of the Suir Valley, is in my mind a mini Alpine Pass. It's a great road to cycle or walk, whether you start in Piltown or Newmarket.

Thankfully, my cycle on Saturday suffered no hazardous dramas.

On the last blisteringly hot day before the rains came, a group of "Cookie-clad" cyclists pedalled very hard into a strong South-Westerly headwind. Cycling from Waterford City to Dungarvan Town, to meet with a number of in-bound Irish tour operators.

Wearing another of my other hats, "Waterford Camino Tours", I was helping to host some V.I.P. guests - guests looking to Waterford and the South East as a new, emerging market.

Specifically, we were promoting all things Greenway, Comeraghs and coastal trails. We really do have so much to offer. It is just that we don't shout loud enough about what's on our doorstep.

Waterford's guests sampled the delights of fishing for lobster off Dunmore East, the underground croft in the Museum of Treasures, Crough Woods to Mahon Falls and of course a cycle through Durrow Tunnel to Dungarvan. This tunnel is now being marketed as "The world's biggest air conditioning unit!"

If you haven't yet walked or pedalled through this spectacular setting, do so on the next scorchingly hot day. It is quite literally, the coolest place to go, when it's even too hot for an ice cream!

Dungarvan was extremely busy with walkers and all manner of fashionably clad pedal pushers. The quay was the place to be seen, on the last hot day before the rains came.

The local supermarket supplied the tea, coffee and FREE cake! As I was paying the tab, I almost cried! Customer service is all too often overlooked, but the staff members in Garvey's SuperValu were extra special and wonderfully engaging. There's a lesson for many here!

As our posse settled down for some alfresco picnicking, we were approached by a local member of the Dungarvan press. No doubt drawn to us by our athletic bodies, clad in skin tight bright yellow Lycra.

"Would you agree to a few photographs and an interview?" we were asked. Never one to shy away from a wee bit of PR, I volunteered to speak and say a few words. Fifteen minutes later, a few hundred words spoken into the "i-Voice Recorder" and it was all over, done and dusted. The Waterford Biscuit Club, the importance of the Greenway as a tourism attractor, Waterford Camino Tours and even the 1848 Tricolour, all topics of discussion.

What struck me on Saturday, was just how Dungarvan has embraced this new Greenway attraction. Everyone has really bought into the project and is passionately selling the concept. From the "Meet and Greet", to the stunning town centre quayside location and of course the local newspaper article, all adding to our experience. One of those Special Days that we'll all fondly remember.

This "Wehst" Waterford market town, is promoting itself as the "Home of the Greenway" and you can see why. Waterford City may well be the starting point of the Greenway, but it's disconnected from the buzz, liveliness and energy, that walkers and cyclists are bringing Dungarvan.

If we don't pedal harder, we'll never catch up.

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