Conor's Bandon Blog

Running, Food and Local stuff from a blow-in

Mirch Masala - Best vegan menu in Ireland?

Incredible range of vegan and vegetarian dishes in Clonakilty
We are spending two weeks in Clon whilst our kitchen gets rebuilt and decided to treat ourselves to an Indian takeaway on the first night. A bit of googling revealed that there was a new place called Mirch Masala, so I loaded up their website on my phone and my jaw hit the floor as I started browsing the menu. The range of vegan and vegetarian options is almost beyond belief.

How Flahavan's Oat Milk can out-market the big brands

There are a few areas Flahavans could dominate quickly
I was so pleased when I heard Flahavan’s was getting into the oat milk market. As the most famous porridge brand in Ireland, it seemed like an obvious move. I only turned plant-based in January 2020 and switched to oat milk pretty quickly as I preferred, and still prefer, its taste to all the other plant milks. Having Flahavans as an option along with the usual Oatly, Califia, Minor Figures and Alpro means I can now finally support Irish farmers again with my cuppa tea and coffee.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo - A European wonder hiding in plain sight

One positive pandemic outcome - From LMFF 2020 to a hike in the Dolomites
I got those Pandemic City Blues Four weeks ago I’d never heard of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Last weekend we hiked around it and I’m still struggling to find the English to describe the beauty of what we saw. How we got there is kind of a funny story. We humans have an ability to let trauma fade, which helps us in countless ways from childbirth and broken limbs to the death of loved ones.

The Kerry Way Ultra Lite 2021 - Beyond Words

No you're not doing it some day, you're doing it today
This post will not do The Kerry Way Ultra Lite justice but I’ll do my best to decribe a wonderful race.   Some Day I had been vaguely aware of the Kerry Way Ultra for quite a few years and I even heard an elite US ultra runner list it as their top bucket list race on a podcast. But it was so far out of reach for me as to be almost mythical.

Hoka Speedgoat 4 - The perfect trail running shoe?

Why the hell did I wait so long to buy the Speedgoat?
I’ve been having mixed success with trail runners in 2021 which you can read about in previous mini-reviews: Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX - Love the comfort and waterproofedness. Great for road-to-trail. Did 50-60 mile Sheeps’s Head Way twice in them. But very little grip in the wet. Saucony Peregrine 10 - Killed my heel. Unwearable. Great grip. Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max - Heavy, blister-inducing on rough ground, lethal on wet rocks.

Twenty years of blogging on

If you'd told me in April 2001 that I'd still be prattling on in 2021.
I somehow missed the actual 20th Anniversary of the Blog back in April and finally noticed last week. This could be a massive post with links to highlights and lowlights over the past twenty years but I think I’d prefer to keep it short. After using Frontpage in the 90s and hosting a “homepage” on Indigo, Geocities and others, I made the move to Blogger on April 17th 2001. That was followed by the golden years of blogging from 2006-2010 on WordPress and eventually the move via various static site generators to Hugo a few years back.

Sir Clive Sinclair R.I.P. - My Hero

The creator of the ZX Spectrum changed my life forever
Sir Clive Sinclair died on September 16th 2021 after a long illness. I knew this had been coming for quite a while based on internet rumblings but it’s still a shock to know that the man, whose brilliant mind changed the life of a small kid from rural Ireland, is gone. I’ve written many many many times over the years on this blog and on my tech blog about the ZX Spectrum and Sinclair in general.

Review of Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max

My new favourite trail running shoes. But please give us a GTX version.
After the heel-destroying catastrophe of the Saucony Peregrine 10 and my bad fall in the Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX, I needed a new pair of trail running shoes that could handle both long distance and typical slippy, mucky, wet Irish terrain. The hype around the Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max has almost been as big as its crazy long name. But the reviews were very good and I still love and use my old Inov-8 X-CLAW 275 on the shorter boggier stuff.

Review of Saucony Peregrine 10 / 11

Horrendous heel pain means I had to stop using these after three runs
This won’t be a long review. Whilst I was enjoying running in the Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX, I knew the grip wasn’t great on the rougher stuff. After googling around a bit, the Saucony Peregrine had lots of solid reviews as a reliable decent everyday trail running shoe. Version 10 was on discount due to the recent release of version 11, so I grabbed a pair from Alltricks in France.

The Sheep's Head Way Fastest Known Time (FKT)

Completing the main loop of The Sheep's Head Way on my second attempt
If at first On April 12th 2021 I attempted to do the entire main loop of The Sheep’s Head Way. I didn’t quite make it but had an amazing day in a wonderful part of the world. Five weeks later on May 17th, I gave it another go. Whilst it didn’t go to plan, the outcome left me with a big old grin on my face for a week. No you don’t need a gas cooker The two main problems I had the first time were my ridiculous pack full of everything from a gas cooker to a sleeping bag, along with the horrendous blisters on the soles of my feet.