Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 49--I'm a Happy Camper!

Even though today was another long one (66 miles), it was really a great day! When I got up this morning, the sun was shining. I looked on Google Maps for a good route to Galway. I wrote down the turn-by-turn directions (that usually works quite well in conjunction with the Garmin). I ended up not going into Castlebar. 

So, I was cruising along on N60. The traffic wasn't too bad. I stopped in Balla for a mid-morning snack. It was warm enough that I had already taken my leg warmers off, and the sleeves of my jacket (I can't remember the last time I had the sleeves off).

I came into...can't remember the name of the town...and saw a home and garden store. I thought maybe they would have what I needed for my tent. They didn't, but the gal gave me directions to a store that would. I cycled there (Glynn Homevalue). I walked into a showroom for bathrooms. At first I thought it was not the right place. I asked the gal, and she said to go to the back of the store and down three flights of stairs. Downstairs, they would have what I needed. So I went downstairs. I told the guys my odd request. Well, they didn't have small PVC pipe, but they had small copper pipe! I had them cut three 5 inch pieces (one to fix the current break, one to replace the plumbing coupling, and one for when the next break happens). It cost me all of 2€! Woo Hoo! I could finally properly fix my tent pole!

I left the town happy as a clam! I was following the directions I'd written. At the next turn, there was a small grocery. It was lunch time, so I got a Coke and found a picnic table nearby. After lunch, I continued on. I saw this donkey.
He looks like he is wearing a coat that he could take off!

I came to a triangle intersection. One of the things I've noticed about the roads in Ireland, there are rarely signs that say the name of the road. That's where the Garmin is handy. Except, this time, none of the streets were named the one in my directions. So, I put into the Garmin the next intersection. It gave me a route to get there. Soon, in usual Garmin fashion, I was travelling on very rural roads. I went past peat bogs galore. The turf was in various stages of "harvest".
Here's a new pattern. Maybe this is the stage before the tepees.
These blocks appear to be ready for transport.

I finally popped out into a town...Deerpark? I stopped at a cash machine to get more Euros. A guy asked me about my trip. He said I should cycle around Connemura and then take the bus to Dublin. Hmmm...

At this point, I got on N84 and rode that all the way into Galway. It was very busy, but the drivers were good about not passing by me too close. Still, it wasn't overly pleasant. There are these metal "turtles" on the side of the road. They are not something I want to ride over. I ride right next to them. To pass the time, I would count how many I could go by before the next car would pass me. The highest I got to was 32 (everytime a car went by me, I had to start over). It was about 13 miles to Galway on N84. There was not much scenery, so the counting helped.

I made it to Galway at about 5:00. I saw a Subway, and decided to check off Ireland. After Subway, I rode on into the town center. As usual, the traffic was very heavy. When possible, I just rode on the sidewalk. When that wasn't so great, I just walked (it was faster than riding in the road). I saw an outdoor store, so I stopped to get a new fuel canister. Then I went to the walking part of the center of town.
I bought a few souvenirs, then decided it was time to head to the campsite. I took the Coast Route to Salthill.

As I was riding along the beach, a guy rode up to me and asked me where I was from. He had done a bike tour to Italy. We rode along chatting. He also recommended doing either Connemura, then bussing to Dublin, or bussing to Dublin, then riding around the Wicklow area. The ride to Dublin is flat and not so scenic (however, I would likely have a tailwind). I am planning a day off in Dublin (from taking the ferry a day ahead from Troon to Larne). Perhaps I could do some riding in the Wicklow area (without luggage). I would consider the Connemura idea, except the weather isn't supposed to be all that great through the weekend. 

Anyway, James led me to the Caravan Park. He likes reading accounts of cyclists riding around the world and whatnot (as do I). He told me about Dervla Murphy's book Full Tilt. I haven't read that one. He actually went home, and brought me the book! I thought that was very nice of him! I'll read it as I continue on my own tour. 

I gave James one of my blog cards, and took his picture.
(James, if you're reading this, thanks again, and you are welcome to come to Washington anytime!)

Salthill is on the Atlantic. It was misty raining, but that has stopped. My tent is fixed, and I am a happy camper!

No comments: