Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 52--A Bad Weekend to Come to Dublin

When I was in Northern Ireland in Dungiven, Mervin was telling me about July 12th, and how there would be a big parade of the Orange Man. It's been known to cause problems. I remember saying to Mervin, "I'm glad I won't be in Northern Ireland then!" Well, I'm not in Northern Ireland, but it didn't matter.

I left Lough Ennell with the idea of going to Camac Valley Caravan Park. It would have been a great idea to stick with that plan. Unfortunately, I did not. You see, I was making such good time, I decided to just come into Dublin. I thought I would just stay at a hostel, be able to easily see Dublin, and also be close to the Port to take the ferry to Holyhead on Monday.

I found it amazingly easy to ride into the city. Just as Matt, the guy I met yesterday, said, R148 goes all the way to Dublin. It literally came right to the City Center. Before I knew it, I was riding along the Royal Canal, and there was the Guiness Brewery!

I asked the Garmin where there was a Hostel. It said there was the Brewery Hostel a mere .2 miles away. Sadly, Garmin was wrong. No such hostel exists anymore. Okay, moving on. Since I was near the Guiness Brewery, I decided to go have a look. I'm not a fan of beer, but I thought perhaps I'd get a souvenir or two for Kyle and Dillon (definately beer fans). However, it cost 18€ to do the tour. I asked if there was a gift shop. Of course there was, but you had to have a ticket to get to it. Hmmm...I guess not. 
The way to the Visitor Entrance.

So, I decided to resume my looking for a hostel. I found another one called Four Courts. Yay, it actually existed! Boo, no vacancy! Next, I looked for a cheap hotel. I found a hotel (don't know if it was cheap or not). They also had no rooms left. When I asked the guy why the hotels were all full, he said it was because of the parade in Northern Ireland! People want to get out in case there is any trouble. Also, he said there was some big concert here this weekend. 

So, I thought I would just give up and go to Holyhead. The next ferry left at 8:30. Not a problem as it was just 3:40, except, it didn't get to Holyhead until midnight. That would be somewhat problematic in finding a place to the an unfamiliar city. But, what else could I do?

I headed to the Port and the ferry. Along the way, I saw another hotel. I stopped to ask if they had a room. Nope, full up. So, I continued on. Just a minute or two later, I came to another hotel, The Spencer. I went in to ask them if, by chance, they had a room. I said I would be happy with a broom closet. The kid, Stephan, said he thought they had one room left. Really??? He checked, and they did, indeed, have one room left! Of course, it would cost 200€ for the one night! YIKES! But, again, what was I to do? Take the ferry to Holyhead and arrive in the dark? That wasn't so appealing by myself. So, I agreed to take the last room. It didn't even come with a complimentary breakfast! I said to Stephan, "Well, if I had stayed my planned two nights at a hostel, bought food and souvenirs, it would probably come close to 200€. So, no food, and no souvenirs, but a place to sleep." I think he genuinely felt sorry for me. 

When I got to my room (top floor), the phone was ringing. It was Stephan. He said they felt bad that I would leave with an empty belly, so they are giving me a complimentary breakfast in the morning. I just have to show up. At least that's something...
My most-expensive-ever-in-my-life hotel room.
View from my 7th floor balcony, of the canal.

After a brief swim in the pool and a sit in the Jacuzzi, I showered and decided to go for a walk. 
I came to this bridge. People were walking across it, so I did too. I came to this theater.
Ah, that's where everyone was walking to. I went around to the other side.
In the distance, I could see this wakeboarder (curiously, no boat!). First I wanted some dinner. I had in mind some Fish and Chips. I found this bar.
Looked good. And my dinner, was fine. Fish and Chips on...mushy peas? I don't get the mushy peas part, but...well, I didn't eat them anyway. 

While I was eating, it started raining (of course it did!). So, instead of more exploring by foot, I hustled back to The Spencer. 

I might do a bit more riding around tomorrow before I catch the 2:30 ferry to Holyhead. Depending on the weather, I may start riding toward Oxford. One good thing is that I will not have to do such big mile days to get to Oxford and Christopher. I can enjoy Route 5.

Anyway, a bit of a disappointment, not getting to stay longer in Dublin. Dang that Parade!
Toward the the rain.

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