Tuesday June 19th
Dear Family & Friends,
Today was quite a full day.. Before I get into talking about today’s activities I will pontificate a bit….
First I have noticed very surprisingly that houses in Ireland tend to be rather new. Most that I have seen are 20-30 years old and many much newer. Unlike England where there are lots of old homes and villages hundreds of years old, in Ireland it tends to be much newer. Not that there aren’t any old places but not nearly as common as England. I am going to guess that Ireland has had a huge tech boom in the last 30 years and that must have brought a lot of new wealth that has allowed people to buy single family homes? Interesting.
Another thing I noticed. As I have said in the past every place I go I always see things the locals do better than the USA and worse. Ireland has a lot of plusses but a big negative is their trash system! In the town Bonnie is staying there is no trash pick up service. You must take glass to recyclers (good) and trash in general to local compactors. A single load which is about one hefty bag costs about $10 to get rid of! Needless to say there is some fudging going on. I noticed even Bonnie would take a handful of trash with her when she went out and stuffed it in the local sidewalk bins….
Now for today.. After seeing Bonnie for four days I hate to say good bye, after 31 years I still enjoy my wife’s company but the call of the road is there. Also after three days of riding around in the back seat of a car on the wrong side of the road, getting slightly car sick I was looking forward to being back on my motorcycle.
The last few days were cloudy with an occasional sprinkle here and there but todays forecast was for decent weather.. unfortunately in Ireland the weather report is more like a guess or a suggestion, rather than being accurate. So this morning it was dark and cloudy.. and as soon as I took off it started to get misty, then drizzly. I rode a short distance and took a nice ferry ride across the bay. From there I headed directly to the western coast road to enjoy the scenery and make my way up the coast. I wanted to stop and photograph the famous Cliffs of Moher and then spend the night in Gallway.
As I made my way up the coast the weather got worse and worse. By the time I got to the Cliffs of Moher you could hardly see them! I was there a half hour before the fog lifted enough for me to see a small castle/fort just a few hundred feet away!
Again it struck me why would you need to build a fort on such a remote place over a thousand years ago?? In that era it could not have possibly been over inhabited, it must have had plenty of resources and space for everyone yet the need to fight and defend seems to be part of the human psyche.. really rather sad. It seems the human condition doesn’t change and now we are taking the battle to outer space???
I took a few photos, went for a good hike and then started riding north again. As I got back on the road the weather went from bad to worse. Now it was a fairly steady rain and rather cold. The hardest part about riding in the rain for me is seeing where you are going. My helmet tends to fog up so I ride with my shield up which isn’t real good either since my face was getting wet, my glasses were getting wet, and at one point I caught a good size bug in one eye….that required a stop.
Still as I persevered and passed a few tour buses I realized I would still rather be on my bike than in a tour bus.
For me half the fun of any trip is the adventure and the challenge of getting there. I thought about this and realized in an other era I could have been a Christopher Columbus or a Ponce De Leon. Exploring new worlds… Of course it would have to be on a motorcycle, with some sort of road, and no matter how challenging the day was I would need a warm bed and shower at night and a good meal.. Does that sound like a new world explorer??
I finally arrived in Gallway in the late afternoon. I was a little disappointed in that it was much bigger and more modern than I expected. The B&B I booked on line did not disappoint. A charming old hotel with really nice rooms. I immediately tried out the bed with a quick nap then it was time to go into town.
The location wasn’t quite as good as they advertised but between hiking the Cliffs of Moher and walking into the central touristy part of Gallway I got about 7 miles on my pedometer today.. and after all the eating I’ve done over the last few days I needed the excise.
So that was my day, not perfect but 90% good and I can’t complain about that. Again the weather report is supposed to be much better tomorrow and I think I will head inland so maybe I can get some good riding weather and some good photos..
For photos of today and a few more bits of information go below.
This is the charming little town of Listowell where my wife Bonnie is spending the month and where I visited her. The streets are quiet because this is looking out her window at about 10:30 at night. It stays light late here
Waiting for the early morning ferry to cross the bay..
Overlooking the bay
My trusty stead.. ready to explore the world! So far this bike has taken me to the Arctic Circle, south to nearly Mexico City, all over the Western USA and Canada, across the Top of the World Highway, twice around Europe and several times over the Alps.. It has been a great bike full of good memories.
Mr. Explorer waiting to cross the bay..
Here we are passing a power station.. a combination of oil powered generation and wind.. A good combination of the past and future.
Here was a tough “SCOOTER GANG” I ran into along the coastal roads.. 😉
The Cliff of Moher in the back ground.. To bad you can’t see them.. 🙁
When I first arrived I couldn’t see that fort from the same location I took the photo.!
Below are a few photos of what the Cliffs of Moher would have looked like if the sun had come out. Obviously I didn’t take these, but downloaded them off Google.
Where I am staying tonight. Very comfortable and reasonable and as always in Ireland, very friendly.
After a long hard ride I walked into town and rewarded myself with a good Irish Coffee.
Here is walking around the tourist section of downtown Gallway.
Dinner here and then off to a good nights sleep!