30 days around Ireland week 3
The route from Westport went all the way through nature. A single house could be seen far away inland and the next village was far far away. We didn’t have breakfast yet and it was already after lunch time. We were hungry!
Ben saw a sign with the text "salmon for sale". That sign led us to an exclusive country house. Breakfast and lunch were for guests only. What a shame! We told the waitress our story, but even after that we were offered only one cookie with our cup of coffee.
Still being very hungry we had to cycle a few kilometers more. At The Carraig Bar five bicycles were parked outside. Inside we met 5 Australians who were also cycling for several days in Ireland. We started chatting right away. When we ordered our food, the waiter said they ran out of mussels. It turned out the Australians ordered all the mussels. At least 5 huge mussel pans were placed on their table. Since there were so many mussels they asked us if we wanted to eat a few mussels with them. We joined their table. We had a lot of fun and delicious mussels. Check the video on our YouTube channel.
We cycled a bit together, but in the end our pace was a bit higher so we lost track of them. We are invited to meet again in Australia in 3 years. At the end of the day, before we started looking for a place for the night again, we drank a Guinness in Paddy Coynes bar. Many Irish were watching hurling on TV in this pub. No one spoke to us and there was no one we could ask where we could possibly spend the night. After cycling a few more kilometers, we stopped at a farm. John didn't say much except that he thought our story and plans were crazy. We could sleep in one of his hay barns. We could decide for ourselves which shed we preferred.
The next day was another day through a beautiful landscape. In Galway, the switch to a crowded city was quite a change. There was a long street with only B&Bs on both sides. Very expensive and not authentic what so ever. If we would have known this before, we better could have taken the island hop route. We discovered all the pubs close the kitchen after 9 pm. The only option was to eat in a hotel. We got the tip to eat at the Parkhouse Hotel. That was the same hotel where we asked about the hotel room rates an hour before. The rooms were way too expensive. The price for diner wasn’t cheap either, but it was the tastiest food in days.
A day later in Lisdoonvarna we took a B&B again. We still needed a place to do our dirty laundry. Unfortunately the dryer of B&B Bellview wasn’t working properly. The laundry would open the next day at 10 a.m. Too late for early birds like us. The hostess of Bellview was so kind to donate a small part of the room price to our foundation.
The next day started wet and was even getting wetter. In a pub in Kilmihil we asked for a place to spend the night. Actually we wanted to stop before, after 30 km, but there was not a single house or B&B on our route. We really wanted a hot shower and we needed to wash our clothes. In Kilmihil the regulars of the local pub helped us very well. After a few phone calls we could go to Ann. Ann and her husband had a large and well-kept house. The house was mainly built of wood and Ann kept everything as tidy as could be. We arrived as two wild, wet and perhaps smelly cyclists with a load of laundry. Ann was so nice to help us with everything we needed. First a hot shower. Then Ann did the laundry for us and she got fish & chips. It was perhaps very unusual for a booking.com accommodation, but everything was arranged for us.
Everyone we met on the way advised us to go to Dingle as well. The Conor Pass was heavy. Certainly because of the very strong stormy headwind and the rain. Even Ben said he thought at some moments he would get blown off his bike. However, the view from the top made us forget about all the hardships. After a nice long descent we arrived in the fishing village Dingle. We ate delicious fish at The Fish box. After 3 main meals we were completely satisfied.
The route along the coast in Dingle was magnificent. The beautiful blue sea, with the rocks and all the green grass on it. The fog gave it something mythical and mysterious. John, a flutist on the side of the road, tributed a song to one of the islands. After a nice chat with him, we gave him some coins for his play, on which he gave us € 1 back for our foundation.
The route along the coast from Dingle to Anascaul went down a very steep gravel path. The mud made it even harder. With our hands constantly on the brakes, we managed to survive. We could sleep that night in a stable next to an empty cowshed.
The Ballaghbeama Pass looked like a scene from the Lord of the Rings. Huge rocks on both sides with a narrow road in between. After this tiring day we could pitch our tent at Ad and Clazien in Kenmare. Two people from Brabant who are living in Ireland for many years. To read about our last week in Ireland, click here.