STAGE 1: Lahinch to Na Forbaha
Didn’t sleep too well last night. Maybe it was something to do with the coffee you could stand on last night after a dinner of chunky seafood chowder, Turkey and vegetables and nice light desert. Or the few pints of delicious West of Ireland Guinness that I had imbibed with the lads when we all got together.
Don’t know the reason. But whatever it was I’m not complaining.
It was great to meet up with Trish and hear all about her first 8 days. She is holding up remarkably well for having ridden nearly 1000km and climbed some 8000 meters.
We also met the support crew who will be with us for the rest o
f our trip. The hotel accommodation is excellent and bodes well for the journey. We will have a lot of backup on the road with motor bikes and cars.
We collect our cycling top and rain jacket after breakfast before heading out on our first stage to the Connemara Gealteach.
I hear rain outside. I hope it’s spilling it before the sun comes up. Well, it stopped raining at 6 am, thankfully.
Breakfast was delicious with plenty of variety and choice. I think we were all a bit apprehensive of what was ahead on our first day. We got our new jerseys and rain jackets and had a bit of cat-walking to see “is my bum too big in this”!! Great to chat to people while we were preparing to set out. We have 2 masseurs travelling with us and I had the legs done after breakfast. Didn’t think I was that sore!!
Rolled out at 9.30 after a safety briefing and headed for our lunch stop in Ballyvaughan.
We had no sooner left when the rain came on again. It was to last pretty much the whole trip today.
The pace was controlled by our lead car and it was a flat start. But it that didn’t last long. By the time we hit the Cliffs of Moher climbs we were pretty stretched. I got shelled out from the main group and spent the rest of the morning on my own. Out through Liscannor, Doolin, Fanore along the Atlantic Coast with the beautiful Burren on my right. Visability, however, was down to a minimum because of the rain. But it didn’t matter because it was great to be cycling this beautiful coastline. It wasn’t lnog before I reached the food stop in Ballyvaughan after 50km.
I was wet and cold and a delicious bowl of chowder didn’t do the trick. With wet clothes it was difficult to get any sort of heat into me.
We had sandwiches and cakes and gallons of coffee.
Nothing for it but head out again into the cold. Cold and wet clothes were our lot. I thought I would die with the cold.
A few hills later the heat was back in the body, the road turned to rolling hills and flat and we decided to stay together to get through Galway City in an orderly bunch.
Rolling down through Kinvarra. Into Kilcolgan and on to Clarinbridge and into Oranmore. A circuit around central Galway, down through the docks area and out through Salthill.
The Connemara Coast Hotel was a welcome sight as we pull in.
Got my room and just peeled the lot off and got into a hot bath for a soak and a reheat!
Human again, into the bar for a welcome pint of Guinness before dinner.
Tomorrow it off to Roundstone via Spidal and Inverin. About 100km.
Now it sleep time!