Making our way through Ireland
Trip Start May 22, 2009
197Trip End Feb 16, 2010
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Beautiful cycle day. Slight tail wind and cloudy sky so it wasn’t too hot. We’d covered a quarter of our ride in just the first hour cruising at an average of 22km.
But then there were the confusing turns...However we did realize that our inability to navigate
Also roads change name at every intersection they cross. To help with this, they have an aversion to labeling streets - or if they do they are sporadic, in strange places and covered with ivy!
“Mullingar’s that way!”
“Yes, we know, but will this road take us there?”
“Sure you can take this road!”
“Is this the road? ***pointing to map***”
“Oh, I’m not sure, I’m not local”
We had watched this couple leave their house just a few km’s down the road while we were having our lunch. How local is ‘local’?
In the meantime, a man pulls over in his car to help and pulls out his map to look at and compare. Brian is shocked to see that his map was different again! Are we even in the same country? It showed little roads that weren't on our map, and didn’t show the ones we had. Even the roads that were labeled the same were in different places and took different turns - ARCH!!! What is going on?????
Also, distance is an issue. Everything is in kilometers again which is great, but it’s not the km’s that I’m familiar with…These ones change according to convenience. Along the highway we saw a sign for information: 'tourist information 1 km'. About 3km’s later there was another sign: 'tourist information 800m ahead'. Again, nothing. About 5km further down the road within the town we find one by pure fluke.
In addition, spelling differs from sign to sign and map to map. We think we’re heading one
But despite all of this, we’re getting into the groove of things: eventually you’ll get there, and every wrong turn is another ‘adventure’ adding to the fun.
On a positive note, I’ve found a solution to getting Brian’s attention while he’s biking ahead of me. While pedaling today, I started waving my arm in hopes that he’d glance in his rear-view mirror and see me. But he needn’t look, as the other drivers saw me, started to honk at him, and some even slowed down to get his attention and pointed back towards me!
Drivers in Ireland are pretty good with cycles too, but don’t give as wide a berth (yet they’re not traveling nearly as fast as those in England). Seeing other cyclists wearing bright yellow vests does not do a lot to boost our confidence, but so far it's been good. Looking forward to conquering many more roads to come!
Where I stayed
Lough Ennel Campground