Finally ~ some people to talk to! As much as I love my husband (and I really do) it's nice to have some other people to converse with. Much of the time when traveling, we're under some stress of pain of cycling, confusion of wrong turns, or trying to set up camp in the rain. Sometimes the conversation is limited, and often heated.
We've been blessed with the opportunity to connect with friends who we met at a wedding this Spring. We finally connected after a much frustrated day of scouring the downtown of Galway looking for Internet and a phone that didn't
eat my money faster than Brian eating a steak...And after arguing with a bike shop owner who wanted us to pour liquid Euro into our bikes. Brian measured our bike chains and found that the new chains he had put on before we left had stretched and were 'done' according to the tool. Worried about damage this may cause, the bike shop recommended new chains, new gears, new everything - especially when he found out where we were planning on traveling. Brian wouldn't have any of that, and wasl discouraged and a little unsure what to do next.
But then Dillany treated us to an amazing dinner of Sri Lanken curry, we had a long conversation over tea with our camping neighbors from Denmark, and the laundry was clean, so we were ready to try again.
The next day walking through Galway, the cute pedestrian walk ways and shops had a completely different look and feel. Amazingly WIFI pubs seemed to come out of the woodwork through fresh eyes. It was the weekend market and much more crowded than the day before, but this was interesting as we saw bog wood sculptures, sampled cheeses, examined Celtic jewelry, and salivated over the most amazing crepes!
St. Nicholas' Cathedral was a neat little stop outside the market before we stopped for lunch on the water before heading out of town for some green.
We drove up through Oughterard and saw the Aughnanure Castle and get a glimpse into how the rich of the 1500's used to live: in tower houses. Walking down tree covered pats, along still
rivers with ivy trails dipping in the water, while seeing glimpses of the castle through the trees. Dillany told us the story of how the moats used to cover a much larger area, and we imagined where a ballroom extended out over the water. The floor was actually a trap door, so they could drop it and ave everyone fall into the alligator infested waters. How do you get rid of your enemies? Invite them to dinner. There were other hospitable features such as secret chambers and murder holes (where archers stood on the floor above and shot arrows through a hole at the entrance below should you be an unwelcome guest).
Then it was off along the shores of Lough Corrib. Beautiful views of the start of the Connemara Mountains while we munched on some cheese from the market and sipped on some wonderful cider from Brittany France.
Driving with Steph down these tiny one lane roads was an experience all on it's own. Hills and
sheep on one side, sheer drop towards the lake on the other, barreling along the road at high speed only to come to a screeching halt when another car appears around a corner.
I can't wait to delve into this landscape even further once we set off on our bikes. The Connemara region looks so rugged and beautiful. In the meantime, we're looking into some day-trips from Galway before we leave.