Cycling Again

Trip Start May 22, 2009
1
28
197
Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of Ireland  , Western Ireland,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

100’s of shades of green all around you, and all you can see is the road ahead of you.  Occasionally a spark of hot-pink fuchsia or sky-blue hydrangea alert you to the fact that there may be a house in behind the stone wall and thick brush that contains it.  But then the road begins to open and you glimpse some misty blue mountains in the distance.  Blues begin to slowly turn grey, then brown, and finally greens as each new rise in the road brings you closer and closer towards them.  And finally you are there - at the first foot of these huge beasts and are seeing incredible detail never imagined from afar.  But after this long awaited and anticipated meeting, you begin to slowly leave them all behind.  One, by one, by one.  And just as sadness begins to creep in, you notice that there is another set growing on the horizon. 

As the planes widen, so does the wind whipping down the valley.  A continuous head wind causes you to struggling and tire quickly.  Each pedal step becomes harder to apply, and moves you more slowly.  Then you hear a fierce whistle and a blast of air hits you on your right side with such force that it momentarily begins to skip your bicycle sideways to the left a few inched!

But then you turn off this westerly road heading into the wind for a more sheltered stretch.  Here, wild thyme in bloom decorated the edges of the pavement or the road as it twists and turns, rises and falls, mimicking the landscape it covers. 

But then the sky opens up again to expose rocky craigged fields with tiny sheep-dots of white resembling the wild cotton in full bloom.  You slowly watch the trees shrink to the size of shrubs, and those shrink to mounds of grass.  And then the wind picks up again.  Legs tired, reaching the end of their day, you are ready to quit, and there’s nothing to stop the wind from slowing down your progress!  Even the stone walls you’ve grown so accustomed to seeing everywhere have ceased to exist on this harsh landscape.  The sun starts to break through the heavy cloud cover and each hill gets harder to conquer, causing you to use ever lower gears. 

Then houses begin to dot the landscape and reassurance returns.  One final huge hill rises to the main street of the town at the top, and then it’s home for the evening just on the other side!  But rest will not come so easily.  Pedaling further and further away from town, worry starts to creep in.  Have we missed it?  Should we keep going?  What if ti’s just around the next bend?  How far do we go>  When should we head back to town to ask?

Relenting finally, you back-tack all that way to ask for directions.  Just as you had feared - if you had gone just one more bend down the road…Reconciliation comes with the tack that the campground is on a beautiful fine white sandy beach with clear turquoise water. 
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Where I stayed
Gurteen Holiday Park

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