8.19.2015

Less is Moher - Dingle to Galway (COGBRAI Day 3?)

11 AM

I think it is Day 3 of the CRAZY-BIRD ONE-TIME GREAT BIKE RIDE AROUND IRELAND (COGBRAI). I lose track of time when I am on vacation, but that seems about right.

I woke up in a tiny room at the Barr Na Sraide Bed n Breakfast in Dingle IE, a little before 9 AM. I had my phone alarm set for 8:30 but it failed to go off for some reason. My roommate Jason's alarm did go off about 8:50. He did not feel like going to breakfast at the B&B, but I did. I think he drank a protein shake (blech!).

I had a full Irish breakfast in the fast paced dining room, where you did not want to be underfoot of the wait staff or you might get knocked on your duff. In addition to the standard Irish breakfast fare - sausage, bacon, egg, tomato, mushrooms, black and white "pudding," and toast - they had an all you can eat fruit and yogurt bar. I filled up on pineapple, grapefruit, and yogurt (for probiotics) to keep me going for a few hours. I drank an ample amount of coffee as well.

The plan devised by the team the night before was to meet at reception at 10 AM to check out. A few of my teammates were on time. The rest trickled in over the next 30 minutes. In any event, we loaded the rented bus with our gear and hit the narrow Irish roadways, with Joe the bus driver (who I saw at breakfast) at the helm, about 11 AM.

As I write this, we are en route from Dingle IE to the Cliffs of Moher where, weather permitting, we will start biking. The plan is to ride to and maybe through Ballyvaughn (sp?) IE. Stay tuned.

12 PM

We made a bathroom stop in some small town, during which Trent's small bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey somehow became uncapped and spilled all over the floor of the rental bus.

"I thought I wedged it really well between the seats," Trent protested.

So now the bus smells like Jame-o, and Trent is out of booze, all because capping the bottle was too much trouble.

I bought a coffee at the gas station we stopped at to pee, and looked for allergy meds to help kick back this mild cold I have, but the woman working there told me allergy meds are controlled medicines in Ireland, only available at pharmacies. So I will have to look for some later.

1 PM

I like doing these hourly updates, though I don't know if I'll be able to keep it up once we start biking. But right now we are still on the bus. We hit a construction zone that slowed us down briefly. On the move again now, but at this rate we won't have a lot of time for biking.

No new updates since we are still on the bus heading for somewhere. There may have been a change in the starting location for biking, based on some tidbits of conversation I picked up on coming from the back of the rental bus.

I have my neck pillow and dozed off a little, notwithstanding the coffee I got at that last gas station.

2 - 4 PM

Still en route to some destination for biking, we stopped for a late lunch at a place called Durty Nelly's in Bunratty Castle (where there is an actual castle). I got the fresh grilled hake (rhymes with rake), on special, and had a pint of Smithwick's ("Smiddicks") IPA.

Now we are in the bus again...seems like this bus ride will never end and I am pretty sure bike riding is not going to happen. Disappointing but a day off from biking isn't the end of the world, as long as we see some cool sights. Bus ride is getting obnoxiously long though.

4 PM

Goddam effing bus...

5 PM

Grrr...

6 PM

We ditched the bike trailer in some small town near the Cliffs of Moher, so as to make better speed toward said cliffs and not need to haul the trailer up all the winding roads. The cliffs were impressive and almost worth not biking today, though I am still remarkably disappointed by that and the fact that we couldn't even hike the coastal footpath to Doolin IE...another of Trent's wildly optimistic, albeit good, ideas. Unfortunately, it would have taken at least two hours to hike it and put us way behind schedule. But I would have enjoyed that since we didn't get to bike. (Note: We did get to entertain Trent's hiking notion on Friday. See the post entitled "Toolin' ta Doolin".)

7 PM

More bussing. We are en route to Galway where we will stay tonight. I'd rather be hiking the coastal footpath to Doolin, but so it goes.

8 PM

Fecking bus.

9 PM

Galway IE at last. Our bus driver Joe left us after drop off and will be replaced by a new driver tomorrow. HAIL TO THE BUS DRIVER. Chilling a bit before we hit the town. I guess it is a college town, akin to Madison WI? Stay tuned.

10 PM etc.

Galway hosts took us down to the main drag for pizza dinner and beer. Galway is a college town with a similar vibe to Madison. We walked down a street much like State Street in Madison. I had the best beer thus far in Ireland. It was a rye IPA, but I can't remember the brand. I should have written it down. I will probably see it again since we are in Galway for most of the remainder of this trip.

Not much else to report. Had I known today was going to be a "rest" day from biking, I would have tried harder at resting. But tomorrow should be a good biking day. Ciao.

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