06 July 2012
Breakfast: six slightly burnt maple-cured rashers, tea, bowl of gluten free pasta with bottled coconut curry sauce (leftovers from supper last night). I really like this hostel. Smells old. Has history. People in charge are wonderfully quirky. I didn't check out till noon today. (picture is a cat chillin in the kitchen window at hostel--I left it a scrap of bacon)
Day started out wonderfully sunny. Nice easy hills to Dursey island to see the cable car and all. Then made the mistake of trying to cycle the Beara way, which is more of a hiking trail. Pushed my bike up most of it. Views were spectacular tho. Then it turned to chunky gravel and I had to push the bike up AND down for a while, wasting a lot of time. Finally hit a car road and sailed into Eyeries, one of the cutest towns ever... Brightly coloured buildings, flowerboxes. From there I went to do the highly-recommended Ring of Beara... And of course it starts spitting rain and gets dark. The views are amazing of course, as everyone says, but the road is very hilly: lots of short, steep hills that you need your lowest gears for, and sometimes have to sprint pace to keep moving. Stayed in the saddle but took lots of breathers and my glutes are crazy sore now haha.
I wanted to make it to Kenmare today, then realised I couldn't and tho't, okay, Lauragh then. ...I'm actually stopped on the Ring of Beara about five kilometres from Ardgroom >_<; ... It was getting late and very wet so I rolled up to the first B&B I saw, looking like a drowned rat, and asked them, where can I stay for only €35, since that's all the cash I have on me? Guy obviously wrestled with himself for a second, since most B&Bs only take singles for €45, but watching the rain drip off my helmet into my face he said, well, sure, I'll take you for €35. And they're super friendly these guys, have Irish music playing and a sort of I'm-visiting-my-grandparent's-house decór. Sea Villa B&B on the Ring of Beara. Cycle and hillwalker friendly. Give 'em business if you're ever around here... To make up for the discount they gave me :P
I do feel kind of silly hauling all this camping stuff around, making hills more painful (I'd love to come try the Ring of Beara on an unloaded bike sometime)--when I'm not even using it. But I keep telling myself, you're only on day 5 of 30. Plenty of time for camping coming up. I've only budgeted €33 a day tho so I need to start camping soon... And probably figure out how to set up camp in the rain without getting the inside of my bivvy bag wet.
But you know, this is my vacation and I can afford to go over budget if that's what happens. I'm going to enjoy myself. I like camping, but not in certain places or conditions. So I'll do what I want each night. This island is beautiful and I'll never get enough of that. S'what I'm here for.