17 July 2012
Some of Jam's pet peeves:
1. When people don't tell you what the charge is for something until after you've already incurred said charge.
2. When people don't tell you about a rule until you've already broken it, or a preference until you've already disrespected it.
3. When people appear to be in one social category at first, but, once you've figured out a strategy for dealing with them, turn out to be in that confusing social category of people who are too nice to say anything unless it's veiled and politened first.
I still like this hostel and still think the people who run it are nice and it's worth staying in, but it can be socially awkward and confusing for people like me (that is, people with sub-par nonverbal communication skills). And the walls between rooms are paper thin too. But that's the way these things are.
Cycled off into the thickening rain at half eleven. Clouds hanging dark and low between the wooded hills. Passed some French cycle tourists at a crossroads and talked to them for a while. I tho't I'd be much faster than them since they seem to have more luggage than me... But no, guy in green in the lead quickly outstripped me, going faster than 20 kph to my 15. They stopped to rest more often tho' so I kept leapfrogging them throughout the morning. And we were all passed by tons of cycle tourists going the other way--even one big group with several children. I s'pose County Mayo is good cycle touring territory. Even in weather like this...
I seemed to make really good time into Leenaun; that 20 kms seemed to take only 20 seconds. Then around Killary Harbour toward Doo Lough pass. That cycle is majestic, even in the heavy rain, shrouded in mist, next ridge of mountains nothing but a dark outline against the murky clouds. On a nice day, I'd've picnicked by the lake, taken a swim in the clear, inviting waters. But under these conditions, I just put my head down and cycled into the wind, which was sweeping white sheets of water in-between the hills. For a mountain pass, the route was remarkably flat. The French cyclists stopped to picnic in the shelter of an abandoned school and invited me to eat with them, but cold and wet as I was, I wanted to sit indoors somewhere, so I pressed on.
Rest stop in Louisburg in the Westview Hotel. Made it there in just over three hours. Ate boiled carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, plus seasoned potatoes roasted in vegetable oil. And hot tea of course. Dripped water all over their floor. Must have drank like a whole pot of tea. Damn. Filling bladder like that prolly not the best idea. I hate eating but I get hungry so often doing this. Still having some acid reflux and stomach problems, but my body seems to digest faster for the sake of my starving muscles so it doesn't last unbearably long.
TMI warning (poop) for this paragraph: I definitely got got by some gluten over the past few days. Diarrhea this morning and throughout the day. Gluten poisoning also explains the burning, stabby pains in my quads as well, despite the rest day. And how sleepy I feel when I stop moving, and headaches... Stupid hostel tables/kitchens always covered in breadcrumbs. I'll have to be more careful from now on, lest my trip be cut short by a worse poisoning that renders me unable to keep up the pace. I had to stop and shit in fields a few times today, ugh. One time there was a horse in it... I felt bad for pooping by the wall but what else can you do when you have diarrhea on the road? Horse came to check me out and smell my head when I was done. I apologized to her. I think she was just like, who are you??
TMI over. I hate my diet but what can you do? Starve, or stay bedridden and die slowly...? Or avoid poisons as much as possible. Which I do. But laziness or desperation makes me lax sometimes. And I get sick.
Rain never really let up all day. I passed Croagh Patrick and stuff but everything was grey and wet and shrouded (pictured above). Once in Westport, I grabbed a bed for two nights in the Old Mill Hostel. French cyclists from this morning ended up here too. I figure I'll take one more rest day to try and recover a bit from being gluten-sick and also to wait out the weather--thunderstorms forecast tomorrow (?!), but it ought to slowly get drier over weekend.
Really tired now. I'll type more tomorrow.