14 July 2012
Breakfast: aforementioned burnt rashers, two fried eggs, boiled rice, tea.
This hostel, Kate O'Connor's, is fairly nice. Several hundred year old building with quite a bit of history to it. I kinda want to make today a rest day, but I've decided that rest days will be Sundays, wherever I happen to be. This time will be Galway I think.
Made decent time for the first few hours today, then got tired after Quilty/just before Milltown Malbay and took a nap in a field. Didn't pick the best field for it really... Long wet grass hid what was basically a little bog. But I found a decent place to put down my foam mat and take a snooze. Got up when I got cold and kept going. It was a pretty cold morning actually. In Milltown Malbay there's some kind of music festival going on, and I tho't I might lunch there and listen for a while, but got really nervous and antisocial for some reason and just needed to get out of there and away from people as quickly as possible, so I only passed thru.
Trundled on north thru Lahitch. Been off my ordinance survey map of SOUTH Ireland for a while; finally found a place that carried the WEST section (it comes in four pieces, and has the perfect level of detail on it for cycle touring long distances). Got off the N road and headed toward the Cliffs of Moher. Didn't sit down to eat lunch today, just snacked constantly on the bike on fruit, skittles, and boiled eggs. Nearly had a breakdown over a stuck zipper in-between towns for some reason. Just not in the best of moods really... Probably because I already miss the landscapes of southwest Cork and Kerry. County Clare is postcard Ireland: bushy green quilted hills, dry stone walls and white cottages, placid masticating livestock, the sea never too far away. Every place I've gone so far has had its share of tourists, but here they seem especially thick. It's too built up and I miss the wild bits of Ireland already. Where you could cycle for an hour without seeing a house.
Just heard a cow cough. Weird. Hit a wall just before Cliffs of Moher and had to lie down for a little while and eat some GF biscuits. Quads burning all day. I'll pee real quick then get going again.
Decided to camp in some pine woods near Doolin rather than hostel there, since the sun came out and forecast is good. Skipped the Cliffs of Moher 'cause I've already seen them and I'm particularly anti-tourist today. (I don't really consider myself a tourist because I'm not in a coach/car/caravan, and also I live in Ireland, have friends here, etc.)
Chose the dumbest, muddiest, thorniest way to enter the woods because I didn't see the gullies and muddy trenches I was setting myself up to cross, but once I got so far thru shoulder-high grass it was too late to turn back. Campsite is nice, isolated but near enough to the road. I'm boiling rice on my camp stove in treated water (there's a tiny trickle of a stream nearby) and will eat it with a tin of mackerel. It's nice to finally be using the heavy crap I've been hauling up and down all these mountains and hills for so long. And GOODGODIJUSTSPILLEDBOILINGFUCKINGWATERONMYSHINS
i know better than this too. The whole setup is really top-heavy. Excuse me while I swear and scream about how I've killed myself.
I've got some kind of burn something in my first aid kit. It doesn't hurt too much right now. I guess I'll see the damage in the morning... Get a tube of proper burn cream. It's dark now and cold so i'm not going anywhere.
I've got the right amount of warmth in this setup but of course it will be an hour or so before I fill the bag with my body heat, get comfortable, and *feel* warm in it. I'm not going to get up until I bloody well please either.
Stay tuned for more drama later today/tomorrow.