22 July 2012
Mike was downstairs in the dining room and after I made my breakfast I gave him two eggs and a couple rashers... Then I proceeded to eat the rest of the rashers, some rice, two eggs, and the other half of the GF chocolate cake from last night. Mike was going to cycle the NINETY MILES home today (I think stopping to watch formula one racing in a pub on the way). Going twice as far as me and he barely ate. I think he gets like all his daily calories from beer and alcohol. Didn't return to the hostel unil half past five in th' morning.
Jay came in later and we all three had a nice chat. I was the last to pack up, return my key, and go. This is why the day 20 post is so late, because I had good company in the hostel and so wasn't writing it over supper or breakfast.
Stopped briefly in Drumcliff to visit the grave of W B Yeats. My thesis advisor in university was a huge fan so I took a picture and shot him a note. There was a young man standing there reading the whole poem of what's quoted on the grave out loud, from a thick book of Yeats' collected works. When he was done he kissed the gravestone. Obviously he was a huge Yeats fan. Good for him.
Very windy, blustery day today. Overcast but not raining. Luckily the wind was mostly at my back and there were a lot of downhills or flat spots on the N15 north from Sligo to Bundoran, so I spent a considerable amount of time going 25 to 30 kph. On some downhills I reached 50+ kph. Going into certain towns, that's actually the speed limit, so I took up the middle of the road without a shred of guilt. Mostly there are decent hard shoulders on that stretch of N15 but there are also some pinch points here and there where the hard shoulder disappears and I have to merge with the maniacs. I hate cars so much. All the noise, danger, smells (seriously people, if your little car's arse is belching black smoke you probably have a serious mechanical problem)... I mean, most people give me plenty of space and most drivers are courteous but it's the jerks here and there who take even small risks with your life that ruin it for everyone. Ah well, there's no better road to where I'm going so I have to deal with it today. Wind can be a bit scary when it blasts you out of nowhere. Grr argh. (random reference get: ten points.)
Tea outside the Phoenix Tavern in Bundoran. Interesting sea resort town with more than its fair share of arcades and amusement centres. Seems like the kind of place where people would get bitten by vampires at night. Or, no, get like Jack the Ripper'd. C'mon Carl Kolchak. (did I spell that right? Is it with a K?)
Mama and Daddy called me for my birthday right after I left there and had about 30 km left to Donegal town. I told them to call back in about three hours.
But then I was like, this road is flat enough, I bet I can make it to Donegal in an hour. Challenge set. Accepted. I'm sure the scenery was nice and all but I really didn't notice it. Busy roads aren't conducive to sightseeing anyway. I had a nice, wide, smooth hard shoulder the whole way, merging only at roundabouts, so I pushed myself hard. Wind neutral or at my back helped. I tried for 10ish km on uphills, 20-something on flats, 35-40+ on downhills. Every short uphill was rewarded with a prolonged downhill and I spent a lot of time in my biggest, highest gear. Felt good. With the strong winds, in the 40 kph range could be a bit scary as in slightly unstable, but I concentrated hard and the road was super smooth so it was okay. I did have to stop and stretch a few times... But it took me 59 min to the sign that said "Donegal ... Historic Town" and 1 hr 4 min to the green road sign that said DONEGAL. Another 6 km or so to the hostel tho'.
Found an Australian couple in this hostel that were in the Old Mill Hostel in Westport when I was in there, too. Haha. Then I made supper and had a nice long hot shower, rinsing off my coating of sweat from the hour of pushing faster. About 20 min after I got settled in, it began to rain. Glad I tho't to go fast and miss it.
The owners of this hostel are the sweetest family ever. Good place to spend the night. Not gonna camp on my birthday that's for sure. Even got a dorm room to myself again.
Good birthday. Good trip. Weird to think it's two thirds over. What am I going to do with myself when I'm not cycling three to six hours a day anymore?