Right when we set out the rain started. We continued quite awhile debating about when to
deploy the rain-gear. I really didn’t want to as it’s bulky and uncomfortable for cycling. The last few rains have been light enough to go without. I’m always torn as I get hot very quickly when cycling and a rain coat gets just as wet inside as out! But the rain persisted and we needed not only jackets, but pants too. Eventually I was glad I did, as the rain become stinging needles against my face, and despite pedaling hard I just was not generating heat and became very cold. Toes numb, and hands unable to shift, we stopped in Leenaum for a warm-up. The big pot of tea was so nice, but didn’t completely do it’s job, as I was still shivering as we left.
Thankfully the headwind had died down by that time, but the rain had not. Even more depressing was
the scenery. Most of the time I could not see through my glasses, or my heady was bowed and eyes squinting against the rain. This was one of the most beautiful areas for Ireland and I was excited to photograph it, but the rain and the clouds hid the mountains from me today.
Eventually the air-mass changed and I was no longer cold, but I was starting to get discouraged. In Westport, I had to sit down and have a good cry after a big hill (mind you, I am PMS-ing). Funny thing, my legs weren’t even hurting, I had just lost my determination to go on right now.
Even more depressing is that Brian’s bike computer had difficulty during the rain and we don’t even have the satisfaction of knowing how far we went through all of this1. Based on road signs, we’re estimating 85-90km.
One very nice thing though: Brian was sweet enough to cycle with me so a least I didn’t have to endure it all alone. Normally, he goes off at his own pace (faster, of course), and then stops and has a smoke while he waits for me to catch up (pwht* on all of you who actually thought he’d actually quit!). Doesn't seem to make sense...the faster person get's lots of rests and the slower person doesn't...
Finally we arrived at a campground in Castlebar. A big American flag was flying over the
registration building, so you can imagine how excited I was. Over to the left I saw a fitness lounge - hooray! Something for us to do tonight. Maybe ½ hr on the cycle after dinner? Hate to get all flabby on our vacation…
A barely warm shower and I’m feeling a bit better. Now we’re on a quest for liquor! Three cheers for the grocery nearby which sells mix-and-match cans of beer and cider
Today had been the most miserable day of cycling for me yet! We awoke early (thank goodness) and saw the weather front moving in off the coast. Thankfully, we had the good sense to pack up right away so everything was dry and we weren’t doing it in the rain.