Hedges, sheep, and endless green

Trip Start Apr 26, 2006
Trip End May 07, 2006

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Saturday, April 29, 2006

After a fairly cough free night spent in a Killarney hostel with the room all to myself, I awoke to get ready for the first day of the ride. Donning my newest riding apparel I set out for breakfast and a repair bike shop to align the wobble in my rear wheel. I found the local bike shop quickly, but the owner had a long line of bikes to fix. As I didn't want to wait around all day for my bike, I got a spoke key to do true the wheel myself. As the wobble was minor after the previous night's experimentation with blisters, I decided to not waste time and set off for Dingle.

The morning breeze was chilly, but the sun was out in full force. The ride through the country was splendid with fields of herd animals the entire way. Along with this pastoral living come the pleasant scents of manure and drying grass which could be described as earthy. The climbs were gradual all the way to Castlemaine and through to Inch Strand. After getting to the Strand, I stopped for lunch and wheel truing. The wind from the beach was particularly gusty and sand managed to cover all the oily parts of my bike and infiltrate all my clothes.

From Inch Strand the climbs got gradually steeper and got my puffing at points. The cars were even fairly kind enough to pass around me and not side swipe me as is common practice back home. Not one honk of anger was heard by me even when cars had to wait to pass me at times there was upcoming traffic. This was a pleasant surprise and allowed me to enjoy the ride more. The kilometers breezed and the sheep would occasionally raise their heads to eye me from the side of the road.

Finally, I arrived in Dingle at 3PM which was much earlier than I anticipated. I found a decent hostel although not cheap at $25 but it does include breakfast. After checking out the room I set out to clean the gritty, sandy parts of my bike and realign the derailleurs. The proprietor's daughter found all this quite curious and came out to investigate. She was 6 years old and very brash and curious. She supervised the entire time and I even got a chance to give her bike a tune-up. She was quite grateful and decided that I should take her around town on my bike. I didn't know the reaction this would illicit with her father so I declined. She seemed to regard this as an affront and questioned me regarding my choice thoroughly. Finally I managed to escape to take a short nap.

This later afternoon and early evening has been spent wandering around town in search of decently affordable food. I did locate a pub with meat pies and cod and chips. I tried the mutton pie despite my vegetarian tendencies and listened in on the local conversation. Now I am spent from a long day and even suntanned. Thankfully I put on sunscreen this afternoon otherwise I'd be nursing sunburn. Tomorrow a long day waits.

Kilometers Biked: 75.8
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