Day 15 and we’re half way through our cycling adventure along Ireland’s west coast. The weather continues to be glorious (mid 60s, mostly sunny, and not too windy). The locals keep telling us how lucky we are (and we know it). Many locals even refer to the weather as too warm and we’ve noticed farm animals seeking out shade.
On the down side, Ireland hasn’t seen any substantial rain for nearly six weeks. This is particularly troubling as there is a massive, uncontrolled forest fire burning near Galway (where we’ll be in about a week). Rain would help the fire fighters.
Our ride today started in Annascaul, a village with only one reason anyone would have ever heard of it. It’s the home town of antarctic explorer Tom Crean (he traveled with Shackleton on that trip). Having limited food options, we ended up eating at the pub he owned (The South Pole Inn) where they serve a beer created in his honor. Fearing (accurately, it turns out) that this beer would prove to be insipid, I ordered only a half pint. It is an unmemorable beer and hardly worth writing home about. Doh!
Today’s ride took us onto the Dingle peninsula, including riding through the town of Dingle, where we’ll be spending tomorrow night when we cycling back along the northern coast of the peninsula. Cycling in and around Dingle wasn’t much fun as there were a lot of tour buses and these roads are oh, so narrow.
The Dingle peninsula is rich with archaeological and historical sites, many of them right along the road. We visited the mid-19th century Slea Head Famine Cottages which housed families during the Great Irish Famine. We also stopped at the Celtic Prehistoric Museum, a small affair with many really good exhibits, even if 60% of the pre-historic materials are from places other than Ireland.
The village we’re staying in tonight, Dunquin, is so small that there is only one restaurant, which closes at 6. Instead, we walked to a bookstore/craft store that serves quiche and soup, but we had to eat dinner by 5:15 as it also closes at 6 and sometimes the old woman decides to close up shop early. I guess our move into the early bird special age bracket has begun.
Keeping Track of Where We Are
You can see our progress at: Joy and Tony’s Ireland Wild Atlantic Way 2017