Cycle Ireland Day 20 – to Kilkee

Yesterday Joy wrote about how boring the day was. It was down right fabulous compared to today.

During yesterday’s ride we realized that Joy had broken a spoke on her back wheel. When you break a spoke it usually isn’t too big a deal (though you should get it fixed sooner rather than later). Sometimes it can throw the wheel out of alignment which means that the wheel rubs against the brake, slowing you down. (Plus, a misaligned wheel causes lots of other issues.) This is what was happening to Joy. While diagnosing the issue we realized that we’d brought extra spokes but not the spoke wrench (which is sitting in Malaga with our bike boxes). After futzing for a while we just ended up unhooking her back brake and Joy rode the rest of the day with front brakes only. No sudden stops for her!

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Kilkee beach – astoundingly wide

We still have about ten days of cycling left so this morning we hired a van to drive us and our bikes to a bicycle shop in the town of Ennis. The good news is that her bike is fixed. Bad news is that we ended up in a town far off our course. We decided to call today a rest day and call another van to take us to tonight’s destination. Sadly, large enough taxis are rare so we spent a good part of the day sitting around waiting for taxis. No cycling. No fun. But our B&B in Kilkee is half a block from this amazing beach, and the morning drizzle gave way to sunny skies.

All this sitting around got me thinking about Joy’s post on B&B/hotel accommodation requirements, which led me to think about Irish bathrooms.

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Sink in a modern hotel

In the three weeks we’ve been in Ireland, 95% of the time sinks have separate hot and cold spigots (even in modern hotels). That means when you’re washing your hands, shaving, etc., if you want warm water you have to use a sink stopper, or, if there’s no stopper (there rarely is in public bathrooms) then you’re bouncing between hot water and then cold water.

The reason I care about this so much is that the water coming out of every Irish hot water spigot is always “Sweet Mother of Jesus!” hot. Scald-the-skin-right-off-your-hands hot. I’m not sure if it’s the result of having separate spigots, if you just need to overheat water to keep it hot during colder months, or if the Irish are just tough as nails. Whatever the reason, I’m afraid of the hot water coming out of Irish spigots.

And just often enough, hot and cold are reversed so you get a nasty surprise coming out of the spigot on the right.

Between the hot water and the towels, my skin sure is going to be baby soft by the time we leave Ireland. All of our B&Bs line dry their towels. Every day when I dry off from my shower, I’ve gotten a full body exfoliation experience.

Keeping Track of Where We Are

You can see our progress at: Joy and Tony’s Ireland Wild Atlantic Way 2017


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