Today was a pseudo rest day. The company that arranged our trip had us cycle only 30km (18.6 miles) to reach Galway. It’s a real city with lots to do, including shopping, so I guess they cater to allowing folks time to visit the city sites. Our ride was so short that even though we dawdled in Kinvarra before heading out, we still reached our B&B by 11:30. We didn’t see any interesting landscape and the only interesting archaeological site, Dunguaire Castle, wasn’t open yet when we cycled past.
As we move further north we are seeing more and more thatch roof buildings, including our hotel in Kinvarra last night. As the photos show, a thatched roof can be quite handsome. I particularly like the decorations along the top ridge. And if the photos make it look like the a thatch roof is really thick, it’s because it often is. Some thatch roofs can be more than three feet thick! And a good thatch roof can last 15+ years before you need to add another layer.
Joy and I learned a lot about thatch roofs last November when we visited St. Fagans National Museum of History near Cardiff, Wales. (If you’ve never visited this amazing place, you should. It’s an astounding open-area museum that chronicles the history, lifestyle and architecture of the Welsh people and uses several dozen old Welsh buildings that were re-constructed to create a small village.) It’s ironic that generations ago only the poor would roof a house with thatch, and now it’s an affluent person’s choice. Reminds me of what’s happened with horses. Used to be that only poor folks, who couldn’t afford a car, would ride horses. Now, owning a horse is a sign of wealth.
We have been surprised and delighted to see Ireland’s love of bright house colors. Sometimes it feels that we are walking down a street in Oaxaca, Mexico. I wish I’d stopped to take more photos of these bold color choices. Sometimes, it’s just wonderful door colors and window trim.
Keeping Track of Where We Are
You can see our progress at: Joy and Tony’s Ireland Wild Atlantic Way 2017