First of all, I’ve actually now put a bunch of photos in the old posts. Check them out. Otherwise, you can see all the photos, unprocessed, unedited for content (i.e…bunch of doubles with little to no information) at Winkflash. Later, I mean much later, I’ll start sharing other folders, but I need to sort them first.
Now…onwards and upwards. Hostel ended up not being too great. Reception was almost non-existent, the bed lumpy and the breakfast served much later than they said it would be. It was, however, in a really cool location and the food was good.
At any rate, left Pollatomish a little later than planned and headed south towards a small town called Partry (near Westport). My route took me down N59 onto R342. It was when I reached Beltra Lough that the route actually started getting really beautiful. Maybe, perhaps, I have an obsession with water…maybe. The rest of the route was nice as well, but it was mostly raining all day. I enjoyed a nice late lunch/snack by the water just outside of Castlebar.
Made my way to Partry to stay with Frank and Lisa. These two are a tremendously relaxed pair who have had a very full life all over. When I finally got there, they had some cool world music playing, so I asked about it. It seems that Frank has close to a terabyte of music. For some reason, I had all of mine backed on an external drive as well, so we had a bit of a swap…so now I have a lot of cool new music to explore. In total, yesterday was my longest day. I hit 115-120 kilometers.
Today was perfect. All suggestions and recommendations that I’ve had to date have said that the specific stretch I did today is perhaps the best cycling route in the entire of Ireland. If you are blessed enough to get a sunny day, even better. I started out getting a ride from Frank and Lisa into Westport. They dropped me off and i started by cycling around Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holiest mountain.
Came along the coast and finally dropped south on R335 via the Doo Lough Pass. Historically, this is a route taken by people during the potato famine. Hundreds of hungry people took the route in search of food in Leenane. The ride was stunning. Here are a few photos.
The route then takes you around to the the city of Leenane via the Killary Harbour. This small stretch is Ireland’s only fjord. After Leenane, I stopped by a few smaller lakes for some picture-perfect reflections, followed by a brief visit to Kylemore Abbey (a pretty building is about all I can tell).
Made it into Letterfrack to stay with two fantastic people. Lorcan and Becky have proven to be amazing hosts. The first thing when I got here…they fed me some noodles. Then, Lorcan and I climbed up Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park. The hill gave us great views of the area and a nice closure to the day. What better when you’re tired from cycling than climbing a big rock?
Came back down in the dark and then feasted on some amazing local mussel. Finally, we went to a pub to catch a brief music session.
All in all, today has been one of the coolest of the trip so far.