Friday, October 21, 2005

Clifden to Westport

Last evening in Clifden, after our quick spin around the Sky Road west of town, we made ourselves some spaghetti in the hostel kitchen. Joining us in the dining area / lounge were a half-dozen members of a mild-mannered Dutch motorcycle club who were making a moto-trip through Ireland. (Nothing like those Danish motorcycle gangs, who have been known to employ rocket launchers in their feuds with other gangs.) Greg and I privately dubbed this group "Motosauce Hollandaise."

We also went across the street to Mannion's Pub and attempted to play pool on the tiny little snooker table they had there, with the tiny little yellow and red balls, sans numbers. I wish I knew the rules of snooker. A very brightly-lit place. At about 9:30 some musicians came in, but it was clear that they would be amplifying their performance so we skedaddled back home and went to bed. Greg later reported that he could hear some amplified off-key crooning wafting across the street and into our hostel dorm room. I was apparently asleep during this time.

This morning we decided to abandon the protein-rich Full Irish Breakfast (sausage, bacon, eggs, and baked beans) that we had been eating on a daily basis, opting instead for carbohydrates in the form of danishes for Greg and bread and Nutella for me. I didn't notice a big difference in energy level during our ride today, but Greg said the new breakfast made a big difference for him. But then again I have substantial fat stores on which to draw during vigorous exercise, while Greg has 3% body fat and therefore must either burn what he eats or else he burns his muscles. So nutrition is a bigger issue for him than me.

Today's ride from Clifden to Westport was probably tops in terms of scenic beauty and remoteness. The weather was off and on misty, but we avoided a complete drenching. Our route took us from Clifden to Letterfrack, then off the main road to Tully Cross, past Lough Fee and then the Killary Fjord (Ireland's only fjord) to Lenane (site of filming for the 1989 film "The Field"), thence up the road a piece to Aasleigh Falls and back around the northern side of Killary Fjord for a few kilometers. The road turned north at this point toward Delphi; just past here, at the foot of Doo Lough (Dark Lake), we turned right onto a narrow paved path, barely 12 feet wide. This route took us up through a remote, high-walled valley with a steep climb over a ridge before we zoomed down into Drummin, Liscarney, and and finally Westport, a lively County Mayo city where we'll spend the night tonight at the Old Mill Hostel.

5 comments:

VidaOaxaca said...

You are covering a lot of ground. Clifton to Westport. Brilliant.
Don't forget to stop at the little well shrines, which were celtic sacred places. Tricia and I went to a great seaweed bath somewhere between westport and sligo, south of Queen Maeves tomb. Glad you made it to O'Connors in Doolin, though you'll hear more German than Gaelic in there these days I suppose. Wishing you joy in your journey!

Eve's Apple said...

I am craving more Cheeze. Please post soon.

Ol prof said...

Yea. Come back, come back. Two months without cheez! Or are you waiting for baseball season?

Tony said...

So which is it? Dutch or Danish? the motorcycle club.

Chris Hartman said...

Tony - The Dutch M.C. we saw in Clifden were more mild mannered than the RPG-toting Danish M.C. I'd read about some years ago.

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