As I lay awake during the night, listening to the puring rain, I wondered just how wet I was going to get later in the day. Even at breakfast, when it seemed to have died down, I could see it raining outside the window.
By the time I set off shortly after 8.30 am, the rain had stopped, but I had my yellow waterproof on, just in case. I flagged Kevin down the first time he passed me, and gave it to him, as the day was already warm. We were on a schedule, as the ferry over the Shannon only left once an hour, on the half hour. Kevin had sensibly booked us into a B&B on the right side of Tralee, so I was out in the countryside very quickly. And it was quick, with a nice southerly wind on my back, I reached Tarbert in under an hour and a half. Half way between Tralee and Listowel, I noticed a sign advertising a visitor attraction ‘A day in the bog’. I mused that I had spent a few of these in my time with stomach upsets, but no occasion was nearly enjoyable enough for me to want to pay to relive the experience.
At the ferry ‘terminal’, Kevin put the bike in the car, as the fare was €18 for a car with passengers, and I would have been charged €5 as a cyclist if I had boarded on my own.
Once across the Shannon, we took a more direct route northwards, missing out Kilrush. We adopted a technique whereby Kevin would drive ahead to the next junction, work out which way to go, and then wave me through. Working like this we arrived at Miltown Malbay (which I kept calling Melton Mowbray) by 12.15. I decided to get a few more miles in before lunch, so we headed to the next town on our route. A couple of miles down the road I was stymied for the second time in as many days by roadworks, and had to retrace my route to MM and take another road which intersected the route past the roadworks. I arrived at Inagh at 13.20 with 60 miles on the clock. By now the sun was splitting the skies, and I put on more sun cream.
When leaving, a few spots of water started falling from the sky, but Kevin has forbidden me to call it rain, and it didn’t come to anything. We were traveling along the edge of the Burren national park, and had limestone pavements to our right and left.
We were to turn left onto a minor road before Gort, which I thought might have a sign, as there were some ruins nearby. When I approached, the ‘ruins’ could not be missed, with a round tower and large monastic enclosure. The route was lost shortly thereafter, however, and we ended up in Gort. It was about 10 miles before we picked up the route again.
With such good weather, and with my legs still feeling ok, I made the decision not to stop at Athenry, which was to have been our overnight, and continue to Tuam. This would make the following day, which could be wet, that much shorter. Getting out of Athenry’s one-way system proved too much for my tired brain, but a lovely lady came to my rescue, driving through the town with me following until I saw the Tuam road.
I saw another sign which read ‘Action Blinds’, and then a phone number. That may be so, I thought, but inaction stagnates…
I was almost in Tuam when I saw Kevin driving towards me. “Don’t tell me, there aren’t any B&Bs in Tuam” I joked. “That’s right”, he replied. Thankfully he had booked us into a hotel in the centre of town, from which I am writing this post after having had a bath (I haven’t produced a tide mark like that for a while!) and a meal. We are going to have a look at tomorrow’s route, to avoid the main road to Sligo, and take a more scenic route.
Day 2 statistics
Distance: 118.6 miles
Feet climbed: 3972
No. of dogs chased by: 5
No. of dogs really chased by, involving a sprint to escape: 2 (both at the same time!)
No. of times got lost: 2
SPF of cream applied: 20
SPF of cream needed: >20