Saturday, June 11, 2016

Leitrim to Donegal June 11, 2016

There was not going to be anything happening around the guest house this morning until at least 9;00 am so we opted to eat breakfast at the Topaz gas station just down the road.  They opened at 7:00 and had a breakfast sub which had bacon and sausage in it.   It was pretty funny as we got our subs and were sitting there in our safety vests and a fellow driving a tractor also in a safety vest came and joined us sitting on the stone wall. 

The weather forecast made it sound like the rain would hold off until after 12:00 so we were keen to get as much of the ride behind us as we could early on.  Ken and I got out front and started pushing.   The road was rolling hills with very nice pavement so we made good time.  I was watching the kms were adding up and we passed several small places.  Finally at the 50 kms mark we came to a little cross roads called Kiltycougher where we stopped for a snack and a drink.  We had been there about 20 minutes when Jos and Patrick rolled up.  I was getting a little worried that they had trouble somewhere but they were just taking some time.

From there we crossed into Northern Ireland (England/UK).  You could not tell where the border was the only thing which was different was the car licence plates were different. We rolled into Belleek and got sandwiches from a local deli and ate them in a park.

We had been riding hard and had been sweating then sitting in the park on cold benches.  I was getting pretty cold when I looked over an Patrick was shivering.  Time to roll.   We only had  28 kms to ride and it was only 1:30 so we didn’t have to work very hard but the best way to get warm is to jump on the pedals which we did as within a couple of kms there was a hill which was about 3 kms long and around 8%.  At the 
summit it started to spit a little bit of rain.  I could see that the valley to the north looked very sunny  and so we kept going.  Sure enough with in a few minutes the rain stopped and the sun came out.

We rolled into Donegal at 3:00 pm and had some chocolate milk in the town square.  Sitting in the sun drinking the chocolate milk after a great ride was marvelous.

 The hotel was just around the corner.  Jos and Patrick went  the hotel and Ken and I went to visit the Donegal Castle which is right in town.  It was built in the late 1500’s by an Irish King however he lost it when the English invaded northern Ireland and was given to an English lord who then expanded it in the 1600’s.  The Irish government now owns the castle and has restored the main tower house.   It is a pretty impressive sight.  I cannot imagine being a soldier in the 1500-1600’s with a spear or axe and being told to go attack the castle where they are shooting arrows down.  Impressive as it is and as grand and imposing as it is, I think I still prefer my castle which is neither impressive or imposing.
So all of the dire forecasts of rain and storm were wrong as the day turned hot and sunny. 
What a great day! 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SO glad you guys got your ride in out of the rain. I looked at the weather radar this evening and it showed you guys having wave after wave of storms, but probably after you were finished. Getting going gets the job done. It is not a bike ride unless you eat in a gas station and get lost, so it sounds like you have made it into a bike ride. Hope you enjoy your stay in the UK!