Galway for a rest

I’ve been invited to spend “as long as you like here” in Galway. That’s a dangerous offer. It’s fantastic here. I don’t want to take advantage of others’ good nature, but I’d be a fool to rush away too quickly. So, I’ve decided to stay through Thursday, and head out Friday morning for Sligo & Donegal.

Yesterday we spent the day exploring Galway’s historic centre. We stopped in a pub for a whiskey, and another place for pot pie. We visited Galway Cathedral, and walked along beach at Salthill. It was a fantastic afternoon.

The Corribh flows through The centre of Galway

After a nap & dinner, we went back into town with Davey & Lin, and stopped for a pint of bitter (and clean the birdshit off of Davey’s new hat from Canada). Davey & Lin got ice cream. It was a lovely evening, even if there weren’t the buskers David had hoped for.

Today I’m taking the bike down to The Burren and the Cliffs pod Moher, and may stop by Yeats’s tower on my way back.

Finding Zen in Galway

I’ve woken in a little corner of paradise on the edge of Galway. David & Lin have a fantastic place, surrounded by a barely tamed garden filled rhubarb, grape vines, roses, oak trees and hawthorns, and much more. The tension between wildness and order is palpable and beautiful.

I rode here yesterday from Ardfert, after taking a detour down through Dingle. There was a light fog in the hills, not enough to impair vision, but enough to put a chill in the air. By the time I reached Dingle, though, it had burned off, and I had good weather the rest of the day.

Dingle is postcard pretty and filled with your buses. I expect it is the perfect image simultaneously of Ireland as it once was and never has been.

I talked to a fellow from Dallas who commented that the riding gear looked overly warm. I said I’d rather sweat than bleed, and he asked where I was from. He said he’d grown up in Seattle, and although he lives in Texas he runs a motorcycle touring company out of Fresno that focuses on camping in the Sierras. He was waiting for a whale watching tour. When he heard I was going to Galway he suggested I tour the Arran Islands, and told me which tour he thought was best. Also, to visit a castle I forget the name of, which he said is “better than Blarney.” I thanked him for the advice & wished him a good time on the boat.

The road up to Galway was mostly dual carriageway (two lanes in each direction) or motorway (like an interstate). The surrounding countryside was beautiful, in a typical Irish way. It was a long but pleasant ride until the GPS started misnaming roads, which resulted in a couple of detours.

When I arrived here, after filtering through the afternoon rush in Galway, David greeted me like an old friend. It’s great to finally meet him, after hearing so much about him from Adele over the years.

We had dinner and walked around the garden, sat outside and drank cider and talked. His son Davey came out and joined us. He’s a great kid. Full of energy & curiosity, and very smart. (He speaks English, Chinese & Irish. I wonder how many people can say that. Not many, I think.)

We came back into the house, and I borrowed the use of their washer, and David and I sat and talked while Lin played the guzheng, and Davey showed how he catches spiders.

Today we’ll head into town for a while. It’ll be nice to have a day off from the road.