Biking Day 2 – Kilcrohane

Here it is…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…answers to the game from this post.

For the record, no one guessed the correct two stories. Only a few of you even got one of the two. Therefore, since I have no one to declare as winner, I declare that you ALL win! We’ll snag coasters and give one to each of the eight of you who took the time to comment or e-mail your vote. To Kaitlin, Krista, Melissa, Patty, Mom, Mom Webb, Diane and Jake – thanks for playing along. 🙂

I feel like Oprah at the moment: YOU get a coaster, and YOU get a coaster, and EVERYONE GETS A COASTER!!!! *cheer*

Here are the official answers:

  1. TRUE
  2. FALSE
  3. TRUE
  4. TRUE
  5. TRUE
  6. TRUE
  7. TRUE
  8. TRUE
  9. TRUE
  10. FALSE

Here are the explanations:

I ended up barefoot in a pub drying my tennis shoe under a hand dryer. (TRUE)

Day 2 was when we hit our first big rainfall. It rains a lot in Ireland, but not usually for too long. On that day, it rained hard and for a long time. I tried to take off my sunglasses because the sky was dark, but then I couldn’t see because the water kept splashing into my eyes. I was wishing for a pair of swim goggles. Larson said, “I don’t have to drink from my Camelback anymore…I can open my mouth and drink from the air.” He wasn’t exaggerating much. It seems like a rite of passage on a bike trip: you have to cycle through a torrential downpour. Okay, CHECK. Done that. I’m cool with not doing it again. We’ll see what Ireland has in store for us.

The problem with the rain here is that it’s colllld. Ireland is a lot colder than Michigan in general (look at a map. It’s way higher north). This July rain in sixty degrees felt more like an October/November rain in Michigan. Brrrrr. We had our rain gear, but by the time we got to lunch we were waterlogged and shivering.

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We stopped for lunch at a place called the Snug Pub, and it was as cute and cozy as it sounds. We drank tea that has never tasted better, and we waited out the rest of the storm while eating Irish stew and apple pie. Before we left, we decided to dry off the things that weren’t covered by rain gear. That’s how I ended up barefoot in the pub bathroom holding my shoe under a hand dryer. I also dried my socks and my bike gloves. Good thing no one else walked in. I looked like quite a weirdo. Everyone else on the team did it too. I didn’t get pics of me or Lynn, but Rex got this one of Larson.

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Larson hugged a sheep that tried to eat his hair (FALSE)

I totally made that up. It was inspired by the fact that Lynn really wants to hug a goat. Also, there are zillions of sheep here. It’s weird, though, because as we ride by the coast I smell the sea salt in the air but see a field of sheep. Usually sheep don’t smell of salt. They smell of…well, I prefer the smell of the ocean.

Also, all of their butts are spray painted different colors. I assume this is to mark which farmer owns them. If I ever own a flock of sheep, I’m painting them with pink zebra stripes. Glitter if possible. You’ll have no trouble figuring out which ones are mine.

We found a dilapidated castle on the side of the road. (TRUE)

We see these all the time. It’s beyond cool. Here’s the one we found on Day 2. It’s where we met the guy mentioned in an upcoming number, so I’ll save the story for then.

We accidentally ordered six breakfasts. (TRUE)

Through a translation error (I think…), Larson, Lynn, and I each ordered two full-sized breakfasts at the Gougane Barra hotel. What we wanted was a small cup of porridge and an egg on the side. What we got was a gargantuan bowl of porridge – think of the one Papa Bear had in the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – and another plate that had two eggs, toast, and some stuff to make it look fancy. That’s in addition to the cereal, fruit, and scones that we already had. We looked at the food and then at each other like, “What just happened? Do we have to eat all this?”

Rex sat there and laughed with his normal breakfast while we tried to eat enough food to not be wasteful. He said, “Good going, guys. The kitchen people are all making fun of you right now. ‘American fatties…do they want a Big Mac with that?!'” Oops.

We had to navigate by finding a building called “The Bown Pu.” (TRUE)

We came to a crossroads, and Larson said he thought we missed our turn. Rex, who is batting a thousand on correct navigation, said, “Guys, I know we’re going the right way. We’re supposed to pass the brown pub, and look: that place in front of us is literally called The Brown Pub.”

Larson, acknowledging defeat but still indignant, said “Obviously you’re wrong. That’s not ‘The Brown Pub.’ It’s ‘The Bown Pu.'”

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We made jokes about it for the rest of the day.

I showered with clothes on to try to clean them (TRUE)

Many of you guessed that this one was false. That’s probably because it was such a stupid idea (lol). My entire suitcase of clothes is starting to smell pretty rank, even though I brought a separate bag within my suitcase to put dirty clothes in each day. I decided to try to wash some of them, so I hopped in the shower with bike clothes on and then took them off. I mixed them with the laundry detergent I brought and then hung them up to dry. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any hot water in this shower, so my shower was super short. Also, the clothes didn’t dry by morning. I sat with a hair dryer and tried to dry them by hand, but the entire thing was kind of a fail.

At the risk of sounding like a defensive teenager…Lynn and Larson did it too. (And no, if Lynn and Larson jumped off a cliff, I would not do it). I didn’t feel so dumb when they told me at breakfast the next morning that their clothes were still wet as well.

A guy spoke to us in almost exclusively poems for an entire conversation. (TRUE)

At the abandoned castle, we met a man named Dick. He’s lived near that castle his entire life, and he was excited to talk to us. He had poems about everything, and he would use them freely in the conversation. A lot. For example, he found out that Rex is a physical therapist and said, “Ah! A physio! Well, as I say about physios…” and then went into this poem that he wrote when he was in physical therapy for a hip replacement. I wish I could remember it. Then he mentioned his wife. She died after they’d been married for forty years. “It’s sad,” he said, “but I try to remember…” and then went into a poem about how you have to get back up when life knocks you down.

All of the poems were really good, and he wrote them all himself. He seemed like a character out of a book, but a bad one because you’d read the book and think, “People like that don’t exist in real life.”

Yes they do. They hang out at abandoned castles in Ireland.

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On a one lane road, a guy shut off his car as we approached because he knew he would sit and chat for a while. (TRUE)

This was during the aforementioned rainstorm. We were on a one lane road, and by “one lane” I mean that there was enough room for one car. A small one. And no bicycles. If we came across a car, we would have to hop off our bikes and dodge into the foliage on the side of the road. Fortunately, cars go pretty slowly on these roads.

We got off our bikes to let a car pass, but instead of passing us the guy rolled down his window and turned off his car. With no other cars approaching, he had time to sit and chat. I guess it’s not like we really had anywhere better to be, so we sat in the rain and talked to him for a while. He said the weather report on his radio predicted a sunny afternoon, so we should be fine after lunch (he was right). Cool guy.

Lynn peed in a bush while trying to dodge stinging nettles. (TRUE)

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Lynn had to pee. We were nowhere near any towns. Nettles are these awful plants that sting, and she had to try not to let them touch her while she peed. Any questions?

I now successfully know how to change a tire thanks to help from a guy named Neil. (FALSE). 

I haven’t had to change a tire yet (knock on wood). Neil is the friendly owner of a B&B where we stayed. He almost filled my Nalgene with Guinness instead of water. Eeeep!

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The views on Day 2 were so amazing. We had some awful hills to get there, but they were worth it. This one hill was absolutely insane. Think of standing on a road, and in front of you is a wall of road. The four of us looked at each other and all said, “Ummmm…no.” So we walked our bikes up that one. We even had to take a break while walking – that’s how steep and tall it was. Judge us if you want to, but I dare you to come do that hill yourself. It was nuts. The top, however, was amazing.

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Riding down the hill was like the downhill of a roller coaster. The difference is that it was on a bike instead of safely secured in a roller coaster car, and it was two kilometers straight down instead of however long a roller coaster is. Lynn, Larson, and Rex were all, “That was awesome!” and I felt like saying, “Uhhhh…I feel a little ill.” I don’t like downhills that much (which is totally legit, since I fell on a downhill the next day).

It was a soggy morning and a gorgeous afternoon…par for the course on the Emerald Isle, and I wouldn’t change it (especially now that I’m dry and toasty in this awesome B&B bedroom):

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Now my friends are hungry for dinner, and I have to go have more adventures. Bye for now!

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