I haven’t blogged in a couple days. Some of you might have thought, “Oh boy, I hope Christine’s not lost in the middle of nowhere in Ireland…”
Well, as it happens, I was lost in the middle of nowhere in Ireland, but that doesn’t happen until Biking Day 5. You’ll have to read about it in that post.
Day 4 was spent biking from Baltimore to Clonakilty.
Within a few miles of our bed and breakfast, we came upon a small jetty. It was one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been. I could bore you with flowery descriptions, but (as with most scenery on this trip) words are woefully inaccurate. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, though, so I’ll do my best by showing you these pics. Please notice how crystal clear the water is and how calm it was. Bliss. I could have set up a tent right there and been happy for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, we had to bike on. Uphill, downhill. Uphill, downhill. I was rocking the uphills, but steep downhills still freak me out. I didn’t like signs like this:
A sign like this meant I was about to white-knuckle my handlebars and think, “don’tfalldon’tfalldon’tfalldon’tfallAHHHHPOTHOLEdon’tfalldon’tfall!” all the way to the bottom. I had the quads for the uphills but not the guts for the downhills. Alas.
In order to give myself a confidence boost for Day 4, I wore my new, super-cool shirt. In the eighties, when my dad rode cross-country, he wore and orange shirt with “Road Dog” written on the back. I wore this shirt and tried to channel my inner Dan-man when going on particularly difficult hills. After all, I have half his DNA, right? So I’ve got some innate biking skill in me somewhere?
Pretty sure that’s not how that works, but that’s what I told myself. I got up (and down!) all the hills, so I say the shirt worked.
We stopped for lunch at the most idyllic lunch spot I’ve ever seen. It was overlooking a bay, and there happened to be a sailboat race going on. We had the biggest scones ever (the hand is to give you a size reference) and enjoyed watching the race. None of us knew the rules, but we tried to figure them out. At one point Larson said, “I think I get it…sailing has all the intricacies of a NASCAR race, but at the pace of golf.” Ha ha!
Even though we didn’t really understand the race rules, we decided everyone was a winner because they all got to enjoy the perfect weather and the glittering water. It looked like it had been sprinkled with diamonds.
Again, I was sad to ride on, but we had to get to Clonakilty by dinner. In the afternoon, we came across a ring of ancient stones. According to my archaeological knowledge*, they probably dated from somewhere in the early Bronze Age. We stopped to enjoy the scenery and do our stretches. All three of us had stretches assigned to us by Rex at this point; he’s been doing his best to keep everyone pain-free (and doing a pretty good job of it!). As we did our stretches by the circle, some other tourists came by to see it. They looked at us verrrrry strangely, and we realized that it looked like we were worshiping at the ancient site! So then of course we played it up and did even weirder looking stretches. I bet there’s someone with a travel blog who is writing right now about the freaks she saw at the Bronze Age ruins. You’re welcome, blogger. Glad to give you content.
*My archaeological knowledge is “I read the sign by the ruins.” Confession: I needed spell check to even spell “archaeological” correctly. Which I just spelled wrong again. But I’m pretty sure the stones were from the Bronze Age.
We tried to make good time in the afternoon, but sometimes you can’t control the unexpected. Some things just happen, like you see a rocky beach and an ice cream stand by it. How are you supposed to pass that up?! You don’t. You get ice cream and go sit on the rocks, that’s what you do.
Also, if it’s legal, you pick up the prettiest stones off the beach to bring home. Only if it’s legal, which I’m not sure if it is. I cannot confirm or deny on this public blog whether or not we did that.
After a few other scenery delays and one delay where Lynn tried to convince us she can talk to cows (MOOOOOO!), we made it into Clonakilty.
Clonakilty is a beautiful town, and our hotel there was old and magnificent – like staying in a post card from a very long time ago. When the elevators opened to our floor, I literally gasped. My friends looked at me like I was nuts, and I said, “Are you looking at this?! It’s a LIBRARY!” I thought it was gorgeous, but I suppose that’s just me.
Our room overlooked a street below, and it had a balcony (see view picture). There was a mom pigeon with some babies under our balcony, and it made Rex miss our pigeons at home. We could hear the Irish music floating to our room as we got ready for bed, and we geared up for our last day of biking.
Hmmm…it feels weird to end this post with a picture of the underside of a balcony. How about a cow selfie instead?