Westport-Ballysadare (Sligo) 105km

When you think you’re lost, but you’re not really, are you lost? That is the burning question….. After passing through Castlebar, I headed up to Foxford, then decided to take the ‘scenic route’ to Tobercurry (lovely name). I hadn’t researched this at all, so didn’t know what to expect…..it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Basically I followed my nose, interrogated the odd local as I passed (they seemed remarkably uninformed) 

along narrow farm roads that had ‘lawn’ growing along the middle (a clear indicator of remoteness). Following the folds of the Ox Mountains, the enthusiasm I had for the frequent descents was dampened by the infuriating consequences…..dozens of sharp climbs (damn it)….and this went on for 30km. 
Amazingly (and I myself was truly amazed), I ended up where I intended. 10km from Sligo, I decided to call it a day, hot sticky and tired, when Henry (a retired Garda) passed on his bike with his 2 grandsons. When I enquired about a pitch for my tent, he said: “Sure, I know just the place for you. 3km further on, there’s a field by a river, and a pub (now closed) across the road…..well, it’s their field. They’re a retired couple. Knock on their door and just say Henry sent you”. 

Which I did…..got a warm reception….no problem about camping. The horses weren’t in the field at the moment, but the grass was long….waiting for silage harvest.

So my tent was enveloped in long grass, I went to sleep with the sunset, and was doing my yoga stretches with the sunrise in the morning……and when I got to Strandhill for breakfast, on a spur out into the bay, the store owner plied me with free coffee and gave me extra bread with my bacon and egg. Needless to say, he was a fellow cyclist….and he spent a few minutes quizzing me about my bike

Moral: the unplanned can produce the best experiences in life…….and the hardest.

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on July 18, 2017, in Ireland End-to-End 1100km and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Fuchsia hedges, brings back happy memories 🙂

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