Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mayo to Sligo and Racing Showers - #100corners

UntitledEarly morning in Belmullet and is is time for breakfast next door. I had a comfortable night followed by a nice breakfast cooked by Mairin - she was also full of chat. She recommended riding to the top of the Erris peninsula, so off I went. Today was to be a very showery day, but it was fine in the early morning. I pulled into An Baile Glas an had beautiful views over Broadhaven Bay. I also stopped at Erris Head, but did not take the Loop walk that is available there. On the way back from Erris Head, I stopped at a pile of turf, and helped myself to a sod as a souvenir!
The Céide Fields
Visitor Centre.

I left the Erris Peninsula and I have to say it is a beautiful location worth riding on a bike. On-wards to the North coast of Mayo and the Céide Fields. All along the coast here are excellent views of fantastic cliffs - if this area was beside the Cliffs of Moher it would get a lot of oohs and aahs. The Céide Fields is a slightly disappointing site in that there is not that much to see outside the Visitor Centre. I watched the movie as it had started to rain heavily outside - I was fascinated, and envious, to be informed that the climate in Ireland 350 million years ago was tropical! I had a cuppa and apple strudel in the café and waited out another shower. As I left, it started to rain again, so I went back inside and chatted to the receptionists who were happy to let me shelter from the rain. Eventually it stopped and I continued east towards Sligo. Looking back to the west I could see another shower coming, so I did my best to stay ahead of it, though it caught up on me in Killala.

In Killala I stopped at the Round Tower built around the year 1200 - its purpose today was to shelter me from the rain. On the edge of Killala there is a monument to the French General Humbert of 1798 fame, and I decided to take the Tour d'Humbert between Killala and Ballina. This is a useless tour down country lanes that does not feature anything about Humbert, though there are a couple of nice Abbeys to see.

No surfers in Strandhill!
On I went into Sligo and stopped at the Black Pig of Muckdubh statue at the edge of the town - Muckdubh is a townland wher a large pig is supposed to have been buried. Enniscrone is on the Diamond Coast - I have been here before to play golf (well at least walking around a golf course hitting a few balls). InSligo I stopped off at Aughris Head where I had collected some Calliostoma zizyphinum as a student - but I did not remember it. The Sligo coast is not that interesting, but I was watching out for showers which eventually caught up on me in Strandhill. I was expecting to see a lot of surfers out, but it may have been too windy as there was nobody out on the water.

There was heavy rain in Strandhill, and I also got caught in a very heavy shower at traffic light in Sligo. This shower also revealed a hole in my over-suit in the most uncomfortable area. My destination was the Radisson Hotel in Rosse's Point where my brother Joe and family were attending his brother in law's wedding - I got a great welcome and lots of coffee and biscuits.

I had reviewed the weather forecast for the next few days in Donegal - and it was for a very wet Sunday and Monday. There was no doubt that I would have been in for two very wet days, followed by more bad weather. Looking at the calendar I judged that I would have difficulty completing the trip before the August Bank Holiday, so I headed for Dublin.

To be continued...

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