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Photo by George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon



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  #1666  
Old 1 Nov 2017
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Neda is feeling a bit Sheepish about riding on through. She's thinking about making a Ewe-turn...

I Herd that animals will jump out in front of motorcycles with little to no warning. That could have serious Ramifications on a motorcycle. You're much safer in a car. Like a Lamborghini...


Dry dock


Neda picks up some snacks for us on the road. Literally.

She's always picking stuff off trees and bushes and feeding us. You'll never go hungry when she's around. The TV show Survivorman is pretty much about Neda's life.
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  #1667  
Old 1 Nov 2017
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Look! I ride a motorcycle too!


Neda is readying to make a pass on the twists and turns on the Wild Atlantic Way


On the western tip of County Donegal, we make a turn off the route towards Slieve League Cliffs

Slieve League has nothing to do with sports. It's the English approximation of the Irish name, Sliabh Liag. Yes, the "bh" is pronounced like a "V". Like the girl's name Siobhan is pronounced Shi-vawn. Oh yeah, the "Si" is pronounced "Sh"... Like Sinead O'Connor.

Everytime we pass a sign with an Irish name on it, I know I am totally mangling it when I read it in my head. I feel like a real Sithead.
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  #1668  
Old 1 Nov 2017
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Getting off the bikes and doing a bit of hiking towards the cliffs


Thin, cold, white clouds drift slowly across the peaks of Slieve League, the highest mountains in Ireland.

These mountains plunge dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean. This is the typical place where everyone takes a picture of the cliffs. The name of this spot is called Bunglass. I'm not sure how you pronounce that in Gaelic... But it accurately describes how I feel after many hours of riding.


I'm standing up on the pegs because... Bunglass
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  #1669  
Old 1 Nov 2017
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Sip


Stay baaaa-ck, human!


The nice twisty road that got us to Slieve League, which we have to take to get back out again
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  #1670  
Old 1 Nov 2017
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Punching in our next stop in the GPS

The sun is starting to make a late afternoon appearance, and it's just another couple of hours south to our final destination of the day.

Someone told us about this hippy town called Sligo, famous for being the place where the poet W.B. Yeats spent his childhood summers. This town and the surround areas figure prominently in his poems and prose.


Checking into the campsite on Strandhill, about 15 minutes outside of Sligo


The grounds of our campsite. No Hurling!
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  #1671  
Old 1 Nov 2017
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Covering up the bikes for the day. Very windy! At least our stuff will dry quickly. If it doesn't get blown away!


Neda makes us dinner! All those ingredients in front of her, she picked them off a bush nearby... Survivorman.

Our campsite is right on the coast, with an amazing view of Ben Bulbin mountain in the backdrop. Is it actually spelled Ben Bulbin in Gaelic? Nope. Binn Ghulbain. Whut? "B" is a "B", but so is "Gh"?!?

I feel like someone is playing a trick on us. Been Ghullible? Yes.


About 100 metres away, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash on Strandhill beach. Beautiful!

That night, the temperatures dip down to single digits. We shiver in our sleeping bags with the sound of the tent flapping all around us in the strong wind. It feels like the tent is going to rip itself off the stakes and fly away to Oz. We've been getting so many hints that it's almost time to wrap up riding in the British Isles. At least it's not raining.
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  #1672  
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But the next morning it's much calmer, and we wake up to more of the glorious sunshine that the previous day left us. So after a lazy morning in the sheltered (and heated!) common area, catching up on some Internet and TV shows...


...we head out to Sligo for a drink and a bite to eat.


Downtown Sligo


Street musicians busking on the streets of Sligo
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  #1673  
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We find a pub and order... Guinness! We love Guinness!!!


In the booth next to us, some musicians are practicing some jigs

Pubs. Guinness. Jigs.

You can't get any more Irish than this!
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  #1674  
Old 6 Nov 2017
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/364.html



The record for bicycling from the very north of Ireland to the very south is 19 hours and 3 minutes. We're about half-way distance on the Wild Atlantic Way and it's already been 3 days! We move slowly.

We leave Sligo in the morning under cover of dark clouds. Although it's not raining, we don our sausage suits anyway to ward off the chilly morning temperatures.


Continuing our journey south on the Wild Atlantic Way

I'm really enjoying Ireland's west coast.


So are these guys

The Internet tells me this is the annual Wolseley Car Club of Ireland Vintage Rally, Tea & Coffee break. Beautiful cars. And everyone waved to us! So friendly!
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  #1675  
Old 6 Nov 2017
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An off-shoot from the main coastal road takes us over a short bridge to Achill Island. We ride to the western tip of the island


They've put up these little touristy signs all over the Wild Atlantic Way telling you where you are

These signs are great! I don't have to caption these pictures... This leg of the Wild Atlantic Way is called the Bay Coast, boasting numerous inlets and bays, some of them have dramatic cliffs ending abruptly at the Atlantic Ocean. Others, like Keem Bay collect crescents of sand like the webbing between your fingers.

We park the bikes and go exploring Keem Beach.


Hop Scotch along the wet sands
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  #1676  
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Oh look what we found written on the beach! Somebody must know that we've arrived in Ireland!


Having a great time on Keem Beach


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  #1677  
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"'Cuz this is Thriller! Thriller Night!"


Well, that was a nice little break. Back on the bikes


Heading out of Keem Bay back to the mainland
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  #1678  
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Not far from Keem Bay, in the town of Keel, we spot kitesufers on the lake


Perfect place to have some lunch!


Other people have the same idea, watching the kitesurfers go back and forth, catching air on Keel Lake

This cute little puppy glances nervously at us. Neda is figuring out in her head whether it would fit in her tankbag...


Just in case you think I am making things up
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  #1679  
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Stopping for a refill in Achill Sound, near the bridge between Achill Island and the mainland

The red and green flags are the colours of County Mayo. We see them everywhere. Neda comes out of the grocery store with more food to sustain us for the next couple of days and some yummy snacks. With our supplies topped up (and my topcase and stomach feeling much heavier), we go back over the bridge and onto the mainland!

The sun is peeking out a little bit from the clouds above and the weather has warmed up enough for us to shed the rainsuits. We continue on the Wild Atlantic Way route as it rounds Clew Bay.


Riding through the pretty town of Westport on Clew Bay


The road takes us south through the spectacular Doolough Valley

Despite the amazing scenery on Doolough Pass, this was the site of the Doolough Tragedy during the Great Potato Famine in the 1840s. Officials were being sent to all the villages to assess whether they were eligible for food and government support. Somehow they missed a village and all the starving people who lived there were told to meet the officials the next day in the next village 19kms away. It may not seem that far away, but hundreds of people made the journey overnight in their starved state.

The next morning, the bodies of seven people were found on the road between the two villages. They died of starvation. They say many more died later because of the unnecessary trek they had to make there and back in their weakened state.

Sad.
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  #1680  
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Kylemore Abbey in County Galway

The road takes us further south and we reach the next County, Galway. On the shores of a lake, we saw a magnificent grey building called Kylemore Abbey. So we pulled in for a closer look. The Abbey was built around the time of the Great Famine. A rich politician from England came over and spent his sizeable fortune helping the locals, giving them work, shelter and building a school on the estate.

There's supposed to be a beautiful garden on the grounds of Kylemore Abbey, but you had to pay an admission fee - €13.00 per person. That's a big Nope. So we hopped back on our bikes. Nice abbey, though!


Doing a route adjustment

It's getting late and I originally had us stopping near Galway. The GPS said it was about three hours away, but I know we like to go slow, stop and poke around, so there was no way we were going to make it before nightfall at our current pace. So I broke out the laptop, hopped on the Internet and tried to find a closer camping spot.


Another nice little detour off the main Wild Atlantic Way

You can stay on the main road that loosely follows the coastline, but the real treats are when you take these little roads that go out and back in to all the tiny fingers of land. This one is called Sky Road, and it's only a 12km loop away from the main road, but from here you can ride along the coast and the road rises up in places where you can get a view of all the tiny islets that dot the inside of the bay.
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