Kilrush to Doolin, a rainy day cycle

61 Kilometers today.

Screen Shot 2011 10 22 at 8 46 58 PM

I look out the window of my unheated empty hostel. It is 8:30 AM, still too dark to cycle. The wind is blowing the cold rain into it. I shiver involuntarily. I check the weather on the internet. 12 degrees C. Gale warning in effect. Rains intensifying in the morning. I manage a mischievous grin. Soon I am going to be cycling in this stuff. Cool!

View out my window at 8:30 AM.


What I really like at the end of the day is to wear my pajamas underneath my clothes. They are so soft and warm. Cycling in rain gear is the opposite. The jacket sticks to my arms as it gets soaked. I feel the cold plastic wrapped around me like chilled cellophane. I am just a little dryer on the inside than the outside because the lack of air circulation means that soon my shirt is soaked with sweat. The wet shirt chills me when I stop.

I now wear the rain trowsers over just underwear. With pants under, they get too hot. The rain pants cling to my bare legs, transmitting the chill and the feel of the rain. My legs sweat going up hills, and the pants get soaked on the inside.

The leather gloves are soaked. The Sealskin waterproof socks do not dry out at night. Heck, I just ran them through a dryer and they are still wet. But even wet they do keep my feet warm, if wrinkled. The helmet cover rain hat works well. The helmet holds the rain hat away from my head allowing air to circulate underneath.

The Arkel panniers keep soaking up moisture. They keep getting heavier and heavier. I chose them because of the myriad pockets. But the truly waterproof Ortleibs would be a better choice in the rain, especially if all your gear is organized into stuff bags inside.

But I’m not the only crazy one. Check out these surfers:


Ok, that kinda makes sense. But this golfer with an umbrella?


Here is the view heading into Doolin. The Island in the background is Inisheer, one of the Aran islands. I’ll go there tomorrow if the weather permits the ferries to run.


Doolin is one of two places to catch a ferry to the Aran islands, and is touristy.


The Aille River Hostel in Doolin. The owners daughter in pink plays in front.


The Dingle Peninsula

I decide to simply wear my rain gear all day today. It’s a good decision, it starts raining and clears up half a dozen times.

I am riding past a schoolyard and and I hear a young girl burst out laughing. Her laugh is so loud and histerical I look over. She is pointing- at me! Several other kids run and grab the chain link school yard fence and shake it while jumping up and down jeering and laughing. I wave, but I don’t get it. What’s so funny?


And then Leslie creates a scary decoration for Halloween. A punk cyclist has run down and beheaded a hapless pedestrian. Those damn rogue cyclists.

Halloween accident

Sing along: “I’m coming to your town, I’m going to tear it down, I’m an American cyclist”

I can’t resist donkey pics. My bike is renamed “Griboulle”, after a famous french donkey. Griboulle looked a lot like this.


I have a half hour conversation with this donkey’s owner. He is bemoaning the lack of work, how there are so many empty houses, what had happened to the neighborhood.
He asks me if I believe in the hereafter. No, I say, I believe in living this life fully and letting the rest take care of itself. He agrees. He asks me if I drink. I tell him No, I need to keep this machine working at it’s very best, and besides, a pint of Guiness in Ireland costs 4.5 euros- that’s $6.25. He wishes he lived in London. Sadly, I have not yet met a content Irishman.

The Dingle peninsula is very scenic. The pic is of Inch Beach. We are looking across Dingle Bay to the Iveragh peninsula.


Cemetery on Dingle Bay.


Cows in momentary sun on Dingle Bay.


Dingle is described as a fishing village. It really is about tourism. It has a lovely harbor…


fun side streets…

PA191648 4

some boats…


and this frisky sheep pony.


Just look at that curious face. Do you know what kind of horse this is?

PA191653 4

To Fermoy

I am really enjoying the Irish wit. Most Irish people love to crack jokes and tease and make fun.

I am buying a postcard. The clerk doesn’t have the right change so he puts change in the till from his pant pocket.

I comment:

Shawn. So you must own the store.

Clerk: No, my wife owns it. Can’t you see, I’m putting my money into it.

Shawn: Just change? Haven’t you been married long?

Clerk: So you’re married too. It’s when I have to reach into the back pocket, that’s what hurts.

Shawn: That’s where you keep your wallet?

Clerk: My wallet? You mean my wife’s wallet. I don’t own a wallet……


I am cycling 52 miles through this landscape.


To get to Fermoy;

The river in Fermoy;