#TAW2018: Day 8 – Kinvarra to Ballybunion

173km, 1,522m elevation

I didn’t get much sleep last night. There was a flagpole outside my bedroom window (🙄) and the halyard was ferociously flapping against the metal pole in the strong winds.

I got up and left the hotel before breakfast and headed out into the wind. Today has been hard work.. cycling into a strong headwind for most of the day. It was especially strong first thing and it was a real fight to make good headway.

The clouds soon parted though, so at least it was warm and everything looked good!

I had breakfast at a small cafe in Doolin. Veggie fry-up.. was very welcome!

The route was undulating all day with just a few sharp hills. One of these was the hill up to the Cliffs of Moher. I had to get off and push for a short section at the bottom which was too steep for my set-up. With my bad Achilles heel I found it incredibly difficult to push the bike along without a lot of pain. Hence I think the injury may originate from push my bike up one of the passes.

Which brings me on to passes. Best avoid any hills which have the word ‘pass’. These are basically roads which should be rebuilt as tunnels.

Part of my route today was a trip down memory lane as I’ve spent a fair few holidays in Lahinch and Liscannor Bay. I popped into Egan’s bar for a shandy. I was the only customer there but the barman was complaining about the amount of cleaning up he was having to do after whatever went in last night.

Also memories of Frawley’s bar in Lahinch.. Frawley sadly passed away a few years ago but served in the bar his whole life up until his 90s. The bar still exists, closed up, gathering dust.

As I cycled on I realised I should be able to make the 6pm ferry easy. Two hours 10 to ride 30km should have been super-easy, even with the heavy bike, but the headwind was a real killer. Eventually the route turned perpendicular to the wind and I was able to catch up on lost time. I made it to the ferry ok, and with time for a coffee and cheese sandwich before boarding the ferry as a one-way foot/bike passenger for 5 euros.

I booked a b&b from the ferry, 30kms on. Whilst cycling there more headwinds zapping my energy, and a section of ‘this pathway occasionally floods’, which turned out to be true anc I had to cycle through water that went over my toes. I even saw a crab in there as I cycled through.

As I neared my destination I popped into a Chinese and had some veggie noodles – delicious!

Am now checked in. My host will be making the effort to get up an hour early to get me some breakfast. Seems like a very nice place.


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