Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ireland sucks

Saturday, 17th of September. Once again: Rain, clouds, wind – it looses all its fun. So I'm changing plans again: I will not cycle the North of Ireland and Northern Ireland. My last vision is Dublin, where it shouldn't matter if it's raining or not, because there I will be just a visitor doing sightseeing – and then it's only two more stages until I will see my first Irish hosts and friends Patty and Mark again, with whom I will spend my last days in Ireland.

Yesterday started good. Some short rain shower shortly after leaving Castlebar (so once again a stop to put on the rain protection and then take off after ten minutes, but without the changing I would have been soaked). Then nice sun for maybe two hours. Fast and easy cycling for the first 50 kilometres. The area of Lough Conn is just great, but when I left it became cloudy and also some misty rain started from time to time. It also becomes autumn, what normally would be good, but if it means this bad weather, it isn't.

Cycling the N 59 from Ballina up to Sligo was definitely the wrong idea. Road and landscape are just boring – just a straight way with continuous ups and downs. And I don't realize an uphill, I'm just thinking: "Oh I'm not that fast, seems I'm more in a comfortable mood right now", and when it goes downhill I become clear. But it's nothing nice about this. Give me winding roads in interesting landscape, and I don't care about if it's hilly!

I had an acceptance for hosting me in Sligo, but no contact details – neither an address nor a phone number, so I hoped for a couchsurfing message when I arrived in Sligo, what I did after 110 kilometres at 5 P.M., but no message. I thought about going on after some warm food. but after being on the N 15 for two kilometres without any chance to cross a nice pub or restaurant, I decided to return – I definitely wouldn't cycle this disgusting road! And while thinking so I also didn't see any usage for going on to the North. And the fact, that I didn't had any contact details of my host in Ballylifllin confirmed my resolution.

So at least I found a good place to eat in Sligo and to think about how to go on. I felt really frustrated. Not about power. Not about no cycling anymore. It's just that I don't like it here at all. I don't feel comfortable. So I don't have to stay here. But nevertheless I could have cried. The nice woman in the Café Society helped me a lot when let me use her private internet access and also her phone and actually helped me to guide Kate, my host in Sligo (who meanwhile had answered again, so mow a I had a mobile number), to her place – Kate was so lovely to pick me up (I felt really lost in this town, I'm too sensitive to traffic and crowd). So it wasn't that easy but after some trouble we met.

Sligo has lot's of traffic, all in a one way street system… I don't feel comfortable in all these towns, Limerick doesn't seem so unusual at all. I love these small villages with all these colourful little shops, but not the towns. I don't know if it's because of the weather or the North – maybe people are different here. Maybe I have to much insight in people's daily routine and can't see any beauty in it any longer. Maybe people told me to much about the real Irish, what just means their experiences as a foreigner in this country. I don't know. At the moment I'm looking much more forward to cycle France.

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