Day 16 - Bus trip to the launderette
Today was the first day of my self-imposed break from cycling. Having returned from the pub I took myself off to write the blog and then went to bed expecting to wake up to rain this morning: however it has been depressingly bright and sunny all day although the wind has been increasing as the day goes on and it would have been hard work getting to Galway. Brendon gave me a good breakfast at Mannin Beg and then took me to collect the bike, having dropped James at school on the way. The school is brand new, officially opened by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, on 5th September. He was supposed to arrive by helicopter but the weather prevented it, meaning that he had to come along the N59 road which the locals have been agitating to be upgraded and improved for years. Maybe it’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good?
Having collected the bike we were at the bus stop outside the library by 0900, in plenty of time for the Citylink bus that runs four times a day from Clifden to Galway. I managed to squeeze the bike, for which I had to pay an extra 5 euro, into the belly of the bus with the panniers and took the handlebar bag on board. I had prebooked my 14.40 euro ticket on-line, saving myself some money. The bus was nearly full, although there was enough room to collect a few people at stops along the way and we were in Galway City on time. However there was a traffic jam that meant we weren’t at the bus station until about 1100. This left me with an awful lot of time to kill as I couldn’t get into the B&B in Salthill, the seaside suburb of Galway, until 4pm. So, as my trousers are beginning to smell a bit and other bits and pieces could do with washing I thought I’d see if I could find a launderette. The tourist office directed me to a Texaco garage that had an open-air laundry facility. I‘ve noticed these in passing at other places in Ireland and they are a fine idea if there aren’t queues of Americans with the same notion. As it was I had to wait for nearly two hours before the washing machine came available but, as I was in no hurry, it was little problem. I got chatting with a guy from Montana who had been in Iceland with his wife for a week and now they had moved on to Ireland. We got around the talking about travel writers and he said how much he admired Bruce Chatwin as a writer. I suggested that he might enjoy Patrick Leigh Fermor’s books and he made a note to look them out in the future.