Day 11 - Old wrecks
By the time that I arrived in Strandhill I was flagging. 67 miles in the wind really took it out of me and I was very glad as I came down the final hill towards the sea. My stop for the night was a surf hostel and was very basic. I had booked a twin room as opposed to a bed in a dormitory, although, given the lack of people staying I would have had a dormitory to myself for half the price which just about all it was worth. My twin room was a small cell with 2 bunk beds and 44 euros B&B was way too expensive for the accommodation: however everything else in the area is considerably more expensive so they can get away with it. Towels were extra and were not offered when I was shown the room by Gabriel, a Spaniard, who quickly disappeared, so I had a shower and dried myself off with a tee shirt and finished off with the curtains in my room! It appears that the hostel is manned by Spaniards: I saw three of them during my stay, none communicative and never there when needed.
I went across the road to The Draft House restaurant for some food. It’s a large area with very few people either at the bar or eating. During the holidays I’m sure it does good trade and is lively but last night it was a bit depressing. I had a brief chat with the barmaid as I was leaving but that was it. I ate seafood chowder and a veggieburger, both good. The mushroom and goat’s cheese burger verged on excellent, very tasty and served with a well dressed salad and chips., So good food, poor ambience.
When I emerged it was blowing a hooley so I had a very brief wander down to the seafront and back before retiring to finish the blog that I started before I went out.
This morning, surprisingly dawned bright and much clearer than I had expected. Breakfast was cereals and toast, help yourself to whatever you wanted and probably better for me than yet another fry. Helen, a German girl who is driving around Ireland and then onto Scotland over a 5 week period was already at breakfast when I came down at 0845 and we had a nice chat over tea and toast. There was another lad who was doing a course across the road there as well, but he soon disappeared to get down to work. Helen is a perpetual student. She completed a degree in English, and speaks impeccable English with an American accent, and has gone on to do a masters in the same subject. She is now embarking on a degree in museum studies/management. She was heading in the direction of Galway as I left at 0945. I was in no hurry as I had I had to get to Killala, a mere 54 miles away, which was just as well as my bike was locked away and I couldn’t get to it without one of the Spaniards who were nowhere to be seen. I had to telephone the hostel to make contact and get the padlock opened.
I went down to the seafront and the tide was right in. There is a cannon, formerly part of the Sligo militia emplacement at Rosses point, that was put there by a local developer. To start with I had a bit of a slog up the lower slopes of Knockarea, an imposing lump of rock that overshadows Strandhill