Day 17 - Dodging Ali
I said that I had wasted a bit of time in Salthill at the Blackcat restaurant whilst I was waiting to check in upstairs at the rather grandly named Prairie House Boutique Hotel. Their WiFi allowed me to compose and publish the blog so I thought it only fair to give them my custom for dinner and very good it was. They had a conventional menu but also twenty or so tapas dishes which looked rather good so I went for patatas bravas, squid with a curry sauce and slow cooked pork. They were all excellent and I rounded it off nicely with a chocolate fudge cake. In between tea and dinner I went across the road to a sports bar and tried some of their craft beer. The Irish just don’t get real ale served at room temperature. It all has to be served cold and is generally over-hopped. The safest thing to drink is Guinness followed by some of their red ales. One of the beers tasted unpleasantly of burnt chocolate and I had a glass of wine with my meal.
All this time the wind was blowing strongly and I awoke at about 0700 to hear it howling around the building. I was on the top floor, up in the eaves, in a small room with an ensuite bathroom and an exceptionally comfortable bed. But when I heard the tiles sliding down the roof directly above me and a nasty crash as something hit the valley gutter I thought that it was time to make myself scarce before the ceiling caved in. I packed up as quickly as I could and went down to retrieve the bike which had been left in a back yard but under rudimentary cover.
Having extracted the bike through the front door of the building I was hit by an enormous gust that nearly took me off my feet and judged that it was safer to push the bike to the train station which was about a mile and a half away. In fact for a lot of the journey I was sheltered by buildings so probably could have ridden at least some of the way but the danger of gusts as I rounded a corner seemed to great a risk to take and, as I had plenty of time to catch the 1030 train to Limerick, went along at my own pace on foot
and arrived at the station in plenty of time for a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin for breakfast.
There were few people there but at 1000 the station soon filled up with Canadians who were waiting for the 1100 train to Dublin. When the Dublin train pulled in on the far side from the platform that rather threw them, and when the Limerick train pulled in on the platform I had to fight my way through them to get on board. Anyway all was well and the bike stowed very neatly with a bungee cord to keep it upright