OPTINS A 25 MILES B 33 MILES C 45MILES D 57 MILES
Station House Hotel
or Alcock and Brown
todays ride will be a loop route you get to avoid packing up your
gear and shifting luggage this morning. Your biking exploration
of Connemara begins today. The fact you got a break from the bike
while visiting the Aran Islands yesterday will mean you are refreshed
and rested. Your going to be riding through one of the most scenic
areas along the West Coast of Ireland. Much of the days ride is
set along the rolling coastline. The photo to your right is a
glimpse into the beauty of Connemara. Ok, its also a glimpse into
the back of the luggage trailer, sorry about that.
You'll get to ride through Bogland that began to develop shortly
after the end of the last ice age. Evidence of glacial erosion
is widespread and distinct, thanks to the detail trapped in the
quartzite landscape. This
is where people cut peat from the earth, dry it out and take it
home to provide fuel for fires and stoves for the winter. Indeed
turf cutting is a contentious issue here in the west of Ireland
at the moment. The EU want to preserve the remaining uncut "high
banks" while the bog owners protest their right to continue
a tradition that has been practiced for countless generations.
Good topic to discuss over a pint of Guinness.
valleys flanked by striking mountains makes Connemara one of the
most beautiful regions to cycle anywhere in the world. You will
be very busy with the camera today. A system of land ownership
called "commonage" allows several farmers to graze large
tracts of land without the usual subdivision of land fencing you
encountered riding through the small country lanes of East Clare
on Day 1. This is big country. Mountains, lakes, the Atlantic,
form the boundaries.
always stop in the village of Clegganfor a spot of lunch in Oliver's
seafood restaurant before heading out on what has to be my favorite
8 miles of the
entire tour. Riding between lakes and overlooking the Atlantic
coastline. We even get to go swimming here when the weather offers.
I really need to upload some video of this section just to show
you what a smashing place it is to cycle.
Due to the impermeable nature of the Quartzite rock the hillsides
glisten with streams making their way to the lakes. After exiting
the South end of the Inagh valley we then ride past Ballinahinch
castle and make our way to Clifden. We will spend tonight in the
family owned Stanton House Hotel in the center of the town. You
can take advantage of the spa facilities such as jacuzzi, steam
room or sauna. By
prior arrangement you can also enjoy a massage. Clifden boasts
lots of little stores that stock unique craft gift purchasing
opportunities. You can also stop off in one of the local pubs
for a pint and a chat with some of the locals. Great spot for
some traditional music.