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Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, Ireland(21 posts)

Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:32 AM
I recently spent a week in Western Ireland with my wife and kids and various relatives / friends, 9 adults and 3 kids in total. We stayed in the small village of Carna which is in Connemara, County Galway, approximately 400 miles and a 100 minute Seacat crossing from my home in Bristol, SW England. I persuaded my wife to let me take one of my bikes as I couldn't miss the chance of riding in Ireland. I managed to get three rides in while I was there, each of about 40 miles. These pictures are some of the better ones taken from those rides, all within a 20 mile radius of Carna.
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:33 AM
We were very lucky with the weather. Ireland is renowned for it's high rainfall, especially on the west coast where we were, after all it's the first land the weather fronts hit after leaving you guys in the US! We had one day of real Irish rain, read: a solid wall of water, but most days were warm and sunny.
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:43 AM
As well as being on the coast the area has a lot of coastal inlets that come some way inland, as well as lochs. This pic was taken on the main road down to Galway. The roads in Ireland are not very well surfaced, and in many places follow the undulations of the ground rather than running flat over it. This isn't too much of a problem on a bike as speeds are relatively low, but in a car it means it is virtually impossible to go over 40 – 45 mph. As on a number of occasions we came round a bend to find cows wandering about in the road this is probably a good thing!
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:44 AM
Although the road surfaces were poor, the best thing about riding in Ireland was the lack of traffic. I sometimes rode for 15-20 minutes without seeing any vehicle. This may not sound like a big deal if you live somewhere rural, but compared to the vast majority of over-trafficked English roads this was a welcome change
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:51 AM
The wind in Ireland seems reluctant to follow the normal forces of nature. Being on the coast it was quite windy so I knew that at least half of the loops I rode would be into a headwind, but it usually turned out to be about 75% of the time.
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:52 AM
This was taken about 5 miles up the road from where we stayed and shows the mountains of Connemara National Park in the distance. Unfortunately the day we drove around the park it poured down all day with resultant poor visibility so we didn't get to appreciate the scenery close up. If I go back there when the kids are older I will take my walking boots as the walking there is supposed to be amazing
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:53 AM
One of the many sandy beaches that can be found along this stretch of coast. We spent two days on the beach nearest us, which was superb. White sand, warm(ish) sea for the kids to play in, and not a sign of another person all day.
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:54 AM
This is the harbour at Roundstone, about 20 miles up the coast. The second time I rode up there there was a big wedding reception in the town with every bar and hotel overflowing with people dressed up to the nines. I have never seen so many Mercedes parked together in one place. I felt distinctly underdressed in bright coloured sweaty lycra...
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:56 AM
Nothing to do with riding but I really like this picture. It shows my oldest daughter, Megan who is 3 ½, in the sea closely followed by one of the village dogs. There were loads of dogs roaming loose in the village, all friendly enough though. They seemed to have a pathological hatred for lorries though, and every time one went past they would chase it, snapping at the tyres. This dog adopted us one day and walked the 3 miles down to the beach and stayed with us all day.
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 10:58 AM
That's it folks. Fow some reason I couldn't post all the pics I had intended to. Whether it's down to my very ancient pc (Pentium 2 333Mhz) or a problem with the site I don't know.

Hope the pics I did manage to post give a feel for the area though.
That is amazingly beautiful. Thanks for posting themKristin
Jun 25, 2003 11:04 AM
I have a question. Is western Ireland such that you can Trek there? I have been talking about taking a trekking trip to Europe and Ireland is just about the prettiest place I can imagine. I need to pick a date and settle on it already. I wish I had the guts to just quit my job and go travel the world. Though I supose it wouldn't be as fun if I had to dumpster surf for my supper each night.
That is amazingly beautiful. Thanks for posting themUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 11:09 AM
Trek there as in walk / hitch there? I guess. I don't know if you can get across from mainland Europe, but there are various ports (all in Wales, itself beautiful and well worth a visit either on foot or by bike) you can sail from in Brtitain, or fly across.

One thing if you were to do a trip on foot is that hitch-hiking seems very common over there, with people getting picked up fairly quickly. In mainland Britain by comparison most people are too scared to pick up hitch-hikers for fear they may turn out to be mad axe murderers!
Yep, walkKristin
Jun 25, 2003 11:14 AM
I never thought about hitch-hiking. But its not safe enough in the US to hitch-hike or to pick up hitch-hikers. But yeah, I'm thinking about a walking tour. To walk from one village to another, spending the night somewhere along the way. The only concern I'd have is all the rain. Can make for a miserable hike if it rains continually.
Yep, walkUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 12:31 PM
It would be a great way to take in the scenery and the wind wouldn't be such a distraction as I found it to be on a bike.

The only thing to bear in mind is that in the area we stayed towns & villages are a long way apart (if you're on foot at least), often 20 miles or so, so would be best to do it in mid-summer so you get the light evenings in case you run over schedule.
That is amazingly beautiful. Thanks for posting themThe Knight Who Says Ni
Jun 25, 2003 5:29 PM
I'm walking backwards for Christmas, across the Irish Sea.
Lots of trekkinggeeker
Jun 25, 2003 2:02 PM
Ireland has a number of marked "Ways", or long-distance walking trails. I hiked the Dingle and Kerry Ways in SW Ireland, late 1997. Great fun, but be prepared for mud. I also know of Beara and Burren Ways in the SW, W respectively. It should be easy to find books, maps etc. on the Web. I have an old book, _Irish long distance walks: A guide to the way-marked trails_ by Michael Fewer. Likely oop, but there must be others.
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, Irelandtarwheel
Jun 25, 2003 12:07 PM
Thanks for posting the nice photographs. My wife, daughter and I are leaving for a week-long walking tour in that part of Ireland (Dingle peninsula) tomorrow. After the walk, we're gonna spend another 5 days in the Galway area. Looks like we made a good choice for the trip. I just hope the weather you enjoyed holds out -- we've been told to expect a lot of rain so as not to be disappointed. Unfortunately, I won't be doing any cycling. I figured 8-10 miles of walking each day should be plenty of exercise and don't want to fool with the hassles of shipping a bike and gear. My major goal is to check out as many pubs and brands of beer as possible.
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, IrelandUcannotBsirius
Jun 25, 2003 12:28 PM
Make sure you sample the Guiness. Everyone says the stuff tastes better in Ireland and having finally tried it I'd agree.

The pubs in the smaller places stay open til the small hours and if you get a pub with an Irish band where everyone joins in singing and dancing you're in for a good night.
Good idea to check out loads of pubs..Fr Ted Crilly
Jun 25, 2003 12:31 PM
...but I bet that once discovered you'll be sticking to one brand of beer.
I really liked the Dingle Peninsula..Lon Norder
Jun 25, 2003 2:53 PM
Very scenic and not really touristy like the Ring of Kerry. It supposedly has the most archealogical sites per square mile of anyplace on earth. Too bad you won't have a bike!
re: Ride Report: Connemara, County Galway, Irelandutxjohne
Jun 26, 2003 7:01 AM
That area is beautiful. We just got back a few weeks ago but were only able to do two days of cycling. I wish I had some pictures to post. We actually started in Westport which is a little bit further north and headed southeast towards Cong, hugging the Lochs through Toormakeady, Kinny, Clonburn. It was a somewhat challenging ride esp for my wife who was on a bike for the 4th time ever. She did great and is hooked on cycling vacations and the best way to really experience a country. The second day was through Joyces Country. We stopped and many a fine Irish pub including my favorite Keens Pub near Maams Cross. And yes the Guiness does taste better. Finsihed our second day in Leenane right on the only Fjord in Ireland. I highly suggest Ireland as a cycling destination.