As Magnus Magnusson used to say with such determined finality when presenting Mastermind, I’ve started so I’ll finish.
It’s a maxim I follow closely on my bike trips, such as when beginning my first post-ride pint in Wetherspoon.
It was great having such positive, reliable and good-humoured company ever since Kerry – whoever she was – but I was also quite pleased to be back on my own.
Anyway, I made my way northeast towards Malin, enjoying four hours of super sunny smiley weather and wonderful scenery: Connemara mountainscapes; Killary’s fjordlike inlet; a striking, remote triangular church (pic).
Its unusual, surprise beauty brought genuine tears to my eyes and, yes, I prayed and, no, of course it didn’t come true.
I’m thinking about changing providers.
At St Joseph’s Well (pic) I made a wish, stumping up the ten cent coin I’d found in the road earlier.
This made a grand total of 13 cents recovered from the tarmac in the last three days, the most lucrative work I’ve had since moving out of London last year.
So, on to Westport, through lovely mountain-fringe scenery (pic) under a dry cold sun again.
I had a second breakfast or perhaps first lunch around 1ish. Castlebar, a non-touristy town, felt a little down-at-heel, and I couldn’t get a proper coffee from Tesco’s cafe – the amiable lad behind the counter looked blank when I asked for cappuccino, macchiato or latte. Anyone would think I was speaking a foreign language.
I ended up with instant, which took ten minutes while they found a new jar.
I headed for Ballerina, sorry Ballina. What a fabulous little road! Single track, quiet, virtually car-free, through boggy landscape lined by the last ripples of the Connemara hills, heather moorland, and past peat bricks entertainingly stacked up in tripods (pic) with four legs.
There were lovely waterside views (pic) thanks to Lough Conn, named after the patron saint of Estate Agents, and Lough Mara (sorry, Lough Cullin).
Ballina may be the salmon-fishing capital of Ireland, but my picnic dinner in my room above a pub was bread, cheese, pate and jaffa cakes.
I decided firmly to have a night off the booze. But the only wifi signal I could get was in the bar, and, well, I could hardly sit there without buying anything…
Miles today: 66
Miles since Mizen Head: 494