So, after 18 hours on various planes and in airports, I did what any sane person would do as soon as I got up this morning: hopped on my Gazelle and rode it around my neighborhood for an hour! It felt great to get it out on the road again. I’d really been missing it while I was away (especially when we rode on crappy rental bikes for a few hours).
The Gazelle performed like a trooper, though I must admit that hills are pretty brutal. Still, it felt great to power up them after being so sedentary yesterday.
Ireland was an amazing trip. Last year was great, but this year was about 1000% better. This had a lot to do with where we stayed. The thing about a hostel or lower-budget hotel is that they are often somewhat impersonal, even when you try to get folks to hang out and socialize. But at the places we stayed this time, we met more local folks and spent more time seeing the ins-and-outs of this small corner of Ireland than I’d ever imagined we would. It was simply fantastic.
And it made me want to go back! Right now! I met a woman who runs a cycling outfit there, and that, combined with the fantastic walks we took, shaped my ideas for another trip.
I’m thinking that in May of next year, I’m going to offer a cycling- and hiking-based trip to Western Ireland. We’ll bike, we’ll hike, we’ll stay in places that will knock your socks off, and best of all… I should be able to keep the price reasonable, because I know folks who will help me negotiate better deals. If you’re interested in biking and hiking in Western Ireland next spring, please let me know. I’m going to keep this trip really, really small (probably 7), so places will go fast. If folks are really interested, I’ll plan another for later in the summer. Keep watching Distant Mountain Trips for updates, but definitely let me know if you want to go. I promise the trip of a lifetime!