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Day 10

June 7, 2003

Boy, was it tough to leave the Quay house this morning. I wanted another day in Clifden. Still, we had an itinerary, and another town awaited us after another day of touring. Still, we got off to a slow start leaving Clifden as we went to a bakery (bread, cheese and fudge), a grocery store (Mars bars! and a couple of oranges) and the post office for a few more stamps and sending another round of postcards.

Climbing up to Sky RoadThe climb out of Clifden was just that. That's the thing about staying on the water. To get away, you pretty much have to go up. Though the going was steep, it was also beautiful. We came shortly to the "Sky Road" which I think of as famous (like the cliffs of Moher) mainly because I have a vague recollection of it from my visit in 1985. At the top of Sky RoadAnd except for a couple of places, the climb up was actually fairly gentle. Again, it was quite windy as we took a couple of pictures from the lookout area at the top of Sky Road. The decent down from Sky Road was also quite pleasant. I don't think I had to pedal for almost 2 miles!Along Sky Road

The rest of the day was more gently rolling, though today's route was more heavily trafficked than most of the roads we'd been on. Drivers were still generally courteous which is quite fortunate as there is really very little if any shoulder or "margin" on most of these roads.

As we wandered through the day, we came to a gift shop along the side of the road with some picnic tables across the street near a small dock. We stopped there and ate our bread and cheese, oranges and miscellaneous picnic supplies which we'd been carrying with us. Afterward, we wandered in the store and picked up a couple small things to bring back for friends and family.

View from Sky RoadFor the afternoon, we had a choice between a more direct (and more heavily trafficked) road into Leenane, or a more meander-y back way. As the weather was quite nice, we took the back way and were glad of it. I long to be a poet simply to have some hope of conveying the beauty of the Irish countryside. As it is, you'll just have to make do with a few more pictures.

Kylemore AbbeyBefore leaving the main road for our wandering afternoon, we did stop by Kylemore Abbey. As there was a €7 entry fee(ea.), we decided to admire it from afar which we did. Built in the 1920s, it was a private residence turned Abbey turned girls school. It was a popular tourist spot too. We probably saw the most tour buses there, though as was mentioned during Day 5, there were several at the Dolmen as well.

Kylemore AbbeyWhen we got to Leenane, we decided we deserved some whiskey for having gone the long way and so we eschewed the suggested restaurant which was in our B&B and went out looking for a pub that would serve us baps and whiskey.A lamb in the road near Lough Fee Imagine our surprise when we failed! We found 2 pubs. One served no food, the other served fancy food. I have no idea how much traffic Leenane sees, but if you have a hankering to move to Ireland and open a pub, there's clearly a need for one more in Leenane. So, for dinner, we wound up at the Blackberry Cafe which was booked up, but could squeeze us in if we could be done within 80 minutes. We assured them that we could and we were right. The meal started with possibly the best brown bread we had on this trip. For the main course, Carolyn and I split a Chicken Kiev dish and a Salmon dish between ourselves. Each came with fries which were also quite tasty.

Lough Fee

That night, we looked over our route and lamented that tomorrow was our last day of riding. We read for a while and slept soundly.

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