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Day Nine

June 6, 2003

The wind continued today, but fortunately, it was a much more pleasant day than had been predicted for us. On our way out of Roundstone, we again stopped off at the post, and we swung into Michael Killeen Park -- a monastery turned artists enclave and home to the largest maker of the Bodhran (Irish drum) -- where we did some gift shopping, and basically squandered what should have been our morning ride. Between shifting wind and shifting route, the wind was all over the place, but rarely a headwind for long. We meandered along and stopped for lunch at Keogh's in Ballyconneely village. You never know exactly what you're going to get when you ask for a chicken sandwich, but I was still a little surprised to find plain strips of chicken on well-buttered plain white bread, but I still ate with a gusto reserved for a day of cycling. Carolyn had yet another interpretation of seafood chowder which again failed to live up to the expectations set by Monk's in Ballyvaughn.

We didn't do the longest of our possible routes today, and it was nice to have some choice in our route. We took an intermediate length route that we thought looked nice as it pattered through the countryside near the coast. It twisted and turned, and we followed a beautiful sea-side loop that took us to the "Alcock and Brown monument." AC at the Alcock and Brown aviation monumnetHad it been the "Lindburgh monument" I'd have been excited to get there beforehand. Instead, I was excited, if somewhat stunned, when we did get there to read about the first trans-atlantic flight. Lindburgh's was the first solo trans-atlantic flight. In 1919 Alcock and Brown flew from Newfoundland to Ireland landing near the spot that we passed by. It would have been a rough day for flying today though -- or at least a rough day for landing. The wind was whipping around!Clifden in the Distance

We had no trouble finding Clifden, and had seen it some time ago on our route without knowing for sure that that's what we were seeing. Clifden seemed a more sizeable town than most we'd been in so far. It even had an ATM we could use, which we did as our supply of Euro had dwindled considerably. After hunting around and examining several restaurants we decided on the Derry Clare that had been one of the recommendations we'd received. My were we happy with that choice! We started out with fried brie, and I had Chicken Kiev while Carolyn enjoyed a seafood pie. The Irish may not be the French, but they can still make a fine meal!The Clifden Quay

After dinner, we walked around Clifden some, and as we were touring around an old railway station that had been converted to shops and apartments, we came across a dog with a stick in its mouth. Well, I have a history of dogs-and-sticks in Ireland, so I know what to do when approached by such an animal. This dog, however, was loath to give up his trophy. Still, it was clear that he wanted the experience, so I finally wrested it from him and threw it. He thundered away to retrieve it and returned to my general vicinity. AC battles for control of the stickThis went on only a couple of times due to the effort required to even get a hand on the stick much less tear it from the firm grip of the dog's mouth. But the dog clearly enjoyed it, as he followed us on the rest of our walk clear across the town of Clifden. We escaped him to go inside, but found him under our balcony as much as half an hour later.

AC in our room in the Quay House in ClifdenSo, tonight's B&B deserves its own paragraph. For that matter, it deserves its own page. Well, it already has its own site, so go there. But boy, did we feel pampered! There were 2 twin beds pushed together and made up as a King. There was a fireplace, TV, views of the Quay, a heated towel rack, tub, kitchenette... It was spacious and gorgeous. Simply wonderful. So, if these pages prompt you to go to Ireland, go to Clifden, dine at the Derry Clare and stay at the Quay House. You'll be treated right! (But before you call, be sure you know that Quay is pronounced like "key".)

All through that evening there was someone out on the Quay with various boat owners. Together they would unroll the sails on the road that crossed Sail Measuring at the Quay with Clifden in the backgroundbetween our B&B and the Quay and they would measure the height of the sail. The guy would write something on his clipboard, and they'd roll the sails back up. It seemed to be a fairly friendly venture as plenty of people came down at various times and chatted with whomever happened to be there at the time. Still, it was a bit of a rough time for it because of the wind, and a light rain by early evening. We never did find out what was going on.

The forecast for tomorrow is, once again, quite dismal. We've decided to ignore it, and deal with whatever weather arrives. So far, that's been working for us. As we fall to sleep, the wind is still whipping a moderate rain around.



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