|Achill Tourism's map of the Greenway.|
The whole trail is a little under 45 kilometers long, and I haven’t spent much time on a bike since the age of 11, whereas Kev happily spends his weekends cycling up the Wicklow mountains; saying we approached the task with different skill sets is putting it gently. I was determined to have fun though and not be a baby and ruin the trip with complaints – which turned out to be easy because it was so amazing. Usually they recommend cycling this trail the opposite direction because of the prevailing Western winds, but we lucked out having an Easterly wind when we were there pushing us along!
|Overexcited by the sunshine and tailwind.|
We stopped in Newport for a break and what was, in hindsight, a very strange snack. (I had a hard-boiled egg, half a croissant and several jammy dodgers as we watched an unexplained mini-parade headed by bagpipes go by.) Back on the Greenway, the trail led us through a bigger, more open landscape farther from the road. The yellow and brown hills made me think of California, and we wobbled along trying to snap pictures on our phones as we pedaled.
|Great day to be on a bike in Mayo!|
We crossed over onto Achill Island (not separated from mainland Ireland by very much water at all!) and [overshot but eventually] found the Clew Bay Bike return spot. Naturally, we rewarded ourselves with chips and blackcurrant after returning the bikes, and saw the Irish Grand National (horse racing) recaps on TV - a perfect end to the journey.
Rather than ask to be picked up, we opted to walk the remaining 3k to our B&B. Amazingly, I wasn’t dying of exhaustion, but I can promise you that I slept very, very soundly that night. And check out the views we woke up to! (Sadly my photos came out really badly so I stole this one from Achill Tourism...)
The next day we got a free shuttle (thanks again, Clew Bay Bike Hire!) back to Westport. It hadn't been in our original plan, but since it was another clear, sunny day, we decided that we'd be remiss not to take advantage of it and climb Croagh Patrick - a subject for another post!