Sligo – Ballyshannon – Donegal – Ballybofey – Letterkenny
Dist: 111 km
Avg speed: 18.5 km/h
Max speed: 58.1 km/h
Tot time: 59.48
Tot dist: 1078 km
Every day during a trip is different. And it was no surprise that today I came back to a symbiotic relationship with the road.
Couple more things that could have made yesterday so tough. It was Sunday and probably people were rushing back home or to get to holiday destination. But there was this violent feeling coming from drivers.
Today – Monday- much less traffic and the urgency has gone as well.
After good night’s rest I was first for breakfast. Slowly packed all my dry tent and other belongings and was on the road by 9.
After yesterday’s fireworks today the atmospheric pressure was much nicer. There was uncertainty about the weather conditions as very heavy skies were looking at me.
As yesterday I felt a bit of discomfort in my left knee I decided to ride a bit slower and limit the distance.
First 30 km of the route were flattish and took me through some nice panoramas. Hills – green lush on the right and bay on the left. And without noticing UT I passes Bundoran and was heading towards Bellyshannon.
After Bellyshannon uphill started. I was cycling up for good 30 min. But…. Afterwards and this is the difference with yesterday I had a downhill. A beauty of a downhill. I went down for a while then there was a bit of flat road, then a bit more of downhill, another flat and one more down. By the time I got down I was recovered and ready for another uphill.
This was the problem with the road yesterday. I was working hard cycling up but the reward of going down has diluted somehow.
Before I knew it I was in Donegal or better said I was leaving Donegal on my left and heading towards these mountains.
By this stage I went through couple if generous downpours. I was looking at these mounts and thinking which way will the road go. Well, definitely I wasn’t prepared to see and ride through this part.
Barnesmore Gap – what a spectacle. Two massive hills on each side of the road and the ‘minute’ me peddling in lashing rain. Awesome. These mountains look completely locked and as I was approaching the bottom there was a turn right that took me inbetween these masses of rock and then gently uphill. Once I was out of the passage the rain got slightly milder so I did take a few photos with the camera.
Then there was the climb to the top of the hill and then…. I saw one of the most rewarding views. A long, nice gradient, not too wet, excellent pavement of the downhill.
I let the bike go. It was great feel. massive enjoyment. Unfortunately somebody thought tbat painting loads of yellow lines and writing ‘slow very’ across the road would make a driver slow down. It might wake them up but none slowed down. I had to – just couldn’t face wet paint on the road going 60km/h. Do there was a bit of anticlimax but still. Going do fast and feeling relatively safe was a very nice adrenaline release.
This took me to Bellybofey. First impression great village, beautifully placed. Then I went through all possible potholes you can for on the road.
From there it was an uphill and a nice downhill to Letterkenny.
Hotel, shower and now supper and planning for tomorrow.
The Zen of the road