170901-Mind The Gap

I made a slow lazy start of the morning. I had spent a long time last night coming up with a plan, with no need to rush to execute it. When I left the hostel, I turned left to head up into the Wicklow Mountains. After 8 km of almost perfect 6% grade, I crossed the Wicklow Gap, and headed back down.

On the way down I passed a young German couple taking a breather, and skidded to a stop to talk with them. They’re in Ireland for a week, cycling west. Having had a hard couple of days, they had adjusted their route to avoid the next batch of hills. They fly home from Dublin the same day I do, so perhaps we will meet again.

From there I rode to Three Castles, the site of one of the Irish tower castles (originally three of them,  hence the name). Locked up tight, but I knew that before I got there. A scenic place for lunch if nothing else.

From there I headed to the campground on the west side of Dublin in the suburb of Clondalkin. My plan was to stay at the campground, but not have to go deep enough into Dublin to encounter the complexity and traffic of large city streets. OSMAnd kept trying to route me onto the larger highways, which I took issue with. The campground is quite nice and inexpensive (although 2 euro for a shower, the standard in Ireland, continues to grate).  I made a friend while I was setting up camp.

It took longer than usual to set up the tent, as it was soaked. I took the opportunity of the sunny day to let it dry out. While doing I was serenaded by violin music. When checking out the facilities I found a woman playing a violin in the kitchen, and thanked her for her play. She came by the tent later to say hello. She was practicing for a performance tonight in Dublin at one of the larger venues (Christchurch). She used to teach at Julliard, and now is a conductor in Oregon.

The core of my current plan is this intermediate stop on the way tomorrow to Trim Castle and other nearby historical stuff. I stopped at Trim on 2004, and remember it fondly as the largest Norman castle in Ireland. I had planned on stopping by on my way north at the start of the trip, but decided it was a bit far out of the way. Now with some extra time, no reason not to swing past.

The plan is to stay there a couple of days, and explore the surrounding area. The weather the next couple of days is suspect, so at least I’ll have a dry base to return to. The problem with that plan is I have yet to hear back from the hostel in Trim. Today I reached out to a few B&Bs, but haven’t heard back from them either. It’s a long way to go to have nowhere to stay, so hopefully I’ll sort that out by morning.


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