Westward ho!

April 13: Cong to Letterfrack day, retracing our steps for a few K and then west to the coast. Our leisurely ride let us see and experience Ireland close up. Leaving the hostel, it started to rain so when we got into Cong we waited out the storm out at a gas station market and then a diner across the street. Back on the bike a few minutes later we saw sheep grazing in stone-fenced pastures that dotted the hillsides. Once, hearing frantic bleatings of twin lambs, we were relieved to hear Mama Ewe’s “BAAAAAA,” as she appeared over the crest of the hill. The “mamama” bleats were followed by happy baby “baabaabaa” as the twins, tails whirling, rushed up the hill to enjoy lunch.

The route was hilly but with proper fuel, including a stop at a pub in Leenane for soup and coffee, we climbed to a mesa.

Our destination was the Old Monastery Hostel in Letterfrack, a place run by Steven, who serves breakfast strictly at 9 every morning of oatmeal and fresh-baked bread. We stayed in the “church room” which was decorated with all sorts of religious art. The whole place is decorated with colorful artwork, eccentric collections of things, including the community showers which have blue twinkle lights and bead curtains.

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