Russia to Spain Tour Leg 18 – Cliff of Moher to Kilkenny

There were already quite a lot of tourists visiting the cliff in the morning when we woke up and walked out from our tent, but nobody asked us to leave, so we supposed it is fine to camp everywhere public in Ireland (later we got it confirmed with one of our hosts that it is ok). We took some more photos as the atmosphere in daytime is different!

As our last hosts suggested us to hop on one of the 3 Aran Islands, and recommended the smallest one Inisheer. We bought the tickets at the tourist information in Doolin, but found out we still have more than an hour to kill. When we arrived at the pier, the staff said there were 2 empty seats on the cruise to Cliff of Moher and invited us to get onboard for free. We were overwhelmed and glad to see the cliff from a different angle!

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Aran islands still maintain strong Irish traditions especially the language. The local people living in the islands speak perfect Irish. Landscape looks like a painting, and we really like the architectural beauty of using stones to separate the field.

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We took another ferry from Inisheer back to Rossaveel, on the way back to Galway, we came across a beautiful coastal line, and there was a beach around 10 miles away from Rossaveel, such a perfect place to camp for a night! The purple and pink sky at the background made that evening unforgettable!

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The next day it was an easy ride to Galway, but the weather wasn’t that good, we decided to stay in a hostel as our warmshower hosts cancelled our stay in last minute. Looking up the cheapest hostel online, we found this Nimmos hostel which costs only 10 euros per night per person during weekday. Camping the last 2 days without shower, we desperately needed to wash ourselves!

Galway was the gateway for ships to go to America in the last centuries, a famous folk Irish song, Galway to Graceland, demonstrates the emotion when people say goodbye to their relatives who traveled to the other side of the world, as they might not see each other again!

The little town is easy to walk around on foot, the canal, the cathedral, artistic main street, musicians playing on the streets, you can definitely find a corner according to your interest there!

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From Galway to Kilkenny it is around 160km, we decided to divide into 3 days so that we could take the ride easier. The first night we stopped at a tiny town called Portumna. There is a water recreation park not far from the center, that people can swim in the lake. The water was not as cold as I thought, so I took of my clothes and stepped into the water. Ron helped me to take some peaceful pictures which seems like I was sitting on water!

We were a bit late when we went back to town, the Deli section of the supermarket was closed. When we walked around inside the supermarket wondering what to eat, the manager saw our puzzling faces and asked what she could help. I asked if there is a microwave that we could use to heat up some frozen food for dinner, and we ended up sitting in the staff kitchen having dinner there!

Continued our way towards Kilkenny, we stopped at Roscrea to get some supplies. It is time to talk about the fuels we have for cooking. We finished the fuel I bought in Sweden two nights ago, and I bought a bottle of “white spirit” in a hardware store in Galway (the staff said it is inflammable), it was useless, not burning at all. In Roscrea, we bought “barbecue liquid”, the shopkeeper said it could burn, but when we stopped at Rathdowney that night, we tried but it couldn’t even ignite! Not feeling desperate, I bought “fire lighter cubes” in supermarket. Finally the fire is set up and we could cook our dinner. However the cubes emitted a lot of black smoke and substances, not to it smelled awful, it left a thick layer of black carbon on my pot, they are so hard to be cleaned! Finding the correct fuel in UK and Ireland is much more difficult than expected!

Camping in the church garden in Rathdowney.

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Kilkenny castle, a lot of wedding going on in such sunny day!

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How many of you have heard of a sport called “Hurling”? It is the national game of Ireland, which is a mix of hockey and football. When we were approaching Kilkenny, all the houses were decorated with black and yellow flags, which we later on found out it is the hurling flag of Kilkenny. And there was the season final when we were there, Kilkenny vs Tipperary. We watched the game on TV and it was fun, the rules are quite easy to pick up. Kilkenny win 2-17 : 2-14 and the whole town was filled with celebration and parties! We were so luckily to experience the victory with them!

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It was the last day of riding for Ron with me, as he had to fly back to America, vacation was over! Riding with another person is a tricky thing but I enjoyed a lot, as least I have a physical and mental support by my side, that I could share with whenever I saw a beautiful landscape or encounter frustration. It is always better to travel with your partner or best mate! I guess I have to switch back to solo riding again, until somebody will join me in the future!

We were hosted by this energetic lady, so happy to chat with her on any kind of subjects!

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Galway to Kilkenny 165km

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