Coast to Coast Day 2
Belmullet and Broadhaven Achill Island o'er the wave Croagh Patrick's holy mountain By the waters of Clew Bay Clare Island, home of Granuaille Old Newport well I know All the friendly places on The coastline of Mayo From the song recorded by the Mulloy Brothers of Mulranny
The weather forecast is for a heatwave but luckily this part of the country seldom experiences temperatures of that nature and this week was no exception. While the south east basked in 30 degree heat it was a much more normal summers day on the road from Mulranny to Belmullet, perfect for cycling and with a tail wind behind me I couldn’t have been happier!
The road cuts between the hills as it leaves Mulranny and the scenery opens up into wide vistas towards Wild Nephin National Park, one of the most remote areas in the country. It covers an immense 15,000 hectares of blanket bog and unspoiled wilderness. It’s magnificent. The whole Erris area likewise is rugged, remote, raw and a delight to cycle through. It wasn’t long until I reached the Mayo Gaeltacht just after passing through Bangor. It was back roads all the way into Belmullet and to be sure to get accommodation I booked a room right away on arrival, left my panniers off and headed out the Blacksod Bay.
Blacksod Bay is forever etched in my mind because of the awful loss of life of 4 crew members in the 2017 involving Irish Coastguard Rescue 116 when their helicopter clipped Blackrock island about 10kms off the coast. There was a fair wind in my face heading out across the flat barren peninsula of Erris – every pedal stroke had to be fought for and only the radio commentary of the All Ireland Hurling Final kept me from quitting! It was worth it though as its a lovely route out especially taking in the loop around by Teampail agus Leaba Dheirbhile. With a sister named Dearbhla I simply had to visit!
106kms done approx on day 2. Great day in the saddle!