ireland: aran islands

Pills, Bikes, and Sudden Showers…

By day 4, I had found my flu’s kryptonite – a little white pill followed by a big white pill all washed down with a fizzy drink and a little Snicker’s on the side for protein nourishment.  A bottle of water or two consumed throughout the day also helped with the dehydration issue and didn’t render my kryptonite concoction ineffective either.  In all honesty, this might not scream image of health but when on the road, you do what you have to do to keep on moving.  And moving was exactly what was on my agenda.  After a 40 minute bus ride followed by a 45 minute ferry ride and I was going to find myself on Inis Mor (the biggest of the Aran Islands) where I planned to cycle around like a 5-year-old.  I had images of the wind in my hair as I bombed around on a bike carefree in the mid-day sunshine.

Inis Mor, Aran Islands, Ireland Travel

Stop #1 Close to the Seal Colony

The sad truth is what I imagined in my head doesn’t always reflect reality.  When I woke up in Galway and it was pouring cats and dogs but by the time I reached Inis Mor the rain had stopped and I could see a bit of blue.  I’m not sure if its just me being delusional once again but I’m starting to believe that the sky is actually bluer in Ireland.  Crazy talk aside, because the rain had stopped, it seemed like the only logical thing to do was bee-line for the bike rental shop and then set off to explore.  The first obstacle that I hit was trying to find an adult bike that wasn’t too big for me.  If there was a BMX child’s bike than I would have been totally game but sadly there wasn’t and after breaking a nail and 30 minutes of trying on bikes for size, I found one that would finally fit pint-size me.  Yay!

Inis Mor, Aran Islands, Ireland Travel

Rest-stop to enjoy the beach before cycling on

And just like that – I was off to explore the island with 3 others (we had lost the majority of our group in the shuffle from the ferry to getting the right bike).  Thankfully, losing the group was a blessing in disguise as it was easier to tell the whole truth about the difficulties and painfulness of cycling as an adult to a small and select group of people rather than broadcast it to the world.  But what we lacked in energy and fitness, we made up with chatter and gumption.  Slowly but surely, we cycled around that damn island as we swerved left, passed on the right, walk the bike up the biggest of hills, and did whatever was required to maneuvered past the horse and carriages that took up the majority of the road.

Inis Mor, Aran Islands, Ireland Travel

The view after our climb up a hill

We saw the sights as listed on the map and climbed a small hill on top of that.  The sun was constantly peeking out from behind the clouds and the day was good.  But this is Ireland after all and sadly, we didn’t manage to bask in the sunlight for too long as we hit a 3 minute torrential downpour on our way back to the pier.  And 3 minutes was all it took to soak us from head to toe and leave us shivering, cold, and sore from an overly active day for a long journey back to Galway.

Inis Mor, Aran Islands, Ireland Travel

View from the other side of the hill we climbed…

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