Our goal today was to cycle about 50 miles to the town of Strandhill, a beach front holiday town just west of Sligo. We were headed north east. The only problem was the wind was headed south.
This wasn’t your ordinary wind. This was freight train wind. The kind of wind that pushes clouds through the sky so fast that if you stop to watch you get dizzy. And as the clouds would pass overhead between us and the sun, the shadows would knock into us like waves.
As we were passing Easky Lough, a lake in the middle of nowhere in County Mayo, there were no trees or hedgerows to soften the force of the wind in our faces. We inched around the eastern flank of the lake. When we scared the grazing sheep as we usually do with our passing, a group of six of them ran up the road ahead of us, and I desperately wanted to follow close at their cloven heels to draft them the way racers draft each other to save energy. But the sheep trotting away at a casual pace easily outran us.
We took shelter behind an earthen embankment to have lunch and to escape the wind, if only briefly. When we sat on the weeds and loose gravel I thought at least it isn’t raining.
The Irish consider a day with minimal rain quite good. A day with no rain is a fine day. During the first two weeks in Ireland we had exceptionally fine weather. It appears as if the weather is reverting back to normal in this part of the world. I hope I don’t regret sending home my down jacket the other day.