I am in the West staying with a friend. I took my bike and it hailed on me as I cycled from the station to her house. As I pulled up the zip of my coat over my face to shield myself from stinging hail I caught it in my lip. And then I got a puncture in my back tyre.
The pictures donâ€™t really convey the driving wind and hail. But look at that palm tree in the distance regretting its choices.
So far Iâ€™ve been impressed by the slower pace and friendliness of Galway after my time in the big smoke. I rang a bike repair shop to see when I could book in for a repair and the (Polish, I think) man said to drop in whenever. This compares favourably with my local bike shop in Dublin where you will be laughed at if you even try to drop in without appointment. On the minus side I appeared to be the only person on a bike in Galway. The weather was terrifying though.
I spent the afternoon cowering in my friendâ€™s apartment looking at the rain and the waves. Then, after she finished work, we took a taxi into town. The Christmas lights were very pretty and somehow more romantic in the lashing rain with the wind from the sea blowing hard. Like defiance against the elements.
We went into a restaurant in a stone cottage right beside Spanish Arch and the sea spat beside us. Galway city is right on the sea in a way that Cork and Dublin arenâ€™t. When we finished our (delicious) dinner, there were gangs of teenagers out and about celebrating their junior cert results in the rain. I couldnâ€™t help worrying that some of them might fall in to the water as they partied at the unprotected quayside. Living on the edge here.
More Galway tomorrow.