In July of last year, I decided on a whim to go touring in Sligo. I chose there mainly because I had never been before and just to get away for a few days. I took the NIR train from Coleraine to Londonderry station and arrived around 15:25. I had two options to get to the bus station on the far side of the River Foyle. I could cross the Craigavon bridge or cycle up the hill and head down and across the Peace Bridge. I chose the latter as I had plenty of time to kill.
I left the train station and turned right to go up the hill to the roundabout, then turned left down onto Ebrington Square. Just relaxing in the square for a bit was nice before freewheeling across the Peace Bridge. I then crossed the busy main road and waited for the coach to Sligo.
The weather on the coach left me feeling less than optimistic
I can’t remember what coach service provider I used, I just remember the driver being really friendly and mentioning that it didn’t cost any extra for the bike. We hit a point on the way where the weather turned for the worse and my hopes for a good trip dipped. By the time I arrived in Sligo however, it was at least dry. Overcast but dry. I removed my bike from the coach and proceded to cycle about the town for a while before trying to find a campsite for the night.
Gable end mural of W.B. Yeats near Sligo bus station
After perusing google maps for a suitable place to pitch my tent, I settled on the Strandhill campsite
and headed to my destination going completely the wrong way. This is what I should’ve cycled;
but somehow I ended up cycling this;
all the more idiotic on my part considering I was using the navigation on my phone. Lol.
As I passed Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery
I was stopped by a car of four Spaniards asking how to get in. I informed them that it was closed for the night and they would have to return in the morning. The driver said that was impossible as they were driving to Cork that night. I told them to park the car at the entrance and climb the low fence since I didn’t imagine anyone would object. Then I cycled on as fast as my chubby legs would propel me.
I finally arrived at the campsite, picked a nice level bit of ground and pitched my tent. My tent was a Topeak Bikamper
purchased a few weeks previous and not yet slept in. It uses the bike as part of the construction so it has quite a low internal height. I was able to put my panniers, rack bag and handlebar bag along my left side and lay out my mat and sleeping bag along the entrance side.
Very little room
Once I had myself organised I headed to the strand bar for a pint and something to eat. I absolutely loved this place. It had a great family atmosphere and some great live music. There were plenty of places to sit inside and out. This video pretty much sums it up so I don’t have to.
I ordered a pint of cider and drank it inside before taking my second outside to sit in the fading sun. Once I had finished that I walked down to the end of the road and sat with all the other people dotted about the shore.
I relaxed for probably about 45mins until a chill forced me back to the warmth of the pub. After a few more drinks I settled down for the night.