I left Westport this morning and continued down the west coast via Clifden and Galway before turning slightly inland and ending up at a town called Gort. The coastline so far has been windswept and wild but is actually more populated than I thought it would be. It has stopped raining today and is quite warm with only a few clouds in the sky. From what the locals tell me this is the best weather they have had for sometime. Continuing south I was unexpectedly confronted by the site of Kylemore Abbey as I rounded a corner. It is situated in quite a remote but beautiful spot.
Dairy farming seems quite common in this area and extends right up to the Atlantic Ocean foreshore in some places. Amusingly in one place I had to follow a herd of cows along a narrow road bordered by mountains one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. They were being herded by some old Irish guys on decrepit push bikes. The cows and calves trotted along quite happily but the old bull of the herd took his time, ambling along at his own pace about 200 metres behind his cows. It was a least a kilometre before I could get passed them.
I reached Gort around 2:00pm and booked into a big hotel, The Lady Gregory. While having lunch in the main street of Gort a police car closely followed by an army green landcruiser, an armoured van and then another army green landcruiser, roared up the road and stopped a few doors up. Out from the landcruisers jumped about six military guys in full battle attire including machine guns. They then proceeded to guard the transfer of money between the bank they had stopped outside of and the armoured van. The waiter of the cafe I was at told me that this is how it is done in Britian, France and other parts of Europe. I can't say I noticed it whilst in Europe but it was quite impressive. A bit different to back home in Aus.
The hotel room is huge but I must say the water quality is a bit sus. I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture but the water is a very light urine colour! Nice! I haven't been game to drink it yet! I had dinner in the Irish pub connected to the hotel. I just can't get used to the huge size of the Irish portions or the heaviness of the food, so I settled for the soup!