Arriving in Galway, from the Connemara area, we made a beeline to the harbour, which often represents a promising spot to park for the night. This time, it didn’t look so good — somewhat on the industrial side, not surprisingly — so we pulled over for a quick stint of online research, and found out that the nearby promenade had unlimited parking and was okay for motorhomes. We drove there and found a park beside the water, amid no less than six or seven other motorhomes.
That little piece of housekeeping complete, and bellies rumbling, we walked along the promenade and through some residential streets, crossed a bridge over a particularly fast running stream in which swans battled the current, and into Galway’s pedestrian zone. There was a festival atmosphere which we’d remarked on as soon as we drove into the city, the colourful alleyways teeming with people, buskers on every corner, and pub clientele spilling out into the streets. One busker had a large tray full of sand which he had shaped into two eerily-lifelike sleeping dogs. Neat.
One final little errand, I ducked into a Three store and bought a pre-paid Internet kit (bye-bye, Meteor, bane of the last few days!) for some ludicrous amount of money, with the rather devious plan to take it back in two weeks when we leave the country. That’ll teach ’em to force customers to buy modems they don’t want!
We spent a moment shopping around for a restaurant with prices that didn’t make us gag, and settled on a cowboy-themed establishment that was slightly less tacky than it sounds, where we had two extremely satisfying burgers with chips and cider. Man, that’s the stuff.
After a rather fitful sleep interrupted by passing traffic — well, for Katherine anyway; I tend to sleep through anything — we took the next day ‘off’. We wandered the pedestrian zone, had a run-in with a Nazi-automated-three-sheets-of-toilet-paper-is-enough bastard toilet that still makes me angry when I think about it (whoever designed and installed that abomination has a seriously sadistic streak. Galway city council, I’m looking at you. Bastards!), and spent a rather silly amount of time post-processing photos. Our home-based afternoon activities were amusingly interrupted by a marathon, runners passing by inches from the window. We may have felt our fitness increase slightly by osmosis.
A rather time-consuming search for a quieter place to stop for the night ended with a rather successful Google search, and we stopped at the side of a tiny road mere metres from a quite pleasant pebbly beach on Galway bay — aside from the basilisk glare we copped from two elderly pedestrians on the way in, for reasons apparent only to them! The wind came up late in the evening, and we went to bed to escape the howling gale blowing in around the edges of the kitchen cabinet. Brr.
An errand-day followed, necessitated by an empty LPG tank, and exacerbated by the fact that lots of the allegedly-LPG-carrying petrol stations we visited were either out of gas or had broken equipment. We finally found one, and the friendly petrol station attendant, who looked like he should’ve been hitch-hiking with a guitar slung over his shoulder, suggested some places for us to visit on our onward journey, and also suggested we duck into the mechanic over the road to talk about Nettle’s little fuel issue.
A rather uncomfortable experience followed, when the mechanic responded to my brief introduction with silence and a stony glare and proceeded to ignore me for several awkward minutes until I gave up and went away. Eek. I found a recommendation for a mechanic on an online forum — having Internet access as we travel is fantastic — who happened to be five minutes’ drive from our neat bayside wildcamp, so we spent another night there and dropped in on Phil the mechanic the next day.
Phil sorted us out on all fronts, including fixing our leak, lending me a hex key to fix our little draft issue, and recommending some more places to see.
So, with Nettle sorted, we headed onwards.