Kinlay Hostel and Galway, Republic of Ireland

Finally after a long day of travel from Londonderry we arrive in Galway and get dropped off at our Hostel for the evening… a perfect fit for a day of almost zero exertions… you like stairs right? The reward was one of the nicer hostels on this trip, and as we were staying two nights a chance to do laundry!

Welcome to Hostel Living… sometimes it not pretty…

So after we got our luggage up to our rooms some of us took to the town to look for food and take in the sunset golden hour.

Spanish Arc

Shamrocker Adventures (and Busabout) offer several tours in Ireland, and there is a combination that is very specifically setup so that the main four Rocker tours (North, South, Western, and All Irish) all meet up in Galway and here we join into one large group for Galway and the Aran Isles portion of the trip. Now while the logistics of this feat is notable, it is also why all the tours have funky travel days. So if you were ever wondering why 7/3/3/3 day trips were offered, its because of that 10 day rotation (with downtime for staff before the next rotation).

One of the bars we visited during the night

However, and I hate to be critical of what was already quite an enjoyable trip, but the “ice breaker” event that Shamrocker has set-up for everyone is an optional pub crawl through Galway with a contest to steal potatoes from eachother… what sounded like a fun game quickly got ugly competitive as soon as alcohol was thrown into the mix, with each bus group vying to win it for their “team”. After having my potatoe stolen, and stealing back another and a pinpong ball (?) the thrid bar we went to had a band playing in the other section and I left the pub crawl and enjoyed the rest of my evening…

Local Irish Band Playing at the Third Bar
I found out there was more than three flavors of the Cider I liked back in Ballitoy

Old Montreal, Quebec – Just out wandering on a cold Sunday morning – Part 1

It was morning. It was cold. The wind made it feel like -20C despite the bright sunshine. Very few people out on the streets. Wandering around the streets of Old Montreal under those conditions is quite the experience. The quiet was deafening.

Note: Due to the number of photos of this area, I am breaking this morning’s meanderings into two blog postings. This one will show a few things that I found interesting and the next one will focus more on the architecture and street layouts.
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Tarpon Springs, Florida – The Sponge Docks

We had begun the day with intentions of cycling the Pinellas Trail from Tarpons Springs to St. Petersburg but when it began to rain and remain cold, we decided to turn back at about the 30 km mark and take a rather leisurely return to our vehicle in Tarpon Springs.

Tarpon Springs was once a major source of natural sponges harvested from the ocean floor by trained divers. Although artificial sponges have long since replaced much of the demand for sponges, Tarpon Springs remains a busy port on the west coast of Florida with plenty for the tourist to see and buy.


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