Woke up in Tully (next town over from Tully Cross) with and unpleasant headache, but it was nothing a full Irish breakfast and stimulating interaction with yet another German couple couldn’t overcome. I biked back to Clifden with an amazing feeling of satisfaction, knowing that even if I sat in a hotel room and watched reruns of “Friends” for the final two days, the trip was now complete.
After a two-hour “sit and watch the world go by” session in Clifden, I boarded the return bus to Galway, then decided I had enough time to take a lengthy train voyage to Ballyhaunis, which is the birthplace of my great-grandmother(Bridget “Della” Judge, wife of Paddy Benton). I never bet Della Benton, as she passed away in the 1960s, but I felt it would be disrespectful to her if I didn’t make the effort to see her hometown.
It was steadily raining in Ballyhaunis as I got off the train around 9:30pm, and I had a sense of urgency to find the city centre. Much like my experience in Cork, I had no accommodation for the night and was concerned about a lack of vacancies. The population of Ballyhaunis is about 3,000, which made the odds of finding a place much slimmer than Cork (population 120,000).
Long story short, as I walked toward town, I was picked up by a friendly young girl and her father, driven to a B&B to see if they had a vacancy, then my new friends (literally knew them for 60 seconds) waited for me to give the thumbs-up that I was all set before they drove away. What a country.
I crashed hard that night, got up the next morning and did some marginally interesting research on Ballyhaunis.
I then boarded a train for Dublin, where I met up with Padraig for one last pint, stayed at the same hostel as I did the first few days, then got up early and flew home.
Now I head off to a “stag party” for my good friend Ben Wielechowski and need to run off. I hereby vow to do a final reflection on the trip when I get back. You have my word.