On our approach to Sligo, our adventure and my bike wheel took an unexpected turn as adventures and wheels are prone to do. I was cycling merrily along when I heard a pinging pop of a sound and my bike started wobbling. A spoke had broken in the rear wheel throwing it out of alignment. My cycling mechanic husband said not to worry, since broken spokes were expected and he had brought spare spokes. He proceeded to pull out one of the replacement spokes purchased from the shop that sold us the bike and it was too short. I asked if I should start worrying and he said not quite yet and removed the wheel making adjustments to the other spokes so that the wheel came back into near enough alignment that we could continue cycling to Halfords sporting store where the correct length spokes were obtained. Along the way we stopped at the Eason bookstore where I was able to purchase my cousin Eamon’s second book, “Where I and my Scooter Travel.”
That night we had reservations at a delightful B and B in Ballisodare “Seashore Guest House” where our hostess was Mrs. Ann Campbell. As it turned out, Ann knew my cousin well, since he had constructed the stone walls at the front of her property as well as the stone wall around the bird sanctuary sign near Streamstown which was just a short walk from her B&B and to which we walked the previous evening. With Ann’s help we were able to make contact with Eamon’s wife, Pauline and arrange our visit on the morrow. The next morning, with my spoke replaced and wheel running true, we set off to visit Eamon, catching the sights along the way that Eamon so colorfully describes in his book. Having recently seen the movie Calvary, which was filmed in the locale, I was eager to view Strandhill, the grave of Queen Maeve on Knocknarea and the Benbulbin mountain (all visible from Eamon’s home by the way.)
We had a delightful visit with Eamon and, over a scrumptious lunch prepared by Pauline, renewed our family connections. Our visit was well-timed since we also meet Eamon and Pauline’s daughter Niamh and her 3 children who were visiting at the time.
Leaving Eamon’s house we traveled down the roads that Eamon describes so well in his “Scooter” book. Eamon amazes me with his knowledge of the history of the area and how well he weaves the local community, its resources, geography, and “Local Color” into the fabric of life that covers the pages of his books. Places we passed came to life like High Park School (which Eamon helped construct), Augris Head and The Beach Bar where we stopped to enjoy a pint and a coke.