August 24, 2011
Checking out of our hotel, Foelas Arms in Betws-y-Coed was a fun affair. We were served our last English breakfast in Wales by Georgia, the owner’s daughter, and then proceeded to track down the right person for check out.
Georgia is a delight to chat with and we discussed spiders and school and all sorts of things during our dinners and beers in the bar downstairs each night. Georgia is a very friendly 2nd grader with two front teeth starting to pop through. She’ll give all the details on living at the hotel including not being able to poo in the 2nd floor bathroom. We asked her where her mom was and she told us that she was outside getting the beer delivered. Curious about the racket outside, we went to have a peek.
A large delivery truck was outside and kegs of beer were being hauled off and rolled into the bar. Georgia asked to be able to sign for the beer – since some day she would be in charge of the place and would need to know how – and the delivery man humbly complied. We then headed in to the bar together to settle the bill.
For two nights, one dinner, 3 beers and two full English breakfasts I paid 86L. A little high since we split the bill 4 ways and some of my travel companions ate more expensive meals and drank more beer but still fairly reasonable.
Caernarfon is an impressive old kingdom style town with a big castle built as the center piece to the town. The castle was built in the 1200’s. It’s a massive fortress that was built to protect the area of Wales. We were on a tight schedule and with one of our travel companions a compulsive sign reader, we had to fly through each of the towers quickly. We spent 16L to get in and then only spent 30 minutes there before we rushed to the ferry. After all the rushing and flying through the town streets, we missed the ferry by 10 minutes. SO DISAPPOINTING. We could have at least just spent our time at the castle then…
We had to wait 2 hours until the next ferry came through. We decided to explore and walk around the village. There is a quaint church that overlooks the ocean where Phunner and I sat down to unwind, chat and enjoy the sights and smells of the sea. Before heading back to the ferry, we grabbed sandwiches and drinks at a grocery store. We found the food on the ferry to be expensive and not that great. Buying a few sandwiches and drinks from the grocery store was incredibly economical.
On the ferry, we tried to sleep (we were exhausted from a few days of biking and then waking up so early just to miss the ferry!!) but there were children running and screaming all over the place and it proved to be too much. We found seats upstairs in a lounge that was quieter so we tried to sleep there. Our companion, Boozy, found some sleep space up there as well but a drunk guy kept putting his feet on Boozy’s shoulder. The drunk guy smelled so bad I had to move a few seats away. Boozy had enough and yelled at the guy to keep his feet off of him unless he wanted a real problem. No incidents occurred after that!
We arrived back in Dublin and drove to Limerick to meet up with our fellow SSWC participants. There was a big competition to determine which country would host SSWC 2012 that included a river dance competition. Unfortunately, we missed the entire SSWC competition because of the ferry ride fiasco. I was SUPER BUMMED. You can see why…below is a great summary of the race including how South Africa won the SSWC hosting competition for 2012…and see why I was so disappointed to miss the competition at The Locke Bar!!
When we got the the Locke Bar the competitions were well over but the drinking and partying had just begun. We grabbed our registration bags and race numbers and went to find a place to sleep for the night – we were not going to be in any shape to drive!
We got a hotel room at Pier One. The sign on the door said rooms as low as 39E but we seemed to have only been offered their expensive room package – way too expensive at $139 but we had little choice and wanted to get back to the festivities. The light in the bathroom was broken and flickered on and off incessantly and our water carafe didn’t work. It was definitely not worth the price.
We headed back out on the streets of Limerick and back to the Locke Bar. We had a fantastically fun night with all of our crazy single speed world competition friends!