On the fifth of September 2014 at approximately 15:00GMT we set off from Glenstal heading for the deep expansive, barren wasteland that is Mayo. It was soft, mild day with high humidity and a blustery wind. The journey was uneventful. However everyone was in high spirits, eager to enjoy themselves over the coming weekend. We all enjoyed a hearty sing-song led by Messrs Gordon Daly and Paddy Molony Esq. After a long bus journey we arrived at Hotel Westport where we received a very warm welcome by the staff of Hotel Westport. After settling into our rooms, some enjoyed the wonderful pool and sauna while others decided to stay in their rooms. In the evening we wandered into Westport for some food and after a small bit of exploration we made for the hotel and had a quiet night in and were all in bed long before curfew as we knew there was a gruelling cycle in store for us the next morning.
The following morning we had an early start but were all fresh as cut grass as we wisely had plenty of sleep. The international breakfast buffet was delightful and set us up well for the day. We walked into the Clew Bay Bike Hire shop and were sufficiently geared up for our arduous journey. After posing for the mandatory group photos we set off into the unknown… As we cycled we were in awe of the breathtaking views of Croagh Patrick and the Clew Bay area and we made our way safely to Mulrany via Newport without any major mishaps… apart from Br. Denis OSB getting a flat tire resulting in a short delay.
Once in Mulranny we stopped for light refreshments followed by a swim at the local beach. Luke Lynch, Paddy Molony Esq. and Johnny Williams certainly made the most of the occasion but sadly Rory Johnston stood on a weaver fish, was unable to continue the cycle and returned to the hotel. The Greenway had taken her first victim. After the swim we mounted our bikes again and began the return leg of the voyage. The sights were even better coming back as a gap in the hills revealed a magnificent view of the many islands around Clew Bay. The vista proved to be a bit too distracting for some and Sean Murtagh suffered a fall but was deftly taken care of by our very own Doctors Gordon Daly Jnr. and his Junior Houseman Johnny Williams Snr.
On returning to the hotel we had a quick R&R session in the pool to soothe our aching muscles and attended mass in the church in Westport with the celebrant Rev.Fr. John Driscoll giving a sermon on the problems with 21st century capitalism. A delicious dinner in the hotel followed during which Master Charles Gavin provided musical entertainment for the entire restaurant. After the dinner we went for a short walk around the town and gleefully absorbed our metropolitan surroundings. We managed to get back to the hotel before nightfall as we were all so exhausted from the day’s activities. We all immensely enjoyed the experience of staying in Westport for the weekend and doing the Great Western Greenway Cycle.
We would like say thank you in particular to to the staff at Hotel Westport for accommodating us, to Clew Bay Bike Hire for providing our bikes, to Michael Glavey for helping us throughout the day and most of all to Br. Denis Hooper OSB for taking us on this trip.
ps. See the Photos Section for lots of photos of the weekend