Ballina → Sligo
Mileage: 49.6 miles Elevation gain: 1,739′
Total mileage so far: 838.7 miles Total elevation gain so far: 40,582′
It’s no secret that the Irish love tea and I am completely with them on that. I’ve easily had 45 cups so far this month. Tea is everywhere you go at all hours, day or night. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been politely asked, “Would you care for a wee cup of tea?” And I’ve emphatically answered Yes! every time.
So I wasn’t tremendously surprised when a nurse served me tea at the Sligo University Hospital this afternoon. This was, of course, after I’d been cut off by a driver, somersaulted over my handlebars, cleared the car and landed squarely on my tailbone, back and neck. And I have to say, the tea helped a lot.
As the driver was cutting me off, I remember thinking What is she doing? Oh my god why is she doing that?? as I desperately squeezed on my brakes. But the flood-like rain and the weight behind me from my packs made it impossible to stop. I skidded into the back left side of the car and immediately went airborne.
I don’t remember flying through the air but I do remember landing with a thud. For a while I was lying on the ground unable to speak. In my head I was yelling to myself Get up! Answer these people. Come on, you know your name! But I couldn’t respond. I was like an upside down cockroach with my arms and legs flailing in the air trying to figure out how to roll over.
When the ambulance arrived I just kept repeating myself. “I can’t go to the hospital, I have to get to Donegal.” Donegal being another fifty miles away. Left to my own devices I’m sure I would have gotten back on my bike, ridden a few hundred yards and blacked out. Thank goodness the paramedics didn’t let me make that decision. They calmed me down and I got to take my first ambulance ride. Yay vacation!
The police, paramedics, nurses and doctors who helped me were phenomenal. I am very sore but not broken. Diagnosis: bruised tailbone and a mild concussion, my second in less than a year. (Remind me to tell you about the time a hammer fell on my head and I couldn’t form a sentence for three days!)
Tomorrow is a rest day and then I get to make yet another big decision on whether to finish this trek or not. I can’t help but wonder whether this accident is karmically tied to yesterday’s solar eclipse or yesterday’s blog post. One thing I can tell you for sure: I’ll never complain about Irish faucets again!
Sending love and light from my recovery bed ❤