"The sign says Gailey Bay, the website says Galey Bay. I never did find out which is correct"
The first night at Galey Bay was, as I was expecting, peaceful. There was some noise, but this was from the massive (and I mean massive) flock of starlings or fieldfares (we couldn’t identify what they were despite my wife having a bird spotters guide book) from flying around, settling in a tree (and chirping) and then repeating this several times. I have never seen such a large flock of birds behaving like this before, and I have to say it was quite a spectacle, and the wing noise from so many birds is indescribable. Once the sun set the birds obviously roosted and the campsite fell silent.
After a long (and much needed) night’s sleep we woke to a cloudy and dull day. It was very warm, but the sun wasn’t out like it had been the day before. Lack of sun doesn’t bother me, as not only do I burn very easily but bright sun makes the photography that much harder. Saying that, it is always nice to get a few snaps of bright blue cloudless skies which is why I hoped the sun would burn through later in the day. I should have got the camera out when we first arrived at the campsite, but there was quite a bit to do in setting up and after the long day I just could be motivated to get out there with the camera. Hind sight is a wonderful thing………….
Since the milk had turned to cheese (refrigeration had been a challenge with the travelling, overnight stop at the Road King and ferry etc.) it was a good excuse to get the Brompton’s out and find a local shop. I have to say the area around Galey Bay campsite is simply stunning. The backroads are a little rough (but plenty good enough for a reasonably comfortable ride) but they are quiet and the landscape isn’t too hilly – which suits me down to the ground. That said, we did come across one short steep hill, which was quite a struggle and got the heart rate up higher than I wanted. Other than this the ride was pleasant and comprised riding on quiet roads through lush green scenery and lots of livestock.
As the day went on the sun became brighter and hotter, and the temperature reached those levels where you sweat (or perspire – if you are like my better half) by just moving around. As a result the roll out awning was pulled out and the rest of the day was spent chilling out and being lazy, playing around with the camera and enjoying the peace, quiet and serenity (as well as the wildlife) around the site.
Lough Ree seems to be a popular swimming hole for the locals, and a couple of ladies on the next pitch have taken to wild swimming too. I have to admit that given the temperatures I was pretty tempted, however I left my swimmers at home. I can’t re-iterate what one of the ladies said about costumes, as it has put a nasty image in my mind and one that is likely to scar me for many weeks, if not months to come.
A couple of photos of Lough Ree - Anyone up for a dip?"
During our stay at Galey Bay the site owner devised a cycle route he claimed was on quiet and flat roads, as well as through nice scenery. The route was scribbled on a scrap of paper and given to us, and since the owner was kind enough to think of us and devise a bespoke cycle route, the least we could do was follow it. We did have a route suggested by the ladies on the pitch next to us, but ignoring the one so kindly provided by the site owner would have not only been rude but also disrespectful.
We followed the cycle route, which was indeed on very quiet (and small) roads through some absolutely stunning scenery. The more time I spend in Ireland the more I am starting to warm to the place. The small roads we took aren’t the smoothest or in the best condition (most of them had grass growing down the middle) and weren’t ideal for the Brompton foldup bikes, but they were tarmac and the Brompton coped with it.
There was a bit of a problem on the ride in that we got lost, which when you don’t have any map other than a sketch on a bit of scrap paper wasn’t much fun. We followed the directions to the letter and when we reached a t junction that was not on our map it dawned on us something had gone array. I don’t know whether I was an idiot and took a wrong turn (the most likely scenario) or whether the site owner forgot a step (the least likely scenario) but something went wrong. With a bit of a wing and a prayer we carried on kind of going the way we came until we found a lone house with the owner cutting the hedge outside. The time had come for me to swallow my pride and ask directions.
The property owner was very helpful and very friendly and after a long conversation about where we were from, what we were doing, our itinerary during our stay and a “welcome to Ireland” we were on our way with clear directions how to get back to the site. The Irish seem far more friendly and helpful than people back home and I very much doubt we would have received the same treatment in the UK. Had it not been for this property owner things could have turned out much differently, and our reasonable cycle ride could easily have ended up in a very long (not to mention hot) cycle ride indeed, and with no padded shorts it would have also been painful too.
Once safely back on site it was time, once again, to extend the roll out awning and do stuff that didn’t require too much energy or effort so not to get sweaty and sticky. The first part of our Irish adventure hasn’t been very eventful, but then we did plan it this way and thought it best to break ourselves in gently and use the first campsite as an opportunity to kick back, totally forget about work and the humdrum of daily life and to prepare us for the next part of our trip across Ireland to the next campsite.
Our first campsite in Ireland was a success and we definitely picked a winner with Galey bay (as per their website) or Gailey Bay (as per the entrance sign) campsite. The site may be small but it has everything you need. The site owner is very friendly and helpful, the facilities are clean, and the local area is stunning.
My better half said that if we had not booked (and paid for) the next campsite she would have liked to spend a few more days at this campsite, which just goes to show how good this campsite is – not that she’s fussy and hard to please of course. As much as I likeGaley Bay campsite and could easily spend more time here I am glad the next campsite is booked and we had to move. This trip to Ireland isn’t cheap and after spending so much money getting here I think it would be a shame to spend the entire time at one campsite and in one area. Had the next campsite not been booked getting the other half off Galey Bay campsite would have been pretty difficult.
Below is a quick slide show of Galey Bay (or should that be Gailey Bay?) campsite and the surrounding area you may find interesting.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home