Dwight Peck's personal website

The north of Ireland, April 2007

Winter 2006-2007 spent waiting around for winter

Ireland (and Northern Ireland) in the springtime

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Slieve Leagh, Rathmullan, and Fanad Head

Confident that the weather is about to break, Kristin pauses at the Bunglas trailhead from gazing up at Slieve Leagh -- at 600+ meters, supposedly the highest sea-cliff in Ireland -- to study the information plaque and plot our expedition upwards.

We've motored from Donegal and through Killybegs to get here, and we're not turning back because of a little inclement weather.

A little loch not far above the car park, as we're expecting the weather to clear out any moment now

A view of the Bunglas carpark, and you can tell that the sun is trying its damnedest to burst out upon us . . . any moment now.

-- Don't worry the slightest. The sunshine is coming along . . . any moment now.

Though, in fact, the wind is picking up quite a bit.

We're hurtling along the seaside ridges now, with the Slieve Leagh up there on the upper left, but the windspeeds are not auspicious.

Kristin in full dash summitwards before the weather goes wrongways on us all in a whoop

We're in a foot race now with fog and drizzle and a cool wind from off the sea.

And STILL no improvements up in the summit area. But we're confident. Any moment now.

A change in the weather, but not for the better. We've lost the trail now and are just gorse-hopping.

Kristin, in her hiking sandals, which "let the feet breathe", wondering what's next. With "Joe" drooping.

Kristin looking for the lee side of the hill

There is no lee side to this hill, and we're not going to make it to the summit today. Next time!! With Joe poking out before.

Right you are, back we go, but . . .

Which way is back? (Keep the ocean on your right.)

Back at last in the carpark, on a rainy day in Donegal.

That's our ridgeline up there. Funnily enough, we can see it better from here than when we were there.

Kristin reading The Guardian in The Water's Edge in Rathmullan, with Inch Island across Lough Swilly on the far side.

As mentioned earlier, The Water's Edge is one of several Donegal tourist properties owned by the "Blaney Group", a cute name for Mr. and Mrs. Blaney -- from the outside, this could be any commercial hotel-meeting rooms establishment in any small town in Nebraska, BUT -- then there's this view from the diningroom.

The manageress, Grainne, one of the Blaney family it seems, was for us one of the most welcoming and friendly people we've seen in a long time. Plenty of good advice about the best hiking in the region, and a ready hand on the ale tap.

The breakfast room in the morning, and dining room in the evening -- popular with large wedding groups, graduation parties, and birthdays for octogenarians, but over several nights we always had a quiet corner for ourselves.

The view from The Water's Edge, at low tide, obviously, as we are taking our leave.

Downtown Rathmullan, nearby

Kristin visiting the museum of The Flight of the Earls in Rathmullan -- hard pursued by the English, the rebellious Irish Earls finally threw in the towel and, in 1607, took ship from here to Rome and other European centers where patrons could be found for Catholic Irish Earls to eke out a miserable existence, conspiring to go back and free the homeland. Which turned out to be a fairly long process.

The Flight of the Earls Museum was closed for renovation, so of course Kristin tried for a sneak peek over the walls.

Driving north out Fanad Head, we need to stop at the beach at Portsalon, because Kristin has spotted another albino seal out on those rocks off the shore.

Lovely rocks interspersed among the sandy beach, Portsalon, 16 April 2007

The albino seals on the rock turned out to be somebody's discarded raincoat washed up and stuck on the point until the plastic decomposes, which will not happen until the 37th century, or until an employee of the city wades out there and drags it down. Kristin is wandering off in disappointment.

Kristin at Ballymastocker Bay, trying to cope with having to return our hired automobile and leave Ireland soon

We need to get a move on, if we're going to make Belfast International Airport in time to catch the EasyJet.

We've just got time, on the way to the Belfast airport but still out on Fanad Head, to view this stupendous sea arch.

And the surrounding beachfront

It's a wonderful sea arch, but for the moment I've forgotten the name of it. If you're driving out the Fanad Head, just look for the little roadside sign that says "Something Arch", then turn in and drive down until you can't figure out what on earth to do next, then leave the automobile and walk coastwards for a little ways, and you'll get to it.

The lighthouse at Fanad Head

Any chance Marconi's been here, you think? We're still collecting our Marconi-spotting coupons.

As much as I'm devoted to my battered VW "Dieter", with all the room in the back for snowshoes and bicycles, I'm very sorry to have to turn this wonderful Peugeot back into the Avis shop. It was really fun to drive this thing -- though the driving wheel was on the wrong side. But so were the roads.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 11 May 2007, revised 30 March 2008, 13 August 2014.

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