I have heard a lot about quaint, charming and rugged Donegal in the north-west of Ireland. On a wet summers weekend, I decided to take a spin up there coming up along the west coast. Firstly, never underestimate the time it takes to get to these places, the roads are windy and narrow (albeit generally a good surface). Sign posts wont be the most consistent and it may not help that a lot of them are in the local language of Gaeilge! It makes most sense not to rush anyway, because half the beauty is navigating those windy roads nice and slow while having a good gawp at the eerie powerful Atlantic and small farm like cottages dotted on the hills eitherside.
By chance I took a wrong turn while heading due north. After parking up to gather my bearings a tour bus had also pulled up. After talking to the guide I realised that I was very close to the "Sliabh League" cliffs on the west side of the county. He urged me to visit while I had come this far but also to take the coast road to it before you hit the nearby town of Carrick. The coast road was very cool, full of hills and turns and the odd man made lay-by space so two cars could drive past each other. When I got to the cliffs it was drizzling rain however there was a heavy "duvet" of mist hanging off the side of the cliffs. There was a very serene and eerie feeling knowing that further afield was a vast ocean of Altantic.
Following from hear I made my way up to Gweedore near the middle of the country, home of the one of Ireland's highest mountains "Mt. Errigal". I managed to capture a great snap of it with the top just carressed with mist. I stayed in the local, but newly built Errigal Youth Hostel, which I highly recommend. Spacious, modern, cheap, great staff and located at the base of the mountain. Nearby was Bunbug, hosting an unusual but speacular beach when the tide is out.
The exit from Donegal, seen me head through the midlands as I made it east towards Omagh in Northern Ireland. The roads were really well kept however there were so little cars on the road as it disected its way through the reletively flat bog land. I can see now why many motorcycle and rally brigades speak very highly of this country for their adrenaline hobbies. Visit soon! I can only imagine whats its like on a glorious summer's day!
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