Inishowen Peninsula, Donegal

Been meaning to post these all week!

Some photographs from our lovely weekend away in Donegal.  We rented the gorgeous 'River Cottage' in Greencastle, owned by Heather & William, so homely!  We took the Lough Foyle Ferry from Magilligan Point to Greencastle at lunchtime on the Friday....sailing was at 2.15pm (which we just made and no more) Its only a short 15 minute journey across and costs £15 for a car return.

On the Friday night we decided to take a walk into the village and had dinner at Kealy's Seafood Bar & Restaurant, both opting for the Monk Fish.  After more than a few Guinness, we had an interesting walk along the dark country roads back to the cottage!

On Saturday we decided to go for a drive around the peninsula...first port of call was Culdaff, and the blowy Bay of Kinnego

Then it was onto Portaleen, a small harbour village, where I spent many a Sunday as a wee girl sitting on the harbour wall watching my daddy fixing the fishing boats... Nothing much has changed, as soon as wee drove to the harbour all those memories came flooding back, climbing up the wall to see the vast ocean on the other side, the lobster pots stacked and the smell of  engine oil and fish.                                                                                                     Next port of call was Malin Head.  Malin Head is the most northernly point in Ireland. It seems as though you are standing on the end of the Earth, with rugged landscape as far as the eye can see...It is remote, desolate and sparsely populated, making it a special and quiet sort of place...during WWII the Irish government allowed the British to site two radio direction finders on the head, it was then used by the Irish Meteorological Service...and the ruins of the towers still stand today.  Another reminder from the war is the large EIRE spelt out in white stone on the fields below, this was to signal neutral ground to overhead craft.  When you look down over the cliffs, you can see where many a visior has left their own similar mark on the field (see photos below)

From Malin Head we travelled onwards to Carndonagh for lunch...oh and they had a wee shoe shop too, so, yip, i even managed to buy shoes in the Donegal countryside :) hehee

From Carndonagh we travelled West again to the Isle of Doagh, I cant ever remember being here before, the scenery was stunning, the most beautiful little hidden coves, thatched cottages and dramatic stretches of beach.......oh and not to forget the famine village, which we just glanced over the wall at...the tour lasted 45mins and you got tea and a toasted soda farl included in the price...but we'd just eaten and still had lots to onwards to Trawbreaga Bay, Dunaff Head, the Five Fingers Strand and Dunree!

Now the next part of our wee journey took us through some tiny country roads, where its virtually impossible to pass another car, let alone a tractor...we followed the route on the map which was telling us the way to Buncrana was over the Mamore Gap...fair enough you might think, just up and over a mountain...well, when you're not even sure what you are driving on is even a road anymore and all the road signs have been shot, the only other living thing is a sheep, (and he was useless at directions!) and you are climbing a very windy hillside at a 45 degree angle, with a wall of rock either side...well, i gave up, i couldnt even look, the Mamore gap is as creepy as shit!!  When we did eventually get to the top, we probably should have stopped for the view, but both agreed it felt like something out of 'The Hills Have Eyes!!' and then.........we saw the statues of Padre Pio and The Virgin Mary, well that was it, we cacked ourselves and put the pedals down and got the hell off that mountain....everyone we've spoke to about it since coming home doesnt get it, they said its beautiful and the views are outstanding....well, when you're terrified,like we were all you wanna do is get the frig outta there!  Buncrana was a bit of a sad site, a seaside town past its glory, besides the weather had taken a change for the worse so we headed back to Greencastle and the safety of our wee cottage, lit the fire and nipped out for a fish supper and some beers and settled down to watch the telly....and finished off the bottle of Rum!  :)

 On Sunday morning, after a huge Ulster Fry, we decided to go for a walk along the road outside the cottage.  Then it was back to pack and head for the ferry home....


Diomoglass said...

Oh, that looks so lovely. Lucky you! Hope my trip to the coast next week looks like that!

Kellie said...

cheers Susan...would have blown the head off ya, but sure, a cosy wee fire a nd a few beers soon warms ye up!! ;) enjoy your trip next week, best wishes xx

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