Peck's personal Web site
north of Ireland, April 2007
2006-2007 spent waiting around for winter
(and Northern Ireland) in the springtime
may not find this tangibly 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.
Leagh, Rathmullan, and Fanad Head
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 out our expedition upwards.
motored from Donegal and through Killybegs to get here, and we're not turning
back because of a little bit of inclement weather.
little loch not far above the car park, as we're expecting the weather to clear
out any moment now.
view of the Bunglas carpark, and you can tell that the sun is trying its damnedest
to blast out upon us . . . any moment now.
worry the slightest. The sunshine is coming along . . . any moment now."
in fact, the wind is picking up quite a bit.
hurtling along the seaside ridges now, with the Slieve Leagh up there on the upper
left, but the windspeeds are not auspicious.
in full dash summitwards before the weather goes wrongways on us all in a whoop.
in a foot race now with fog and drizzle and a cool wind from off the sea.
STILL no improvements up in the summit area. But we're confident of an abrupt
change in the weather. Any moment now.
change in the weather, but not for the better. We've lost the trail now and are
in her hiking sandals, which "let the feet breathe", wondering what's
next. With "Joe" drooping.
looking for the lee side of the hill
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.
you are, back we go, but . . .
way is back? (Keep the ocean on your right.)
at last in the carpark, on a rainy day in Donegal.
our ridgeline up there. Funnily enough, we can see it better from here than when
we were there.
reading The Guardian in The Water's Edge in Rathmullan, with Inch Island across
Lough Swilly on the far side.
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 -- just look at this view from the diningroom.
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.
breakfast room in the morning, and dining room in the evening. Just like the Holiday
Inn in Norman, Oklahoma, or Ashland, Ohio, it's popular with large wedding groups,
graduation parties, and birthdays for octogenarians, but over several nights we
always had a quiet corner for ourselves.
view from The Water's Edge, at low tide, obviously, as we are taking our leave.
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.
Flight of the Earls Museum was closed for renovation, so of course Kristin tried
for a sneak peek over the walls.
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.
rocks interspersed among the sandy beach, Portsalon, 16 April 2007
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.
at Ballymastocker Bay, trying to cope with having to return our hired automobile
and leave Ireland soon.
need to get a move on, if we're going to make Belfast International Airport in
time to catch the EasyJet.
just got time, on the way to the Belfast airport but still out on Fanad Head,
to view this stupendous sea arch.
the surrounding beachfront.
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
probably you'll get it.
lighthouse at Fanad Head
chance Marconi's been here, you think? We're still collecting our Marconi-spotting
much as I'm devoted to my battered VW "Gunther", 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.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 11 May 2007, revised 30 March