Saturday 27 August 2016
27.08.2016 - 27.08.2016 19 °C
Here we are back in euro territory again. We crossed the border this afternoon just north of Derry. Our day started cloudy but we had no rain all day. Our host at Honeysuckle Lodge hugged us goodbye (she does that to all her guests) and we were off with a list of instructions as to how to walk to the Giant’s Causeway and avoid paying £18. We needed to do some laundry, having not done any since John O’Groats. We googled laundromats in Portrush and off we headed. I had forgotten that it was Saturday and the girl said they could not do it as they shut at 1pm. However, a nice man took pity on us and overrode that decision and said he would do it. Washing deposited, we headed off to the Giant’s Causeway.
Driving east, we came across the ruins of Dunluce Castle. It seems like it is being repaired in one spot. It sits right on the cliff face of the ocean. We didn’t go in as we were going to the Giant’s Causeway. Originally the locals and visitors could access the Giant’s Causeway so they are not pleased that this huge structure, the Visitor’s Centre, has been built and they now try to prevent people from walking down there without paying. Valerie had written a list of instructions like no other which was great. If we had have had another night, there it would have been great as it meant walking by the sea and then around to the GC. We had to be back at the laundromat by 1pm so we had about one and a half hours to get there and back. Once parked we headed into the centre and paid our money which gave us tickets for headsets. We started walking and listened to the headset as we went. There has been some serious geological action in this area and while the commentator talked about tectonic plates and glaciers, he also told the mythological stories about the giant. It pointed out various shapes one had to imagine – the camel, grandma, giant’s boot. One section was quite steep so it was puff time. We did make it to the end of the path and it was turn around and walk like the you know what’s back to the visitor’s centre. We didn’t go up to the headland – the steps to it were enough to turn anyone off.
We made it in time to collect the washing - £16.50 thank you very much – but it was worth it to have clean clothes. I had neglected to mention last night that we had dinner at the Royal Hotel that sits atop a beach near Portrush. As we pulled up I commented to Ross that it looked like a golf course below us but it was difficult to see with the sun setting. He said he thought it would be Royal Portrush and of course he was correct. We called in to see if there was any chance of getting a hit but being the weekend, it was impossible.
Next best thing to do was to drive to Bushmill and find the whiskey distillery, the oldest in Ireland. We didn’t do a tour but had a scone, jam and a cup of tea at the restaurant. On our way out I asked if the tasting was free and the young guy said it wasn’t except for a taste of the original drink. So Ross had a bit of that. The young chap, Chris, started having a good chat to Ross and before long, he had a free Black Rush for free. Chris asked which one he preferred and because he said he liked the first one he said that the 21-year-old would probably be to his liking. Back in the gift shop the decision was made and we now have a bottle of the latter to carry home. Ross was then able to go back to Chris and he was able to “taste” what he had bought and it was served in a glass not a plastic sipper!!
Now, as you could imagine, there was no way I was going to let him drive so I got to have my first drive of the new rental car. We tried to ignore Suri and make our own journey so that we could go by the coast. We didn’t do too badly. We eventually found the B&B at Burnfoot which was no easy feat as we had no street address. It is about 2 kilometres outside the town, on the side of the hill and in the distance, one could see Derry.
As it was only 4.30, I thought it would be a good idea to take a drive to the most northerly point of Ireland, Malin Head, via the east coast of the peninsula. We managed to arrive before dark and it was quite cold, about 16 degrees. The actual point is quite rugged but the water was very calm. The area was used during the war to monitor ship movement etc. Now getting there took longer than expected as Suri kept wanting to take us on these back tracks. She succeeded at one stage and it was hilarious as we were on this one-way track which ran past these people’s house. They were out the front and the look they gave us was unbelievable. It was if they were wondering what the heck were we doing there. We waved politely and continued bouncing along over hill and dale until we finally found the main road again. We actually found some thatched roofed houses today.
I was determined to find our way back to Burnfoot without going on the back tracks so we headed off but down the west coast this time. It was getting late so we found a place that looked like it would have some meals. I asked the lady what the name of the town was as we really didn’t know where we were. It turned out that we only had a ten- minute drive to Burnfoot after dinner. Back at the B&B, we marvelled at the view to the lights of Derry in the distance.