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Published: August 12th 2006
Hi, everybody, how's life?
As you can see, I have been traveling through northern ireland by now, and although the weather was crap/irish, we got to see a fair bit of what the north has to offer.
Starting from belfast international airport, where I picked up my dad and also a very nice little rent-a-dent, we travelled thru poring rain to the city of Derry.
Ofcourse that was shit, considering we couldn't really get out of our car unless we wanted to get absolutely soaked.
And so, we drove onwards along the north coast. The rain stopped just now and then, long enough to jump out the car and have a wee puff, but even then, the scenery was already getting very good.
Huge cliffs and a very rough sea provided us with some needed photo opportunities.
That evening very late, after a dinner of salmon in ballycastle, we headed to our B&B on kinbane head (recomended!), right across from Rathlin island.
The next morning, with the weather not looking very promising, we set out after a big irish breakfast. (we didn't like the black pudding)
First stop was the famous carrick-a-rede rope bridge, but because the wind was too
strong, they closed it. Apparently so, if you did go on, "the wind would probably pick you up like a match stick and drop you somewhere in scotland", iIwas told.
Not far from there, we visited the much talked about GIANT CAUSEWAY.
By some strange force of nature (a slow process of the cooling of lava), the coastline has produced hexagon-shaped rocks, wich gives a very strange look about the place.
(well, it would have, if it wasn't for the other 250 tourists who were all trying to make exactly the same photo)
But I have to be honest, the coastline around there is absolutely amazing.
After all this, we turned back the way we came and headed east, along the scenic drive.
A little stopover in cushendall, and some road-searching later, we arrived at the carpark of Glenariff forest park, for a walk in the woods. We very much enjoyed the falls, although they are not very spectacular, and lucky as we were, we only got a wee bit wet, thanks to the abundance of trees who gave us shelter for the (grrrrr) rain.
In a place called BALLYGALLEY, we found a very nice little harbour, and when
the sun found a tiny hole in the clouds to shine upon us, we even got ourselves a pretty good photo of what seems to me, some real irish scenery.
In Belfast, knowing my way around a bit after my previous visit, I showed my dad some of the famous murals, and I have to say, they did a very good job on them.
After a meal at the gateway to india, in Downpatrick, we drove on to Kilkeel for the night in another bed & breakfast. The next moring, after being advised by the owners of the B&B, formerly known as fisherman, we had a look at the local harbour were we actually got to see some seals swimming around the fishingboats.
So that was allright. Because the weather was still crap, we decided not to go up the Mourne mountains as planned, but drive to the so-called silent valley, 2 big reservoirs for a continuous water supply for belfast, also located in the mourne mountains.
We walked from one reservoir to the other (3 miles) and got picked up by a bus on the way back. A strange sort of overrun-bowl, was fixed in one corner
of the reservoir, hence the black hole photo.
By then we were sort of lost for what to do and where to go next, seeing the weather kept on being shite, so we decide to visit a structure in craigmore.
A viaduct, still used today for the train from belfast to dublin, made out of bricks with 18 arches, quite a sight.
At that time we learned about the airport troubles on the news, and some calls had to be made to check if flights were leaving the next day for my dad to return home.
By then, (miracles do exist) the weather had cleared up a bit, enough to decide to drive to Newcastle and do at least a bit of the walk up Slieve Donard, the highest peak of the Mournes.
Somehow my dad and I got seperated during the walk, (maybe I ran too fast?) so i just went down again along the glen river track to wait for my dad.
After about half an hour or so, he comes walking up to me, and tells me he's been way up, much further then I have!
(AAArrghh) I will have to go back again to
Unfortunately, thanks to 50-knot winds, the ropebridge was closed.
beat his record.
(nice going anyway, dad)
By then, it was time for us to head to the farm, to show him around and have a meal with the family.
Ofcourse we left way too late, so after quite an adventurous drive, we arrived at the airport 1 minute before 10 o'clock, that's 1 minute before the car had to be brought back.
On arrival at the hostel in belfast, we were told to walk to another building, also owned by the hostel, where we would find our room.
This was quite unique, coz the building was nearly empty, so we could have brought anybody!!!
Having no alarmclock, my dad arranged for us to be called on the mobile at 6 o'clock the next morning by his wife, who was in holland.
But unfortunately, we all forgot about the 1 hour time difference, so the mobile phone was ringing at 5 in the morning!!!!!
By now, my dad has safely made it back home, with only a minor delay, and i am back to work again.
Hopefully, in the near future, i will have some days off again, to have another go at climbing the mourne mountains, or
i might even take a trip across the water to scotland.....
For now, i wish you all the best, and take care.
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