Wednesday, June 23, 1999

Malinhead Coast

While staying at Margaret's family home we needed a hike. Just up the road less than 5 miles is the Malinhead Coast line and cliffs. This is the most northern tip of Ireland even though it is technically in Southern Ireland.
A five minute ride in the car up the old narrow field roads brings us to some of the most spectacular beach front and scenery in the world. If this were in a more populated place there would be million dollar homes here, but for now only the cows live here.

We climbed up and down thought the cliffs, posed for some pictures, and had lunch overlooking the North Sea.

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Slieve League Ireland

Here is the plan: We are at the most northern tip of Ireland at Margaret's home and we are out to hike to the top of Slieve Leage the highest sea cliffs in Europe. The cliffs are 595 meters or 1952 feet above a very rock coast of the North Sea located at the Western top edge of Donegal Bay. Its a senic 3 hour drive from where we are staying near Malin Head.  Since we drove here from Holland in our left had drive Volvo V40 we have already had plenty of practice driving on the right hand side of the road on very narrow country roads filled with cows, so this should be no problem (Right!)

After 1st stoping in the quaint tourist town of Donagal. the home town for which the Bay and most of the northern tip of Ireland is named for for lunch and souviner shopping, we arrived at the small car park which is the closest point that you can drive to the top of Slieve League. (Its hard to see the cars in this photo, but there there in the center. Its along way down)

From hiking Ireland

From there we walk to the top. Its a cool 60 degree day with a very stiff south west wind blowing in from the bay.  The trail to the top is not crowded and there are only a couple of cars in the lot other than the tourist bus you can see in the picture. This should take a couple of hours to the top and back. Along the way there is a few rock segments of the trail, but near the top most of the trail is covered by several feet of decomposing heather. This grows every summer and dies leaving a thick layer of soft peat that feels liking walking on a trampoline as you climb to the top.

From hiking Ireland

Remember the stiff wind blowing off the bay? At the top it was more like a gail. At times it was difficult to stand. Check out Margaret as she tries to maintain her balance in the wind.

From hiking Ireland

At the top we stop for a snack, drinks and the obligatory scenic photos: