As we went along this coastal route, we started to see more and more Gaelic writing in the towns until the road signs switched over to Gaelic as well. After driving along for a bit, we took a little detour down to a random beach. Twin, of course, got excited about tide pools, and I ran off across some rocks.
We got moving again pretty quickly, as we wanted to have plenty of time to explore the cliffs, and we also still had to drive up to the hostel that night. So, onward to the cliffs we go…
What cliffs am I talking about? Probably not the ones you are thinking of. We hiked along Slieve League (less famous than the Cliffs of Moher, but impressive all the same).
We had a really grand hike. Then we had to make it back past all these sheep in the road towards our next destination.
On our drive we were also lucky enough to see our first Irish rainbow!
This was followed by my first sunset on the ocean, and, let’s be honest, I was barely awake at that point. (So yes, I stole this photo from a friend!)
At long last we finally arrived in the area where our hostel should be. But we couldn’t find it. When we stopped for petrol we asked the man working inside the petrol station if he could tell us where it is. He said it’s just a few blocks down.
Well, we weren’t in the city; it was really more of a highway. Blocks refers to some weird building or section of a building on my campus, so we didn’t really know what that meant. After driving and realizing that we had most certainly passed it we turned around only to find that the hostel was literally the next thing after the petrol station.
Not sure if that’s just how they say it here or if he thought we were really dumb tourists. I think he was making fun of us, though it’s hard to tell. These Irish are an interesting lot.
Anyway, we made ourselves some tortellini for dinner and finally crashed. When we woke up in the morning and looked out the window, we saw that we were actually right at the base of Errigal Mountain. So, after our quick breakfast, we packed up and headed to a nearby car park that Twin had found out about.
The mountain is quite lovely. We also had fantastic weather for climbing it; however, I was not digging the bog at the bottom of the mountain. Stupid me, I only brought one pair of shoes and they were soaked probably not even ten minutes in.
So what do you do when you get fed up with the horrible mud plus shoes equation? Well… this happens:
Yeah, I hiked it barefoot until we got up to the rocks. And happy little Twin just kept going with her waterproof shoes. Note to self: Chucks are not made for the mud. They’re alright for the real mountain hiking, just not the bog.
Once we hit the rocks the climb got much better! It was quite exhausting, but not more than I expected. The temperature was strange though. At first we were hot, and I kept shedding clothes, until finally near the top, I had to start putting them all back on. Except for my feet. I gave up on those and just let them go numb with cold, then everything was all good.
Finally, we did conquer the mountain! It was nice to look down and see how far we had come. It was really interesting to me to think that my body was able to pull myself across the mud and up this massive rock. After reveling in this fact, all that was left was to enjoy the view…
When we had finished at Errigal Mountain we spent some time at Glenveagh National Park. It was a nice place but it wasn’t anywhere near as exciting as the other things we had done that weekend. The castle was interesting, but to be honest, I was more than a little freaked out about the decorations. The deer art reminded me a bit too much of the hunting culture back home.
So that’s my weekend in a nutshell. I have to say that was definitely the best weekend I’ve had since I arrived here. My upcoming four-day trip to Scotland will probably be even better!