First hill of the year in NI was a rather easy hike up up with some great views, you could see Sugar Loaf to the south of Dublin all the way up to the Mournes with the sea in between. There was a large bronze age cairn at the top. Afterwards we stumbled upon a shrine to St Bridget whic apparently is the female version of St Patrick to the Irish. Then went on to a beach in Carlingford overlooking the Mourne mountains
Westport to Achill island part 1
And the last few pics taken in a little bay near Keel. Great views of the cliffs, a beautiful sandy beach and the mountains behind you.
Westport to Achill island part 2
Croagh Patrick dominates the bay between Westport and Newport. It is were St Patrick did a stint being a hermit. There is still a little building on the top, don’t know whether that is the original one though. Definately have to climb that one day.
The bay and Achill island are a beautiful mixture between impressive cliffs and mountains and lush little islands, the best of both worlds.
Westport to Achill island part 1
Friday we went west again and picked up were we left of in Westport some time ago. There was so much to see that I feel it deserves multiple posts. The first is about the houses and buildings we saw. The tower was owned by the pirate queen Grace and is just north of Newport
Cushendall to Whitehead - Northern Ireland
Another day and another day trip, we picked up were we left off last tine in NI and drove south. A very beautiful drive along the coast with some beautiful cliffs and nice little harbours. We closed the day of in Portaferry.
Portstewart to Cushendal - Northern Ireland
Roadtrip to Northern Ireland starting in Portstewart. There was an airshow in Portrush so we could see the planes doing loopings in formation, unfortunately this also meant it was quite busy in the area. Then onto Dunluce castle which is well worth a visit, it stands on the edge of a cliff and apparently the kitchen dropped down into the sea when it was still in use.
The Giant’s causeway was a bit disappointing as it was very busy. The rope bridge island we skipped as well for the same reason. We visited some lovely little harbours afterward and ended the day at a beautiful valley at the bottom of a cliff.
Dungarvan to Roche Point
Another day trip to the south of Ireland, we went from Dungarvan where we had left of to Roche Point which is close to Cork. It was a beautiful day and it was very quiet everywhere now that the holidays are over. Some great beaches, ports and towns. Ireland at it’s best (so far)
Nameless peaks in between Tonelagee and Mullaghcleevaun
I went hiking again today in the middle of the Wicklows. I did two nameless hills in between Tonelagee and Mullaghcleevaun. The hike was about 7 km’s climbing from 400 mtrs to 780 mtrs high. Great weather and a nice hike.
Various in Dublin
Today was buy my kayaking stuff day. We started of at the Grand Canal Dock to buy a wet suit. We then decided to go to the pier that shields the harbor at the Liffey river. It is very long with great views from Howth down to Dalkey and some beautiful lighthouses. (I am always a sucker for those) Then we had a nice Thai lunch outside in Dun Laoghaire. We picked up the rest of the gear including a sit on top kayak. Then quickly to Loughshinny for a quick paddle before darkness. The best first trip ever……..I found a group of about twenty seals lounging on the rocks with the low water.
Wexford to Hook Head
Another road trip today. Beautiful weather throughout which is a nice change after all the rain this summer. We started out the day by an unexpected pilgrimage, we spotted an old building and decided to have a look at it. It turned out to be an ancient and still going place of pilgrimage.
Then we followed the coast down to Hook Head and up the estuary to Waterford while stopping at as many beaches and harbors as usual. This area is on the south of Ireland and felt a lot greener and lusher, also the villages and buildings were more traditional Irish. (loads of thatch cottages)
Kayaking in Howth
I have been thinking about buying a kayak and to test whether I would like it I went on a 2,5 hrs beginners course in Howth Harbor last night. After some basics and trying things out we went across to Ireland’s Eye which is an island in the bay there. We landed there and then headed back passing a group of seals (one of them came up right in front of my kayak) On return to the harbor we did some rescue exercises in the harbor. Best 55 euro’s ever spent with Shearwater kayaking. Going again next week for a follow up course.
(for obvious reasons I didn’t have my camera so I ‘borrowed’ the pics from other sites)
Slieve Foye next to Carlingford
Finally went hiking again, I thought I would start easy and picked Slieve Foye which is about 540 mts high on the Northern Ireland border next to the lovely old village of Carlingford. It wasn’t as easy as I thought with quite a few steep areas and very rocky compared to the Wicklows. I got back down again completely nackered after 5,5 hrs. Very beautiful though and one of my favorites with great views: the Mournes mountains across the Lough in Northern Ireland, Carlingford and the Lough, and views all the way down to Dublin.
Northern Ireland - Ardglass to Bangor
Yesterday we went to Northern Ireland again picking up where we left off after our last trip in county Down. We started in the harbour of Ardglass and then tracked the coast up to Bangor and drove down again along the Strangford Lough.
Great trip though the northern part of the coast gets progressively less interesting as you near Bangor. We took the ferry between Strangford and Portaferry where we found bags full of seaglass and pottery shards.
On the way back we drove down the Lough where we went to the ruins of a 6th century monastery on the top of a hill on an island.
We took advantage of the first sunny day in weeks to go up the coast a bit. We started of in Balbriggan which has a nice little harbor but not much else. We had a beer overlooking the harbor and the big bridge and then went to dinner in Skerries where there was a motorcycle meet.
In Monasterboice there is a small and old graveyard with some of the highest celtic crosses in Ireland. You can also find the ruins of an old church and one of those towers they used for storage and fleeing from enemies there.