Day two in Donegal started slightly overcast. The abiding memory is waking up sore. All the walking at Glenveagh came back to bite me in the proverbial behind and all I the only reason I managed to roll myself out of bed was the breakfast cut off time of 10am.
Seemed a shame to go all the way to Donegal and not get outside so I had to hit the road not long after consuming the above. It was much warmer out that the previous day. The clouds seemed to have locked in the warmth and I managed to get out of my cardigan for a little bit. I go most places in Ireland with a cardigan – even in summer.
I picked up a Wild Atlantic Way brochure for Donegal at the B&B and decided to drive south west along their red trail. This saw me drive south through Glenties and Ardara towards Glencolmcille (where Oideas Gael host their adult Irish courses, which I’d love to do some day!). Here’s me sitting on a picnic table and the cliffs of road R263! Aside from photo stops, I went straight for the Silver Strand, An Trá Bhán, at Malin Beg.
Silver Stand will forever live in my mind as providing the most disappointing hot chocolate of my life. If there was any chocolate in that cup I will eat my metaphorical hat (it’s a day for metaphors and provers, apparently). I remember it more clearly than the steep flight of stairs I have to de- and ascend to get to the sand.
There were a couple of families milling about at the bottom of the cliff, enjoying their picnics. The cliffs form little niches so each family could have natural privacy from the others. I felt like an intruder traipsing by with my backpack. Wearing trainers on the beach. What lunacy!
I did manage to find a lonely rock to plonk myself on and spend a half hour bird watching. Not that I know anything about the birds I saw, but I did indeed watch them!
Back on the red route I pressed on towards the Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) cliffs, which Tiernan thinks are better than the Cliffs of Moher themselves. I didn’t realise that you could drive all the way up to them. So I parked in the bottom car park and walked (because I hadn’t done enough of that already). Day two ended up having just as much walking as day one. I bought a mint choc ice-cream from the cliff top ice cream stand as a reward.
Ultimately, the hazy weather meant nothing was as photogenic as day one. I probably spent as much time driving as I did walking. But I had Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows audiobook playing in the car and I was enjoying it so much that getting out of the car was almost disappointing.
The drive back to Bunbeg was difficult from Slieve League. I was just so tired. Those are the moments when doing a self drive on your own is a challenge. There is no one to share the driving so you can nap! I ducked into a Lidl en route to buy some easy snacks so I wouldn’t have to leave the B&B. Rolling in a half six, I dragged myself to the seat near the window, ate ham and cheese sandwiches and soon fell asleep. Thus – day two!
I need to work out more.