Thursday, July 25, 2013

It takes a long time to ride around Donegal #100corners

I have completed a ride around the coast of Donegal which took two and a half days to do. Setting out from Dunfanaghy at about 09.00, I crossed the border into Derry at Muff eleven hours later. In between I had seen fantastic beaches, though there are so many of them that it does get a bit monotonous after a while just looking at them. I stopped at Doe Castle near Creeslough though it is disappointing not to be allowed enter the castle. I crossed over Mulroy Bay on the Harry Blaney bridge and rode to Fanad Head and its lightnouse at the end. I could see Malin Head across Lough Swilly. It is a long ride around through Letterkenny where there was a torrential rain shower. I went into the Errigal Hotel for lunch and to sit out the rain. I had thought about giving up and coming back another day to ride the Inishowen Peninsula, but thanks to I could see that the band of rain would soon pass and I decided to keep going.

The most interesting part of the ride up the western side of Ininshowen was at Drumree Fort where there is a museum in the old fort and barracks that still stands here. Lots of old guns and tools for fixing them are well laid out - this is a most interesting location nand was well worth the break to see. I alos passed through the fantastic Mamore Gap and Amazing Grace country. I reached Malin Head at 6 o'clock and had a nice expresso served from a van located there in this, the most northerly point in Ireland. It's much like the dozens of other heads and points that I had stopped at on both this trip and my ride from Dublin to Sligo via the south coast last year.

After Malin Head I set out for Inishowen Head after which I enjoyed the coast road down towards Derry. After this it was time to head for Dublin, though a diversion through Armagh was required because the N2 was closed at Augnacloy. After so much riding on winding narrow roads, I let the bike rip on the M1 to get home to thunder and lightening over Dublin.

I had only ever been to Donegal on two occasions before: once for a diving trip to Mulroy Bay, and once to visit Kate in the Gaeltacht . It is a beautiful county, and I'm sure there are many beautiful sights and places of interest inland from the coast. But riding the coast is a great way to see this county, which is bedecked in green and yellow flags in support of the current All-Ireland football champions.

Looking northwards at Malin Head.

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