Friday, August 20, 2010

A Girl in Tipperary sang my song of Killybegs.

Boats in the harbor at Killybegs.

Thanks to The Chieftans' song we had heard of Killybegs, a thriving seaport, with huge shipbuilding and repair facilities, and lots of fresh fish.  Killybegs supplies fish to Ireland and the UK.  The town is built on a hillside rising out of the bay.  The tide was out when we arrived in mid-morning, with the fishing and tour boats gone for the day.  An abundance of tourists; so very different from the North.  (Maybe it's the random  pipebombs and police station bombings that keep them in the South?)  We walk the main streets and wharf area, then we are on to Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe.

Boat on the hard getting worked on.  It's a lot bigger than it appears.

Fishing boats and sail boats.

Our map is in kilometers, but we are still thinking in miles from having lived in the North, so we pass the turn and end up at Glencolumbkille.  A quite little village nestled in the glen at the edge of the sea.  What a beautiful place to end up by accident!  As we retrace out route through the bogs, Bill has to stop for a picture of the harvesting of the peat.  Very different from cutting firewood. 

Looking down on Glencolumbkille and out to sea.

 Pile o Peat

This time we don't miss the turn in Carrick.  The road is very narrow, but fortunately the tour busses are parked at a gift shop/cafe along the way.  I always hated dodge ball, and dodge bus is even worse!  We come to a full parking lot with a gate, but discover we are allowed to go through the gate and continue on up the hill for 3k.   Now, this road is really, really narrow, and crooked to boot, with long drops on one side and rocks walls on the other.  So what happens?  We meet a tour bus on a corner, with us on the long drop side of the road!  After gathering our wits, we backup so they can squeeze past.  At the end of the road is another parking lot, also full, so, since we are in an Irish car, we just park, trying not to block the way out for anyone.

The wind is howling, but the sun is shining.  The views are indescribable.  Beautiful! Stunning! Spectacular!  Awe inspiring!  You get the idea, but none of them do it justice.  It's a view I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.

We are amazed at the number of people, many of whom have walked the 3k up.  In the distance, there are hikers on the top edge walking the trail back to Glencolumbkille.  After taking in our fill of the view, we drive back down the road, this time not meeting a bus.  Whew!  At the gate, I hop out to hold it open, then stay to keep it opened for 2 motorcycle riders from France and a couple for The Netherlands.  Then back to Killybegs for lunch before driving on to Ardara, where we planned to spend the night.
Tile front building in Killybegs.

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