Since this is NOT a hiking trip, I booked a guide to lead me along the coastal path. Paul was a quietly congenial man who guides during the season, has a “minor job,” and enjoys his free time otherwise. He proposed a route from Dunseverick Castle to the Giant’s Causeway, a distance of about five miles along clifftops and up and down. It was spectacular.
The wind! Words cannot describe the force of the wind, not during the whole hike, but on high unprotected points it was so high and wild that we had to hang on to the wires you can see along the edge.
But you really need to see the photos, which may need to wait until I’m back in the land of good wifi. The views were unbelievable: we could see Scotland (mostly Islay), churning water below steep cliffs, did I mention steep cliffs?, a few birds and lots of wildflowers. Fulmar, black-backed gulls, gannets, cow parsley, two kinds of heather (bell heather and ling), herb Robert, eye-bright, thistle, scabious, and on and on. Of course, a month or so ago we would have seen much more, but this was a delight.
Did I mention the wind? It was so fierce that I was very grateful it was blowing inland. Otherwise, I’m sure we would both have been blown out to sea. It reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder – was it The Big Snow when they had to tie themselves to ropes to make their way from the house to the barn? It was like that, but without snow. Wow.
And it ended at the Giant’s Causeway, which we approached via the steep Shepherd’s Path that switchbacks down from the cliffs to the water. Paul took a seat while I explored the hexagonal basalt stones and watched the waves curl against the shore. I drove him back from the pub to our starting point, and we parted ways with expressions of thanks for a good morning out. And no rain!