Today is another one of those “Driving Days” you might have on holiday. Where you spend more time sitting in the car traveling than you do being out and about exploring. Nevertheless, we knew we had a few highly recommended places along the drive, so we weren’t too worried.
First stop along the way was Sligo. We had been told that there was a music festival in town ending later that day, as well as just being a fun town to explore. That being said, we were rather disappointed when we drove through a decently sized section and there was not much going on. We saw a sign saying Strandhill (which I knew to be a beach) and decided to head that way and see what was happening there. As soon as we reached the water, we saw dozens of surfers, all shapes, sizes and ages going out on the waves. Sure enough, we had walked right past a shack that was actually a surf school. Given more time and the opportunity, I might have taken a crack at it considering I have never been surfing before. But alas, that will have to be saved for another time. My parents and I took our time walking up the dunes and down the beach, collecting shells and rocks and other things we found to be interesting. I am a little bit of a child that way. I could sit on a beach playing in the sand for hours, picking as many beautiful rocks as I could find, and building stone cairns as I went. And when I say hours, I do mean I could have spent all day on that beach, and we only went maybe a few hundred feet from the point where we walked off the dunes to the shore.
After putting waaaaaaay to many (and too large of) rocks in our pockets, we loaded back into the car to head towards Donegal. Donegal is an area of Ireland that my mother has really wanted to see, and luckily enough, we had heard from one of the other ladies staying at our Airbnb in Westport that there was another set of cliffs off the coast outside of Donegal that were worth a trip. What she failed to mention was how long of a walk it was to the cliffs, or how you could actually drive to them (if you felt like braving the winding, narrow roads). Since we did not know these things, talking a walk back to the cliffs seemed like a good idea. So we walked. And kept walking. And did some more walking. It took nearly an hour to walk all the way back to the cliffs with the way we were all stopping to take photos. It was a deceptive path too, because every time you would come to a curve in the road, you would expect to see the cliffs just around the bend, and then nope! More walking! But to be honest, it was not a bad walk. The path was a paved road all the way up to a small parking lot at the top. Plus, mom and dad were having a blast taking pictures and taking in the views from off the cliffs so it ended up being well worth the trip, which they both stated themselves multiple times today. Just a few short hours later, we arrived at our Airbnb in Bushmills. We lucked out with this location, each of us having our own rooms, multiple baths, and a kitchen free for us to use as we pleased. That was very exciting since we have all grown rather tired of eating out for the last two weeks. I, for one, am very excited to be spreading out in my own full sized bed tonight where I can toss and turn as I please without having to bother with ear plugs to drown out dad’s snoring. Sorry dad. I love you, but you really do snore something fierce. Here is to a goodnight’s rest to get ready for a lot of walking!