I’m going to backtrack to Saturday, my 2nd Saturday in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal.
It was a very nice day, with partly sunny skies which is awesome for Ireland.
I decided to make
The drive around Rosguill Peninsula. It’s not far at all from Dunfanaghy and the loop drive is short as well.
Barbara, here at The Whins, described it as a bit of a roller coaster drive and she was right.
But what great fun — at least on a good weather day.
I drove out some familiar roads as the beginning drive to Carrickart is the same as driving out to Fanad Head Lighthouse.
But then it splits and it’s decidedly different.
There are lots of holiday homes in the first part after the split. But then it becomes more rural Ireland-like with sheep grazing in the fields.
Then … then
You come to a rise in the road and see the Atlantic Ocean.
Then you come to another curve in the road and see the waves pounding the rocks.
Then you climb up a hill and get views that take your breath away — the surf pummeling the rocky coastline, the blue-green waters of the Atlantic stretching out to forever, and the cliffs of Horn Head to the west, back toward Dunfanaghy.
As you leave the overlook you’ll drive up and down more roller coaster roads and see more stunning coastline.
And then you’ll stop at the Singing Pub.
Cause you have to. You were told to.
It’s an old thatch-roofed pub with a peat fire and an old wooden interior. I had a half pint here, simply because you have to. I sat inside for a bit, chatting with the young man at the bar whose grandfather owned the place.
But it was nice outside so I sat outside and chatted with Paula and Carol (I think it was Carol) from Belfast. Paula has a holiday home in Downings, one of the main towns in the area. Lots of folks from Belfast and “the North” (Northern Ireland) come to Donegal for their holidays. Many have holiday homes here. I’ve learned this over the past couple of weeks.
Anyway, they were incredibly nice ladies and told me more about the area. The locals are so friendly.
After finishing my baby Guinness I drove back toward Dunfanaghy, but I wanted to make a stop to get a nice walk in. The day was still beautiful.
So I stopped at Ards Friary where there are coastal and forest walks.
I walked along the coast first and took in the lovely beach with the Derryveagh Mountains of Donegal and the Rosguill Peninsula in the background. I turned around at a point and then saw another little sandy beach, more in a cove. Beautiful!
It was here that I was about to head down a hill that I met 2 ladies and an old man. Liz, Elaine and Nole who was Elaine’s father and Liz’s uncle (at least I think that’s correct). They were all from Dunfanaghy originally, but the ladies now live in Dublin. But it was Easter weekend so they were visiting dad/uncle and having some family fun in Donegal. We chatted a bit and then I went on for more walking and they went on their way.
I walked a bit into the forest area (where I am hoping to head today as the weather is breaking). It’s a beautiful park with easy walks.
I retraced my steps back along the coast as it was just too beautiful not to. I took a lot of photos!
As I drove back to The Whins, I had that feeling of “what a great day.”
But it wasn’t over.
Because of the holiday, Dunfanaghy was packed. So I found myself back at Arnold’s Hotel in the Whiskey Fly Bar for dinner. I barely found a bar stool and had just ordered my meal.
Then I looked and there was Elaine. then Liz then Nole, coming into the bar for a drink.
I jumped off my bar stool and went over to say hi.
And, being Irish, they invited me to join them. They had eaten dinner. No, it was fine that I was going to eat in front of them.
So I hung out with them for the rest of the evening, meeting Liz’s husband and their 3 kids and Elaine’s daughter.
It was great fun having chats about Dunfanaghy, Donegal, life, politics, travel … even Nole at 90 was very sharp. We had a fun chat about US politics!
As I walked back to my room that night, late for me at almost 11:30, I said to myself, “Now that was a perfect day!”