Our Holidays 2016 started here: Antrim Coast & Glens.
And we also went to the NorthWest 200.
For our second week our destination was Donegal, where we took some rest and enjoyed a few ride-outs with the bikes.
We had booked a selfcatering for the whole week in Falcarragh, co. Donegal. It’s a small village but with everything necessary (shops, cafes, pubs, restaurantes…). The house was outside of the village but close enough and within walking distance (by day).
We had most days of very nice weather, and a few with rain. The rainy days were spent resting and reading in the living room with beautiful views…
We went for 3 spins on the bikes during the week:
The “national roads” are quite in good condition and very pleasant with the bikes, with some nice twisties and everything to enjoy a motorbike spin. The secondary roads can be quite bumpy for our sport bikes, but if you take your time, you can enjoy them anyway with any kind of bike. The landscapes are amazing, with turf fields all around, mountains and seaviews. If I had to compare with somewhere else I’d say it is much like the Connemara but with more houses around (but it’s still very rural!).
Bloody Foreland Parking
This year Ireland was commemorating 100 years of the Easter Rising, and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, which led to the Irish Independence in 1922 and the separation in 2 of the island of Ireland.
In Memory of the victims of the Great Famine
The second ride-out was to go down to see the famous Slieve League cliffs.
They are not as famous as the Cliffs of Moher in co. Clare, but they are not less nice either, and for sure they are less touristic.
We took the N56 down, the road is mint, except for some roadworks that were on to retarmac at one point, which would cause traffic jam. So I guess next year it will be perfect! We took that road down to Killybegs and then the R263 to Carrigan Head. There is a carpark where you can park and proceed walking, as there is a fence for cows and sheeps, BUT you can open the fence and proceed with the bike (or car) up to the end of the road, on the cliffs themselves where there is some room to park. Just make sure you close the fence after you.
If you decide to go up walking, it is very nice also, but not quite practical with the motorbike gear on, so it is better to go to the end with the bikes (unlike ourselves, although I had read that we could take the bikes to the end on the very useful website www.roadtrooper.com we didn’t follow the advice, and we would have arrived to the cliffs a little bit less tired… ). At the end of the road, there is a truck with some refreshments and icecreams. We had brought our sandwiches, so we just bought some cans and later treated ourselves with a nice icecream in the sun with beautiful views…
The cliffs are beautiful, the sun was shining and we also had some amazing views over the rest of the coastline and several surrounding islands. I had a short walk up the cliffs. The walk proceeds further up but I went back soon as I was already tired with the first part of the walk and also because the temperature varied 10 degrees every time a cloud would get passed the sun…
So we went back to the bikes after enjoying the cliffs, and took the R263 again and then on the left in Carrick, to Glencolumbkill, and then the R230 that brings you back to the N56 just before Ardara. That part of the itinerary was not ideal for our bikes as it was quite bumpy. Though the landscapes around were amazing, particularly when going over the Valley that can be seen from Glengesh Pass.
The third ride-out was to go to Horn Head, which is a short way from Falcarragh, the weather that day started quite cloudy and we didn’t feel like going for a long spin…
The last part is quite bumpy, but the landscapes are beautiful, with green and brown fields and mountains that drown into the ocean.
We had some time to enjoy the view, come back and stop in Dunfahagany for lunch, and after lunch it started to rain..
The last “spin” was actually a walk down to Falcarragh beach. Unfortunately I didn’t take the camera, the sun was shining and this beach is just amazing, with beautiful views to Tory Island from a white sand beach and sand dunes covered with grass. We will have to come back…
After one week enjoying co. Donegal, on 22nd of May it was time to go back home. Just when we were ready to go, it started to rain… So we waited for a while until it rained less, and went. All the way down we had a mix of showers and sun, and also some hail… and for sure more than one rainbows…
In the last filling station close to Portlaoise, my bike stalled. It looked like the battery had enough. A nice lad helped us pushing to start it again…
After some more rain, we finally got home around 8pm, quite tired with the tension of riding in the rain. Juan put my bike in the garage and we heard some “clong” and some bike part fell on the ground… It was the counterweight of the right handlebar :O
But at least we had arrived!!!