Earlier this year, around about March, I made a New Year’s Resolution to get around Ireland a bit more. You read that right – it was March. It usually takes me a few months to decide on a resolution or ten. Don’t judge – I’ve accepted my tendency to want to ‘boil the ocean’, as a friend so perfectly described it once.
I could do much better with that resolution, but there’s time yet. And intent – there’s a roadtrip on the cards with the Thelma to my Louise. Or is she the Louise to my Thelma. I guess as long as she doesn’t drive is off a cliff, it doesn’t make much difference.
I have made some effort though. A few weeks ago I went ‘up north’. Specifically to the Co. Antrim coastline. More specifically, the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede, not to mention some incredible coastline in between!
Everyone knows the Irish weather can be a bit temperamental. If there were ten seasons instead of four, it’d still manage to cram all of those seasons into one day.
The usual refrain is that we need the rain to keep things green. We do get sun too – find a farmer and you’ll find he has a decent farmer’s tan by the end of the summer. And sometimes we get exactly the weather we need to show off our incredible scenery in all it’s glory.
The weather we had in Antrim was blustery to say the least. Not gale force winds, but far from a gentle breeze. With that wind came choppy seas and a whole level of drama that made the coastline far more engaging than a calm sunny day ever could!
The Giant’s Causeway is an area of interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Or … Fionn MacCumhaill ripped chunks of the cliffs off to create a path to Scotland so he could go fight a rival Scottish giant.
Then add some choppy seas.
Naturally I had to walk right out to the very edge. It’s not an easy walk. It’s not a perfectly paved ledge we’re talking about. There’s some climbing involved, there’s some walking at funny angles that are definitely anything big ladylike, and with some rain, there’s some slipping going to happen too! I was in my element. My mother (who was with me) hadn’t a nail left! Someone who’s a bit accident-prone, on something like the Causeway … but no bones broken, happily!
The cobwebs between the ears though, they didn’t fare so well. Completely blown way, those were!
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
There’s a bit of a daredevil in me. I grew up around lots of boys. I tended to spend more time with my head in a book, but I still managed to catch some of the daredevil from them.
So the idea of a narrow rope bridge, suspended over rocks and water and liable to move a bit with the wind … well, it appealed. What if I fell to my death? Well, if you’re going to go, wouldn’t it be some story. ‘Sorry, she won’t be coming back to work as she fell to her death from a rope bridge between two cliffs.’ I think my work crew would probably not be surprised! But I shouldn’t joke about it, should I!
Right, here’s the shocker. I was disappointed. It’s a very short bridge. Just 20 metres! Okay, for a good people, that’d be 19.999 metres too long. But I’d happily have done 200 metres on it.
After the initial disappointment though, it’s not too shabby at all. Better when you look down! Rocks! Lots of them. Not geometrically perfect like the Giant’s Causeway – these are the sharp angry kind of rocks! Don’t look down, a woman in front of me advised the teen she was with. I was dying to shout at them both to look down, for the love of all that is holy, and don’t be doing things by halves! I kept quiet though, don’t worry!
When you get to the other side of the bridge … well the camera simply HAS to come out. Remember if was a bit of a rough day, weather wise? This is what you get …