Friday, August 11, 2006

In Donegal

I have arrived in the northern end of the country and have colder, more drizzly weather to match at present. At breakfast this morning in the hostel I was telling an Irishman how cold I was finding it and how I had hauled my good wind jacket out of the bottom of my pack, and he told me this was quite mild!
Yesterday I visited the Catholic shrine of Knock out of curiosity but never really connected with it. I was wearing my sandles as my shoes were still soaked from the day before on Croagh Patrick, and the first thing I did on arrival in Knock was buy a pair of socks to keep my feet warm! My raincoat was still feeling a bit damp from the climb as well, but it gave me some warmth. I spent the day longing for my wind jacket! And the buses were such that I was stuck in Knock for hours - not my best day's planning!
Yesterday evening was the first evening of a Westport music festival. I had seen the stage being erected over several days down by the river, and clearly a lot of organisation has gone into this free event. I got there in time to hear most of the "warm up" act. An American act was supposed to follow, a well-known men's group from way back.... but they were well over half an hour late. Ihe Irish crowd were incredibly patient, and I could imagine the crowd would have all sung "Why are we waiting?" at home, and then left when the act did not appear. Who knows what the hold-up was, but I hope the organisers don't have to endure such a wait again.
This morning I caught the bus from Westport to Donegal town. The countryside north of Westport was rolling and green and very beautiful. As we approached Sligo it became flatter across to the sea view. Then north of Sligo there were some hills/ ranges apparent in gaps in the mist and drizzle. I am told this area is very beautiful and I hope to see some of that beauty on a bus tour tomorrow. But being from a mountain province myself, I know that mountains don't always reveal themselves to flash-in-the-pan visitors!


  1. Hi Kiwi,

    Sorry you found the Cliffs a bit disappointing. I was there early June - far fewer tourists by the sound of it.

    Keep going - I'm still reading!


  2. Yes, I am definitely here in peak holiday time. But one of the advantages is that there are extra buses to lots of places in July and August so I can see places I might otherwise decide were too hard to get to. Yesterday's tour of the Hills of Donegal is an example and it was fantastic.