Derry to Donegal – Visual overload….
Laura, the hotel receptionist at our two night stop hotel, wished us all a loving good bye while we all wished that Laura was coming along with us for the rest of the tour. From the moment that we arrived in the hotel to the very last second that we saw her in our mirrors, we all thought the world of her. There is not a hotel in this world that has a lovelier, more caring and charming hotel receptionist than Laura!
From the lovely Laura to riding along the WAW (Wild Atlantic Way), today was off to an amazing start and only getting better mile after mile.
There are signs directing travellers along the WAW as you make your way through Ireland and while they certainly direct you in the right direction, they don’t give you any indication of just how stunning the next few miles of coast, rolling hills, beaches or cliffs are going to be. Ballymastocker Strand was our first group photo of the day with what is known as one of the worlds most beautiful beaches being in the background.
We continued along the coast to Fanad Head light house before stopping at a small local bar along the coast where we were served by the owner – he had only been there for 33 years… Great coffee and cookies, while listening to stories about the area made for a great time off of the bikes.
A few twists and turns along small farm and single track roads took us through several farm lands with sheep and cattle on the road but there is another type of ‘farming’ that is a little more unique to Ireland and Scotland – peat farming. Peat is made up of decayed vegetation and organic materials which is found in moors, peatlands or bogs. The peat is farmed from the ground, dried and then used as fuel/burnt for heating. The smoke from peat is also used to ‘falovor’ whiskeys in Scotland and Ireland.
Slieve League Cliffs (Gaelic for Silver Cliffs) turned out to be the highlight stop of the day. The steep 1,800ft cliffs are extremely impressive from any angle and we were fortunate enough to see them while the sun was shining high about the ocean.