It’s definitely wet in Northern Ireland and if that puts you off, don’t let it. Jumping off the bus at Portstewart was not that inspiring to start with and even the walkers among us were lacklustre in their appreciation of the 10 miles to come. But, on the up side, the rainbows were incredible, once the rain began to subside late in the morning.
Huddled down inside my waterproof, and swishing along the muddy paths in my waterproof leggings, I can’t say that I saw that much of what I am sure would have been, on any other day, a beautiful coastline. Instead, there was a determined march through the squelching mud.
The undulating route is easy enough, trailing for much of it alongside one of Northern Ireland’s many golf courses. And by 11 am, the rain was easing up, allowing us all to catch our breath and the sight of a lone seal swimming near the shore.
Lunch at the Ramore restuarant was very good value, although be quick for when it opens at midday because it is incredibly popular with locals and tourists alike. I was amazed at the £3.95 paid for a 15-inch pizza! I mean, £3.95, now that’s value!
The group split after lunch, some going for the bus whilst the walkers carried on another four miles along the coast to Dunluce Castle, again trailing the coastal path. At the sea,
we stopped to play on the rocks and it was only me that didn’t hear the warning that they were slippery and I, not very gracefully, landed on my bottom! Saved my camera though, which I held gloriously aloft as I went down.
Grazed, and embarrassed, I got myself up and followed the others along the beach at Portrush, miles of golden sand, and a lazy tide lapping at the shore. It may have been bracing but it didn’t stop the paddling walkers!
At Whiterocks, the sign suggested that we look for the Giant’s face, the elephant and the wishing arch in the rocks that we were about to pass. We made up a lot of ‘look, there it is’ stories, tracing the outline of the face and the elephant before actually saw what the sign meant.
Before we reached Dunluce Castle, the others passed us in a taxi and we seemed to while away the time making up stories about their afternoon, where they had been and why they hadn’t reached Ballintoy Harbour. We found out later that they had actually been stuck waiting for a non-existent bus in Portrush all afternoon and only a bit of sweet-talking had secured them a taxi.
Dunluce Castle, our final destination, was once more a scene from Game of Thrones. It has significantly more to offer than Dunseverick but after a few roadside pictures, we hopped on the last bus to Ballycastle.