Up the Antrim Coast

When last we left off we had just spent a lovely evening of song and drink at the Glens Hotel. Morning found us well rested and ready for a new adventure. Our target for the day was Ballycastle on Ireland's northern coast and our plan for the day was simple.

There aren't any major towns between Cushendall and Ballycastle and there are three routes to get there. One way goes through a forest, one way goes through a swamp and one way goes along the coast. Which road to take? All three seemed interesting, but the coast road seemed nicest of all. And, surely, we thought, we could catch a bus if the way proved too long and we got tired. Little did we know, the bus doesn't take the coast road!

Well, it was a beautiful road and it was clearly off the beaten track. On either side we saw sheep farms, cliffs and water. Across the water we saw Scotland. The day couldn't have been nicer. It was, however, a rather long walk. Eventually the road left the coast and, though we thought we could see Ballycastle far in the distance, it was too far a walk. We needed help and began to hitchhike.

I should explain something before moving on. Fifteen miles walking may not seem like too much, but I haven't mentioned our attire. We came to Ireland with a backpack, a messenger bag and a walking stick between us. In Belfast we acquired a pair of sleeping bags from our friend Rob and we slung these over our shoulders along with the bags. Along the way we also got a few more plastic bags and a length of rope with which we attached the bags to our other gear. We must've been quite the sight! A fifteen mile day with such gear on our shoulders was more than enough to wear us down.

As luck would have it a nice Danish couple took pity on us and gave us a ride the last few miles into Ballycastle. Within the town limits our strength returned and we found an excellent bed and breakfast in which we spent the night. We learned our lesson. This would be our last long walking day. But there's still plenty left to our story! Tune in next time for more.


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