It’s time to hit the road with Explorer Beastie again!
Last time the pair of us were in Donegal (the most north-westerly county in Ireland) we chose to head to its northernmost point. This time around, we decided to see how far west we could go before we fell into the sea. Since we were starting out from the opposite side of the island, we did have to stop along the way to get out and stretch our legs…
… But this rest stop was actually quite pretty itself!
Still, we didn’t want to hang around here all day! It was nearly lunchtime… Quick, back in the car and FLOOR IT!
What’s the hurry? Well, we had plans to eat in Nancy’s in Ardara! We’d heard great things about this place, and when we arrived, we were not disappointed. We took our seats at a table by the window in the front room, which is stuffed with the kind of curios that can even take a hungry Beastie’s mind off his rumbling tummy!
Star of the show (at least until the food came) was the dresser by the door. Look at all this cool vintage crockery! And bonus points if you can spot a certain woolly monster lurking in each of the photos…
Speaking of food – WOW. This was delicious… I have honestly never enjoyed a piece of fish as much as this in my life.
However, trouble was brewing outside… The rain was moving in!
Although I was sorely tempted to hide away in Nancy’s for the rest of the day, and sample some more of their delicious house cider, Explorer Beastie reminded me that we had planned to see more than just the inside of a pub. We also had others to consider – we were tagging along with my brother and Alfie the wonder dog, and at least one of them was due for walkies! So we headed off in the direction of Glencolmcille, to enjoy the cliff walk just outside the village and see some spectacular views.
But first, we spotted some distant Beastie relatives! This one’s for you, Melissa!
Hmmm… Even they didn’t seem too sure about the weather out there.
But we thought we’d at least give it a shot… And we did. For ten whole minutes! The gale force winds, stinging horizontal rain and slippery underfoot terrain meant that this walk was never really going places. But here’s a picture of our attempted destination (that little speck at the top of the cliff), taken from a safe distance as we embarked on our plan B!
It was still pretty blustery here though – as you can see! Poor Explorer Beastie was literally bent over backwards by the stiff sea breeze, and nearly lost his backpack to a particularly strong gust!
Rescuing it slowed us down a bit, so that’s probably why we got stuck in the rush hour traffic.
But we made it in the end! From a car park on the cliff top, 107 steps take you down to Silver Strand beach – a lovely sheltered bay with a huge expanse of sand to play on!
The hills that protect the bay from the elements are pretty interesting too!
Explorer Beastie found some rocks to clamber over…
… And this pastime seems to be something he shares with his woolly cousins. How did they get up there?
After a while, the daylight started to fade…
… So Alfie bid a fond farewell to the really interesting stick he found…
… And with one last look back…
… We headed for home!
Have your paws taken you anywhere interesting lately? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
Aaaaand Paddy and Plunkett will be back to entertain us all again next Tuesday, so be sure to join us then! Have a super week, everybody!
28 thoughts on “The Wild West Coast”
looks like a great day out 🙂
Thanks, Paula! It was… Even if the weather wasn’t behaving itself! 😀
So much to say! First, Alfie is adorable ❤ and, in all good humor, I am certainly glad you all did not fall into the sea! I like Explorer Beastie's agility and ability to get into small spaces . . . even if it might be a little naughty to clamor around in all of those tea sets! I was biting my nails hoping nothing cracked! But Explorer is clearly also a very careful Beastie. Thanks for the sheep-shot. Love it! So much beauty out there on your island 🙂 Can't wait to see more of your adventures!
Thanks, Melissa! There was so much sheepy goodness up around there, you would have been in heaven! I actually saw a signpost for a mill by the roadside – I think that definitely warrants closer investigation on a future visit! And travelling with Beasties is the best – they always draw your eye to the little things you’d have totally missed otherwise. Mind you, my heart was also in my mouth as Explorer Beastie gamboled around those teapots! 😆
Although as I was reading this I thought of SO many things I wanted to comment on, Alfie the Wonder Dog stole the show at the end and wiped away all my clever quips with those pathetic eyes! I’m really glad you only took Explorer Beastie to Nancy’s and not one of his cousins…I can just see EB trying to encourage one of them to examine the crockery a bit closer. Love the shot of EB getting wind-blown! Thanks for the tour!!
Yes, it’s pretty hard to resist those puppy-dog eyes, isn’t it? I’m just glad Alfie got his walk in the end… It was touch and go there for a while, because the idea of staying in Nancy’s was really quite tempting! Still, it was so much fun to watch him tearing around all over the beach, and then he slept all the way home! I’m thinking I might need to make Explorer Beastie a raincoat and a more resilient backpack for our next visit though… Thanks for stopping by, Tammie! Hopefully you got some good ideas for your own upcoming visit!
Ideas? Yes, such as bring a couple bricks to put in my backpack so I don’t get blown away!
Hahaha! 😂 I’m sure you’ll be fine… You’ve promised to bring good weather with you! I’ve already started stocking up on sunscreen… 😎
Oh man, talk about pressure. You are keeping the receipts, right?
Uh oh… 😳
Your dining experience looks delicious and charming. The beach looks so cold.
Haha! No sunbathing opportunities, certainly, but it was actually quite pleasant! I suppose anything would have been better than the windswept hillside we’d attempted to tackle beforehand. Plus chasing around after an enthusiastic pup and a Beastie is excellent for keeping warm! Cheers for stopping in, Laura!
It sounds like a great day out, though inside sampling ale in those conditions sounds more than tempting!
Hahaha! It was a bit of a wrench going back outside after lunch – especially after I spotted the open turf fire in the main bar – but I’m glad we did! Cheers for your comment, Catherine! 😀
Oh my heavens. Alfie 😍!!!!! How could you take that clearly beloved stick away from him?! Heartless! 😆 Those teacups give me PTSD from when I had to dust very similar shelves every day in the London pub where I worked. Coulda used Explorer Beastie’s wooly help! Looks like an awesome day out though, despite the wind!
Uh oh! Those shelves in the pub were absolutely spotless, so it looks like someone else is now living your dusting nightmare! 😱😱😱 Sorry if I’ve reduced you to a trembling wreck. I’ll just have to use the same super distraction skills that worked so well on Alfie – look! An old frisbee! Get the frisbee! Get it!
Ahem. Yes thanks, it was a great day… Donegal is always wonderful, even when it’s completely foul outside! Cheers for stopping by! 😀
Pant pant pant pant I got it! I got the frisbee!
Wait, what were we talking about?????
Oh, I don’t know… Kittens? Yeah, it was probably kittens. 😉
Looks like there was a distinct lack of heartburn on the menu – P&P would be jealous!
I went to the local museum the other day – it has been recently refurbished, but actually I was last there about 25 years ago. It was fab. Sometimes we forget to explore the things on our doorstep.
Ah, that was the only downside – I scoured the whole menu looking for a heartburn sauce and there was none to be found! I’m very happy with my second choice though 😉 And as you might have guessed by now, I’m also a big fan of seeing what delights my local area holds! I’m still finding unfamiliar corners of Dublin, even after living here for years. It’s good that your local museum’s refurb has been a success – does it specialise in anything in particular, or is it general local history?
The museum is really local history focused, but it is in the old Coliseum Theatre, so the building is part of the history too. In fact, the way it has been done up means that they can once more use the theatre for performances and films. I really want to go a performance there now.
That sounds great! Hopefully you’ll get a chance to check out something there soon 😀
that looks like a fun little trip! Actually the environment and the weather reminded me of Iceland for some reason. Even the sheep and their suicidal attempts to find food and navigate traffic look familiar. 😀
…I’m drooling over the pottery at Nancy’s! I just love these peculiar pieces of this and that. It is actually a quite impressive collection I think. Marvelous!
Greetings from rainy Virginia!
Hello back from breezy Dublin! And it’s funny you should mention how much Donegal reminded you of Iceland… I was just over on YOUR blog saying the same thing! 😂 So I guess it must be true! And it does seem like sheep everywhere are always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to get themselves into trouble… They’re quite the daredevils, when you think about it!
Oh, and on the website for Nancy’s, they do actually mention the teapot collection – it belongs to either the current owner or her mother/grandmother (can’t remember which), who was the “Nancy” the pub takes its name from. It’s an impressive array, isn’t it? Cheers for stopping in, Ivonne!
I absolutely love Donegal, such a beautiful part of the world, it’s great for long windy walks 🙂
Or short, super-windy walks! 😆 We’ve only recently started to discover all the good stuff that Donegal has to offer, but we’re absolutely sold on it already. Thanks for joining us on our travels!
Donegal is absolutely scenic and wonderful. Wow! And Nancy’s looks like the perfect place for a pit stop. I love those green cliffs and all that rocky goodness. It really is a marvel how those sheep get up there! Like EP, they are true clamberers! Thanks for sharing these beautiful snapshots, Helen. Alfie is such a dear with his newfound stick. 🙂
Thanks, Shirley! Yes, Donegal is truly beautiful (even when the weather leaves something to be desired 😆) and it’s the perfect place for Beasties and their canine friends to enjoy a day away. Cheers for joining us on our trip! 😀