Explorer Beastie’s been a bit quiet lately, hasn’t he? But he always likes to take advantage of the post-Christmas lull to do a spot of out-of-town adventuring, and last week found both of us up in Donegal again, treading a slightly different path from the one we took this time last year.
Actually, this breaking of new ground was thrust upon us by circumstances beyond our control. We had originally intended to fuel up with a monster fry at Café Donagh in Carndonagh, but alas! Some pre-trip research revealed that the owners had retired from the breakfast business, leaving us high and dry in the fried food stakes. We only had memories of last year’s feed to sustain us as we embarked on our quest for a new spot to enjoy Third Breakfast (the most important meal of the day).
Our first stop was the pretty little town of Ramelton. Surely there must be a good breakfasting spot around here?
But unfortunately not – it being a Sunday, we had the choice of pricey gastropub fare or the diner in the local Eurospar. So Explorer Beastie Beastie-bombed my last photo of the river…
…And we hit the road again. Several potential candidates were rejected along the way, until we drove up to Ripples Restaurant just outside Kerrykeel. We didn’t hold out much hope – we thought it might be a bit fancy for the kind of food we were craving – but the chef was happy to put together a plate of fried goodness for us while Explorer Beastie toasted himself by the fire!
The meal itself escaped photographing, since it was half-eaten before I thought, “Hey, maybe I should have taken a picture”. Please be assured that it was very good, and feast your eyes on the glorious view outside the restaurant instead.
Well and truly refuelled and recaffeinated, we hopped back into the car and did the best thing you can do when in Donegal – drove to the extreme end of the finger of land we found ourselves on to enjoy some wild coastal scenery!
This time around, that meant heading for Fanad Head, where Explorer Beastie found some ruined houses to explore!
Does it still count as “Urbex” if the buildings are in the middle of nowhere?
Post-road-trip research has revealed that this is an old coastguard station, which was abandoned after the Second World War. Back in the day, it would have housed four families, with sheds outside for storage (that’s the building in the top right of the image above). But hey, what’s that just around the corner?
Explorer Beastie did everything he could to get a little closer…
…But we’d just missed the last tour of the day. Still, we enjoyed admiring it from a distance in the bright winter sunlight.
Building work on this lighthouse started in 1815, and its light shone for the first time on St Patrick’s Day 1817. Its last full-time keeper retired in 1983, and these days it only needs a caretaker… But that means that us regular folks can now book a stay in the former keepers’ cottages! It’s lucky we didn’t know this at the time, or we might not have come home.
As it was, we thought it best to make the most of the remaining daylight – let’s head down to the shore!
One Beastie on the rocks, please!
We spent a while watching the waves crashing on the rocks – they were seriously huge, even though it was a calm day! Then, as the sun set, we jumped in the car and made for home.But next time, we’re totally staying in the lighthouse.
Have your travels taken you anywhere interesting yet this year? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments! And we’ll be back in a week with our first new Beastie of 2018, so join us again next Tuesday!
PS Explorer Beastie isn’t the only one who’s been out adventuring lately! Finn McSpool has been enjoying the benefits of an unseasonably warm start to the year in Portland, and we’ve a new monster face in the Blogosphere too… Take a moment to meet Slartibartfast, who’s just taken up residence on Escribble!