Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Exploring Slieve League - Glencollumbkille Donegal wild camping trip 2013

Hello again. Here's an update on how I spent today..

I wasn't able to post when away as I don't have mobile internet access across the border into the Irish Republic. In Scotland I won't have this problem, but I may be without a signal sometimes. I've decided to write my posts anyway and upload them when I do get connected again - I wanted to let you know that.

Today I awoke after a windy night up on Slieve League cliff top car park. There were a few scary gusts of wind during the night even though I tried to park in the shelter of a grassy bank.

My camping spot last night

After breakfast I set off to climb the mountain, to get a look down from the top of the cliffs. It was a much better day than yesterday, and I had a clear view in all directions across the land and seascape. I added a picture from the cliff top looking down to the previous post. One of the most amazing things to see from up there are these perfect beaches beneath the sheer cliffs, that would be only accessible by boat on a calm day - I'm sure few people have set foot on them. The cliffs here reach a height of 601 metres. 

After returning to the van for a rest and a snack, I set off to explore the coastal lookout tower I had seen the night before, and decided I would definitely try to get down to it. The tower was perched on the end of a promontory of land at the bottom of a steep incline. It was also above some sheer cliffs.

It appeared closer than it actually was, abut eventually I found the remains of the original pathway down to it, along the headland. This tower was one of many, built along the coast of Ireland by the British during the times of Napoleon  to give early warning of a French invasion; that made them over two hundred years old. The towers are positioned along the coast so they an see each other and signal to each other by fire. The last section of path to the tower was near the edge of the cliff and the grass was slippery.

Looking down to the tower perched on the cliff edge

I made it down the slope to the lookout tower. It was amazing how well constructed it was, well to last over two hundred years it had to be. The ruins of a WWII lookout tower lay just beyond it. Its concrete blocks in a pile on the ground. I cast my gaze along the coast, thinking about how it must have been to live on the headland in those days long ago..

Have you got any recommendations for unusual, or off the beaten track locations to visit? Share below.

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