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 Post subject: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:19 am
Posts: 2783
I ended up staying out only the one night because I was able to increase my pace significantly, I got the bus into Ballycastle on Monday afternoon and walked from Ballycastle to the Giants Causeway (approx 20 miles) passing through some beautiful countryside and a very small town called Ballintoy. Ballintoy was a nice enough town but something about the place gave me a bad feeling and I decided to abort my original plan to stop there overnight. This morning I set off from the Giants Causeway to Portrush (Approx 9 miles) some beautiful scenery but to be honest im glad I forced the pace and made it home today because while I was waiting at Portrush for the train home there was some pretty horrendous weather! I was awake at 0600 this morning and didnt want to pack away my tent in the dark for fear of losing kit so I went for a moonlight walk along the Causeway clifftop path and then down the cliff stairs and onto the Giants Causeway itself (All with the aid of my helpful Petzl headtorch), then back up the Causeway road to the visitors centre picnic area where my tent was pitched by which time it was 0700 and starting to get light. I made myself breakfast, got changed and then started packing away the tent. I set off walking at 0800 and reached the seaside town of Portrush at 1050 hours having passed through the seaside town of Portballintrae and the ruin of Dunluce castle. I didnt take too many breaks whilst walking beyond going into the bushes to urinate and the occasional bite of kendal mint cake. The equipment I carried is listed below:-

Sunglasses
Survival bag
Perry Whistle
LMF Swedish firesteel - Army type
Lifeventure compact first aid kit
Peter Storm stormtech gaiters
Norwegian Army pattern thermal shirt
Garmin E-trex GPS receiver
Silva compass
Eurohike backpacker compact lightweight tent
Craghopper Kiwi winter lined trousers
Soviet Army issue balaclava, mittens and magazine pouch
VDV pattern mess tin set
German Army issue cutlery set
Goretex overmitts
Karrimor coniston event lined hiking boots
Bridgedale comfort trekker hiking socks
NYCO coyote brown BDU trousers
Gelert LED microlantern
Splav desantnik 45 liter rucksack
BCB survival kit tin
Petzl LED headtorch
One Earth windup powered radio
Afganka winter jacket
Thermarest inflatable sleeping mat
SIGG aluminium water bottle
Lifeventure lexan water bottle
Berghaus spectrum microfleece
Eurohike down 500 down-fill sleeping bag with silk liner
Platypus hydration pack - 2 litre size
Berghaus polarplus activity fleece
Camping Gaz twister gas stove
Victorinox penknife
Cold steel entrenching shovel
Peter Storm ridge waterproof jacket & trousers

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:19 am
Posts: 2783
Heres some pics


Attachments:
File comment: View of the opposite side of Dunluce castle
Another view of dunluce castlesmaller.jpg
Another view of dunluce castlesmaller.jpg [ 235.34 KB | Viewed 592 times ]
File comment: The ruins of Dunluce castle on the road between the Giants Causeway and Portrush
Dunluce castle 1.jpg
Dunluce castle 1.jpg [ 299.38 KB | Viewed 576 times ]
File comment: Sea view at Portballintrae, about a third of the way between the Giants Causeway and Portrush
Sea view at portballintrae.jpg
Sea view at portballintrae.jpg [ 271.15 KB | Viewed 587 times ]
File comment: I saw this building from the footpath, it looks like movie haunted houses. No road access that I could see but clearly an occupied building
The haunted house.jpg
The haunted house.jpg [ 204.23 KB | Viewed 592 times ]
File comment: The view from my campsite at first light, by the time it was light enough to take this I was packed and ready to go!
Sea view at first light.jpg
Sea view at first light.jpg [ 183.38 KB | Viewed 576 times ]
File comment: The church by the picnic area where I set up my tent
The white church by camp.jpg
The white church by camp.jpg [ 142.91 KB | Viewed 586 times ]
File comment: The farm which produces milk for morellis ice cream, a fine ice cream indeed
Morellis farm.jpg
Morellis farm.jpg [ 268.53 KB | Viewed 574 times ]
File comment: My tent before I took it down this morning
Tent before striking camp.jpg
Tent before striking camp.jpg [ 70.88 KB | Viewed 580 times ]
File comment: Full moon when I woke up in the morning
Full moon in the morning.jpg
Full moon in the morning.jpg [ 46.46 KB | Viewed 566 times ]
File comment: A ruined house I saw on the road between Ballycastle and Ballintoy
Ruined house.jpg
Ruined house.jpg [ 386.96 KB | Viewed 575 times ]
File comment: Me in the tent, a little bit cramped
Asleep in the tentsmaller.jpg
Asleep in the tentsmaller.jpg [ 201.96 KB | Viewed 579 times ]
File comment: My tent after putting it up
Tent in the dark, giants causeway picnic area.jpg
Tent in the dark, giants causeway picnic area.jpg [ 80.79 KB | Viewed 568 times ]
File comment: The viewpoint at White Park Bay
Whitepark bay viewpoint.jpg
Whitepark bay viewpoint.jpg [ 346.41 KB | Viewed 554 times ]
File comment: White Park Bay
Whitepark bay.jpg
Whitepark bay.jpg [ 225.44 KB | Viewed 565 times ]
File comment: A view onto the beach at White Park Bay
Beach viewsmaller.jpg
Beach viewsmaller.jpg [ 350.05 KB | Viewed 558 times ]
File comment: The church in Ballintoy
White church ballintoy.jpg
White church ballintoy.jpg [ 219.84 KB | Viewed 553 times ]
File comment: And a statue of an armless woman outside the Carrick-A-Rede bar in Ballintoy
Statue in ballintoy.jpg
Statue in ballintoy.jpg [ 345.86 KB | Viewed 552 times ]
File comment: The Carrick-A-Rede bar in Ballintoy
Carrickarede bar, ballintoysmaller.jpg
Carrickarede bar, ballintoysmaller.jpg [ 237.03 KB | Viewed 548 times ]
File comment: Sea view on the way into Ballintoy
Cliffs on the road into Ballintoy.jpg
Cliffs on the road into Ballintoy.jpg [ 224.59 KB | Viewed 550 times ]
File comment: Irish and English language placename sign between Ballycastle and Ballintoy
Coolmaghra.jpg
Coolmaghra.jpg [ 508.17 KB | Viewed 546 times ]
File comment: A view of the cliffs on the road between Ballycastle and Ballintoy
Cliffsbetweenballycastleandballintoy.jpg
Cliffsbetweenballycastleandballintoy.jpg [ 475.75 KB | Viewed 549 times ]
File comment: some woodland towards the trail end
Woods.jpg
Woods.jpg [ 365.34 KB | Viewed 557 times ]
File comment: Some bulls in a field off the trail
Bullssmaller.jpg
Bullssmaller.jpg [ 640.43 KB | Viewed 533 times ]
File comment: The signpost marking my first off-road hiking point
Signpost at the trail.jpg
Signpost at the trail.jpg [ 490.21 KB | Viewed 546 times ]
File comment: A field of sheep off the trail
Sheep.jpg
Sheep.jpg [ 307.23 KB | Viewed 532 times ]
File comment: A cow that came over to say hello to me
Cow.jpg
Cow.jpg [ 532.72 KB | Viewed 545 times ]
File comment: A chambered grave on the rough trail just outside Ballycastle. Hoped to get a closeup but it was unsafe to do so
Chambered grave outside ballycastlesmaller.jpg
Chambered grave outside ballycastlesmaller.jpg [ 321.05 KB | Viewed 552 times ]
File comment: Ballycastle - My starting point
Ballycastlesmaller.jpg
Ballycastlesmaller.jpg [ 286.72 KB | Viewed 527 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:19 am
Posts: 2783
A bit more detail here:-

Well, I set off yesterday afternoon and after an hour-long bus journey found myself in Ballycastle. I set off on the march and ended up at the Giants Causeway (not a short walk I hasten to add) via Ballintoy, White Park Bay and Portbradden. I was planning to pitch in Ballintoy but something about the village just gave me a bad feeling so I kept on walking! Darkness was falling as I set my tent up as was the temperature but I managed to get the tent up, light a fire and get a meal cooked before retiring for the evening around 1830, with an alarm clock at 2000 to call the missus and make sure everything was OK at home, then back to sleep. I woke up around 0500 and didnt want to dismantle the tent in the dark for fear of leaving something behind, so I went for a moonlight / headtorch light walk along the Giants Causeway clifftop path, down the cliffside stairs and then around the Giants Causeway itself before walking back up the Causeway Road to the picnic area, where my tent was pitched. It was a bit eerie doing this in the moonlight and with not a soul around, but hey!!! Got back to the tent around 0650 and got the fire going to make breakfast, and while it was cooking I began the process of striking camp. By the time the sun was up enough to make walking along roads a safe proposition I was pretty much ready to go, I was just munching away on my dried breakfast strips (Imagine a bacon version of beef jerky) and sipping water. Id filled my water bottles and platypus from the toilet at the causeway visitors centre and had a pee before departing.

I then set off from the causeway visitors centre and hit the trail for the causeway coastal path, passing the Bushmills - Causeway tourist railway, and a house that resembled your average movie haunted house which had no visible road access but was clearly occupied. After approximately 30 minutes walking I was in the coastal town of Portballintrae, and from there it was pretty much open road and no facilities all the way to Portrush (approx 8 miles)

Some lovely views of the sea and the cliffs and the ruins of Dunluce castle on the way, and few stops other than to munch some kendal mint cake or just to get the pack off my back for a few minutes rest!

I decided against following the Causeway coast path just past Dunluce castle and stick to the tarmacced surface even though it added probably a mile onto my journey, but there was an important reason for this - The coast path actually goes onto the beach past Dunluce Castle and the White Rocks. Its shown as an embankment on the map and it looked to be a very steep embankment that I wouldnt fancy climbing, and the tide looked to be coming in. Id rather have gotten to Portrush an hour later with sore feet than two days later with lungs full of seawater!!! Mark me I may have been a bit sore but my judgement wasnt a bit clouded!!!

As I passed the Skerries holiday park and Kellys (Holiday destinations for the Chavvy-minded amongst us - This is the closest I am ever likely to get to them) I knew I was almost at my destination and my aching feet would soon have a small rest! When I saw the tower of the Dunluce centre my hips and feet almost sighed with relief!!!

I hit Portrush around 1040 hours and had time to get an ice cream at the Morellis shop (where the staff expressed incredulity that I was camping this time of year) and a cold drink from the Spar shop (exceptionally helpful, polite and friendly staff) and then headed to the train station. At the station I was able to help a group of elderly passengers who had never used the station before and didnt know where to get the train. Whilst waiting for the train an enormous hailstorm hit, followed by a rainstorm, making me glad I hadnt stayed overnight in Ballintoy - If I had I would have been caught in this on the clifftops between Ballintoy and the Giants Causeway!!!!

So the train trundled into the station a few minutes late as usual, I was home for 1300!

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:48 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Norway
Seems like an epic journey! Ah... The images is so calming... Haha, I wish I had this type of landscape in Norway, or we do but it is far away -.-
Well, thank you for a nice documentation! Very Happy

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:52 pm
Posts: 254
I'm pretty interested in that dairy farm.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:13 pm
Posts: 1084
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
Wow that was the most epic holiday trips I've seen so far! That place really looked real calming and peaceful! Thank you for sharing your experience with us Vityaz, I'm glad you enjoyed your trip as well! Very Happy

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 1315
Location: United States
Northern Ireland looks like an exceptionally beautiful place, I only wish the area around here was as vibrant and lively. I'll definitely make a point to try and make a visit to that area sometime later on in life when things aren't so scattered.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:19 am
Posts: 2783
Well Taurus anytime youre over here you have an experienced guide waiting here Very Happy

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 1315
Location: United States
Haha, yeah! I'll be sure to give you a call if I ever get scheisse straightened out down here!


 
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 Post subject: Re: Holiday snaps
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:14 am
Posts: 18
Location: Anchorage, AK
I'm so jealous I want to go to Ireland. What an awesome trip that must've been!

Haha that last picture looks like the Valdez boat harbor only a lot more green.


 
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