Kim & Martin’s Ireland trek 2011.
Hello readers it’s the tired trekker here again with more tales of damp dawdling; thistime in the Emerald Isle.As part of our mission to walk across or all the countries of Western Europe, Irelandhad to be conquered. To be honest we had left Ireland well down on the listsupposing it was going to be somewhat drab but we were pleasantly surprisedmainly due to the warm welcome we received from the locals.Our definition of walking across is getting somewhat flexible now so we don’tnecessarily chose the longest route, but not the shortest either. Ireland has it’s ownversion of Lands End to John o Groats, namely Malin Head to Mizzen Head. Thiscan be achieved by staying in the Republic of Ireland and not venturing into theNorth at all. This sounds strange but Northern Ireland should be called North EastIreland because the Republic of Ireland continues all the way up the west side of theisland to the most northerly point (Malin Head). We wanted to visit ‘Northern Ireland’and we wanted to visit the ‘Giant’s Causeway’ so we decided to start there. The endpoint was going to be the sea somewhere near Cork.As ever our route plan leaned towards a straight dash from A to B with the onlydetours being made for accommodation. Many people had told us about howattractive the west coast was but a cursory glance at the map reveals that anyattempt to follow the coast would turn a 500km walk into a 1,000km slog.This dilemma was solved when we discussed our plans with friends Andrew andVicky who were planning a golf trip around the same time. With a little adjustment wewere able to target our end date to coincide with their last golf day and then spend afew days on the west coast in the comfort of their car.Getting to the start point of these treks can sometimes be a logistical challenge butgiven that the Giants Causeway is such an attraction we managed to make it in threelegs from Geneva.There was no direct flight from Geneva to Belfast (outside the ski season) so welinked two Easy Jet flights via London Gatwick which put us in Belfast on the lateafternoon of Sunday May the 1
. We had already checked the bus service to WhitePark Bay just east of the causeway and by chance our hotel was 200mts from thebus station.The taxi driver from the airport was our first taste of the Irish hospitality and he wasplease to throw in a commentary on the geography of ‘The Troubles’ as we arrived intown. It took virtually the whole journey to full understand what he was saying as the