Friday, June 23, 2006

Glenveagh - Rathmullan

Pissy weather once more. I've got a couple of nights in this area to look around, but I suspect that the clouds will rob me of the best aspects. I drove further north along the N56 via some awfully bumpy sealed road through Dungloe and The Rosses. The landscape is dominated by new houses of little appeal (as had been warned by an English couple I spoke to at Cong Abbey about two weeks before). Up ahead is the wonderfully named Bloody Forehead, so called because of the red glow it gets at sunset, but since the sun wasn't likely to strike the forehead for a few days, I decided to forgo further coastal cloudiness and road bumpiness.

So I turned onto the R251, running between Mt Errigal (Ireland's highest peak) and Glenveagh National Park towards Letterkenny, principal town of the northwest, after London/Derry was I may revisit the valley tomorrow. I did stop into Glebe House & Gallery, which is the former estate of a painter and art collector, Derek Hill. The grounds were very pleasant, and gave Bondi his first opportunity for a good grassy romp. I wasn't in the mood to look at the Gallery today - a single Picasso is not a great incentive after two months of art saturation in Paris, but I ended up talking to several members of the staff for quite a while, after they emerged to check out Bondi.

Letterkenny gave me a place to stop for lunch, but there wasn't much to see. I was thinking of calling quits for the day, but thought I might make a short loop further north to Rathmullen, site of the Flight of the Earls Heritage Centre. The road through Ramelton along the edge of Lough Swilly was unexpectedly delightful, even under the grey skies, but there was nothing for us at Rathmullan. The litte fort that housed the Heritage Centre (Which is signposted for miles around) had nothing beyond the sign on the entrance. There was a big open area which looked like a tractor had done wheelies in it, not even a flight of ducks nailed to a wall, let alone an explanation of where the Centre's contents had taken flight. A family who had made a similar trip looked as mystified as I. There was not much to do but look across the Lough to Buncrana, home to the National Knitting Centre, or at least allegedly so ;-).

So that was pretty much it for the day. I turned around and drove back towards Glenties, past the picturesque Lough Finn.

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