Walk 2 - Giant's Causeway to Ballintoy (7.5miles)
Date: Saturday 25th March 2000
Started off along top cliff path and went round to Port na Spaniah point and
looked over the edge, Fulmars nesting 20 feet down safe in the knowledge that no
person in their right mind would dare venture over the edge. Stopped for elevens
(tea and a bite) near the deserted wartime lookout, and watched the Fulmars ride
the thermals at the cliff edge. Continued on to our last stop before Port Moon and looked back to a sight equaled only by the Cliffs
of Moher, shear drops off three hundred feet, not of ordinary cliff face
but of the hexagonal columns that the Giant's Causeway is so renowned. This was the
first time I have ever seen such a sight and I had to stop for a while to take
in the beauty...
You can hear the Skylark sing from a few hundred feet up and if
your fortunate, as I was, you'll see him. You'll also see some Black Caps,
Ravens, Fulmars and Thrushes. We went on around to Port Moon, a peaceful bay complete with fisherman's
hut still in use today by locals. You can climb down but we chose to go onward
to Dunseverick. Look up quickly or
you'll miss the Buzzards in majestic flight soaring across the sky on the
lookout for lunch!
Dunseverick once the home of several respected families is now in ruins
with only the four corners still standing - no doubt it took a great punishment
during a battle many years ago.
The path takes you the car park where you will
see a sign with more history on the area as well as a map illustrating the path.
At the other end of the car park climb another Style and follow the path around
headland, we took the lower path and crossed the field at the cliff edge, there
we noticed the 'Lazy Drills' from the time of the Potato Famine. These are
drills about five feet apart that where an attempt to produce potatoes away from
the blighted crop. Over another style and along the cliff edge once more, I
noticed yet again more Fulmars nesting on the ledges below and I was able to get
a photo from fifteen feet - class. Further on we crossed a river that I am
informed has Trout, I've seen this river in flood before and it is a magnificent
sight to see.
The next bay is a favorite with fishermen and indeed there where a few, the land
becomes lower here but soon we had to climb to the harbor road, follow on and
make our way to the far side of the car park again crossing a style to gain
access to the sea shore. As we listened to the waves crash against the
rocks with a thundering roar we saw Oyster Catchers swoop across the bay and
looking underfoot I saw evidence of their last meal. We climbed up the next hill
and at the top was a cave that we had planned to stay and have lunch but since
the weather was fine we continued through the cave around the peninsula to
Portbraddan where we dropped into St Gobhan's church tiny though it may be the
caretaker has taken great care not to clutter it.
Some choose to take the cliff top path from here but we went along the shore,
the tide was out, straight onto Whitepark Bay
and stopped for lunch. Nothing like bacon and sausages to kill the hunger that
sea gives. I imagine that the beach hasn't changed much since the first man set
foot here 8000 years ago, what a barren wild place he must have thought although
evidence of deer has been found here so it must have had a wildlife. Today
you'll see the rabbits and possibly a fox. In the distance you can also see Rathlin
Island. We finished the walk crossing the bay passing the sea edge to gain
access to Ballintoy harbor five hours after we started.