FINALLY SCOTLAND

So we are back on the mainland.

Yesterday we had a short day on the water. We paddled from Glenarm to Cushendun to reach the best place for crossing to Mull of Kintyre. Tides were running in our favour early in the morning or late in the afternoon, it was also quite foggy, so we could not consider crossing the same day although I could have been tempted otherwise.

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At Cushendun we have found an interesting house on a secluded beach having a system of caves as a driveway, it looked wicked.

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Today we left at half past seven towards Scotland. Crossing was OK, it was an important crossing, since it brought us back to mainland. It wasn’t as hard as we expected but it still felt longer than what it actually took us.

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There was an unusual number of Puffins flying around, more than we’ve ever seen on this trip before. We landed half past two, and I have to say, it is great to finish early sometimes, especially when it’s sunny. We managed to let all of our wet kit to have some sunbathing.

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And as a treat we had Haggis Nachos, what a great first day in Scotland.

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GOING NORTH

This morning we had to go past Belfast, the only place we could identify easily without a map. We left our camping spot in sunshine which didn’t last long, soon the sky became cloudy and fog came just as we approached Belfast Loch and its busy shipping lane. We didn’t feel very comfortable, however it wasn’t too bad in the end and we could see all ships early enough.

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Soon after we reached cliffs on the other side of the loch. The area here is called Gobbins, and before the first world war was very popular tourist destination. In 1902 the Railway Company built a walkway, a narrow path which served tourist till 1962. When they built it they said: “new cliff path along the Gobbins, with its ravines, bore caves, natural aquariums …. has no parallel in Europe as a marine walk”. It looks pretty amazing and we spent some time to explore it closely. It follows the cliffs for long way.

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Rest of the day we just continued north till we reached village big enough to have a pub and called it a day.

ISLANDS HOPPING

Northern Ireland

This wasn’t even mentioned during our brief discussions about where and how we would go. We didn’t know ourselves till about Thursday that we would come here.

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But when considering our options, going up north irish coast and cross north west of Mull of Kyntaire seemed the best.
On the evening before crossing we could see Ireland distant hills.

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On the morning of the crossing we couldn’t see Ireland at all and didn’t until about seven hours into our eleven hours crossing. But once we landed the isle of Man was nicely visible.
The crossing itself was very quiet, some following sea to start with and some wind form side for the last part, but that was it. And we probably saw a whale, don’t know what kind, but it was much bigger than dolphins are.

We plan to paddle along the north coast till we can cross back to the mainland again. Not planning to come here, we didn’t bring a map, and so can’t give you any geographical names. We just have to keep the land on our left for a change.

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What’s more, it’s pretty here. And the locals are friendly, one dog walker just took our empty water bag away and brought it back full.

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