Motorhome excursion to Derry

Trip Start Dec 05, 2009
Trip End Dec 05, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , N Ireland,
Monday, January 3, 2011

We had a week off before school went back so asked for advice on where to go. Ten minutes before we left home, we decided that north, to County Donegal, was the correct destination. There are 10 campsites open over the winter in Ireland and 5 of these were closed. We found one open at Crolly so aimed for it. It didn't rain, however the black ice, snow, frost, sleet, frozen rain, hail, and minus temperatures made us think that camping under the stars may not be perfect for the first couple of nights. We stayed at the Abbey B&B in Derry and had a couple of tourist days there. Next, we drove around the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula; through Letterkenny (stopping at the biggest motorhome sales yard on the island of Ireland) past the Glenveagh National Park (stunning views over snow covered roads, but a sad history when landowner Adair kicked all the tenants off his land in 1861) to Crolly and the Sleepy Hollows camping ground. At all times you can see Errigal Mountain, a scree and snow covered highlight) We spent one afternoon walking to an estuary and another doing nothing. Went to the local (and only) pub, Leo's, for dinner. It turns out that Leo is owned by Enya's dad and she and Clannard sat at the table next to us. They didn't seem to recognise us. The kids had a chat with the barman and a local, who were conversing in Irish/Gaelic/Gaeltacht; it was sweet to hear the kids trying a few words for real. Next, a walk along frozen Carrickfinn beach and the most beautiful drive along the peninsular around Gweedore, through Bloody Foreland to Dunfanaghy for a night at the Corcreggan Mill House B&B hostel. A lovely place to stay but it was colder then the motorhome would have been as our heating is excellent.  The kids especially liked being in charge of the open fireplace. Back home past Muckish Mountain (with the locally called SMIR -  a mist blowing off its peak) only took 6 instead of 4 hours due the icy roads. Donegal surely has the most beautiful spots in Ireland yet this doesn't diminish the beauty of all those other competitors.
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