Not for the faint-hearted!
Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
27Trip End Ongoing
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The "road" it's referring to is the sea route for Atlantic salmon as they journey west past Carrick Island. So 350 years ago, some fishermen erected a rope bridge between the mainland and the island, so they could get to the best spot to catch the salmon! How clever!
Now, the bridge attracts thousands of visitors each year as they test their nerves by crossing the 30 metre high rope bridge. Lydia and I become one of those fearless people that day.
It costs £4 to cross the bridge (£2 each way, ha ha!) and again,this is for maintenance and the well-informed bridge guides who control the 'flow of traffic' across the bridge, as only 8 people can be on it at any one time
Fear not, it's not the same original bridge from 350 years ago - they replace it every 5 years, and the ropes go through some very tough tests before they're used. The guide was telling us this as we waited to cross back to the mainland. Someone asked him what they do if someone is really, really terrified, and he said that it's easy enough getting them over to the island (well, they want to get off the bridge don't they? But getting them back on it to go back is another story...and there IS only one way back! Someone suggested cloroform and a hanky which raised some giggles! (The guide said "if only" lol!)
Apart from one girl whose screams could probably be heard across the water in Scotland, everyone we saw made it across and back without any fuss.
And then it was time to get the bus at 5:30pm - which incidentally is the last bus of the day from Carrick-a-rede rope bridge! The buses are few and far between, so our day had been driven by the bus times, which determined how long we stayed at each place - and the bus timetables can be got from the tourist info place in Portrush.
It was the same driver who had dropped us off, who picked us up again - funny! We were supposed to get that bus back to the Giants Causeway, then switch to another to Portrush, then take the train back to Coleraine...but Lydia mentioned our plan to the bus driver, and he said we could stay on if we wanted, as he was finished, and he was taking the (now out of service) bus back to Coleraine bus depot. Brilliant!
Also, I forgot to say, Northern Ireland is brilliant value for transport. You buy a one-day ticket for £15 and you can go anywhere in Northern Ireland by bus or train the whole day for that one price!
We got back to Belfast about 9pm - a 12 hour tourist day - we were WRECKED! (But it was brilliant!