Narin, 28 October


Went for a woodland walk this morning, before returning to the cottage for lunch. Wiseman was feeling unwell, so elected to stay put with Maisie (Karen’s dog) for the afternoon, while the rest of us decided to explore another headland.

The first adventure was at Maghera Caves, where, after a 10 minute walk or so, we found no caves whatsoever, but the most gorgeous deserted beach, penned in by high cliffs on one side. We agreed that it would have made a perfect beach cricket beach, but unfortunately the cricket stuff wasn’t in the car.

We swallowed our disappointment and moved on round the coast, stopping briefly to rescue a sheep caught in a wire fence, to Malin Beg and another beautiful beach, this one populated by what appeared to be a large Irish family. There was about twenty of them. Some of their kids were paddling in the waves, in wellies, if you please. Karen and Broon thought that we should show them how it should be done, and so off came the socks (inner and outer) and shoes, and the trousers were rolled up. The water was eye-poppingly cold, and Karen had to do a little jig to try to keep the circulation going, but we did it. A lone sheep, and a sheepdog, kept a custodial eye on us throughout the whole performance.

If the insanity of the idea had not been apparent when the Atlantic first hit our toes, it was once the hail started coming down and we realised we had to climb 167 concrete sheep-dung-covered steps to the car park before we could get shelter, and dry our numb feet.

The weather closed in at this point, and so we headed over the hills to Killybegs, through various peat fire-burning villages and the road home.

Three pairs of feet now thawing out in front of the fire.

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