2014 – Day Thirty One

After yesterday’s rain and the challenge of the roads and parking, we are keen to get going. We plan to drive across the top of country Donegal, crossing over to North Ireland, back in the UK, aiming for the Giant’s Causeway.

This part of the drive is back to peaceful patchwork farmland. It’s very green, especially washed clean by last night’s rain.

We see a naughty dog barking at passing cars – he’s one of few we’ve seen. It’s been years since I’ve seen dogs do that. They hang around at front of their house, sometimes with a mate, acting very innocent (just “hanging”… being a dog), and when they see a car
they fancy, they fly out at speed, fangs bared and barks a plenty. I swear that I saw the first pair laughing at us after we passed. I freaked out – thought they were going to to run out under the car.

That’s not the only example of dogs being dogs. The most endearing have been the faithful dogs, usually short haired collies (it seems 90% of Irish dogs are black and white short haired collies) faithfully sitting by their gate, on full point, waiting for their master to come home. They are so gorgeous to see, with their look of total focus, waiting for that first greeting and acknowledgment that yes indeed, they are a good dog. We’ve seen so many of these, and they get me every time.

Back to our drive, the first ferry crossing we attempt has closed – lack of funding, a local tells us. We set off around the next point to try again. Better luck this time and we are soon on the way.

We cross over, and the difference is immediately noticeable. The government has more money to spend here – the roads are wider and smoother, the little villages are decked out in summer flowers and at last…there is off road parking everywhere. It’s such a shame that Ireland doesn’t offer this – it’s so beautiful but it’s a challenge.

The Union Jack is flying proudly everywhere we go – aside from the currency changing back to pounds, the flags alone leave you in no doubt on which side of the divide you are.