Donegal Ireland & The Wild Atlantic Way, The Road to Mars?

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I moved a bit quicker through 3 counties along the Wild Atlantic Way last month. My driving moved up yet another level closer to ‘local’ as I zipped past tourists and tractors on the small winding roads that reminded me of ribbons blowing in the wind. At one point I actually decided that I couldn’t have done this trip with anyone else – I would have hated being the passenger in a car on these roads – I would have been a ball of stress! Getting to drive yourself is yet another great reason to be solo.

This week’s Wild Atlantic Way Instagram update was full of volatile weather – which makes great photography.  I started the week in County Galway where I was introduced to yet another landscape as I went through the town of Roundstone – aptly named since the whole landscape there was huge round stones! Then I made it to the little popular town of Clifden in Connemara. This was an area where I actually had a connection. A guy I met 4 years ago on the Mongol Rally hosted me at the Dolphin Beach House. His family has been running this perfectly placed home on the Sky Road peninsula for years so I was excited to finally get to see it!

I drove through Connemara National Park, the Bens, and fjords and towards County Sligo where I stayed on beautiful Enniscrone beach B&B for a night. It was here that I ran into the surfers along the Wild Atlantic Way.

On to County Donegal to see the largest cliffs along the Wild Atlantic Way – Slieve Leage. It was a windy, rainy day again and I felt like I needed to strap into something when I got out of my car and the wind nearly blew me over! I had to skip the walk to the summit due to high winds and poor visibility – but the overcast skies made for super photography. After another night in a great rural B&B on Inishowen peninsula I got up early the next day and headed to the northern most point – Malin Head. No one was out on the roads that morning – just me and the sheep – and spectacular views.

I was sad to turn in my car…really sad…we had such a great relationship going. And it was just this week that I figured out I had an auxiliary input and could listen to my music on my ipod! My favorite days were these rainy, stormy days where I could sing at the top of my lungs and enjoying the winding views.

boat tied to dock

I realized that my Instagram feed was lacking diversity in color lately – so I bring you blue.

Connemara biking

My biking path today. I had moments of rain, wind, & sun – typical day in #Ireland w @All_Connemara

Enniscrone Beach

Watching the surfers at Enniscrone Beach go out for the morning

tunnel

A green tunnel in Connemara along the #wildatlanticway

abandoned house

The Irish countryside is littered w old crumbling stone homes like this. I find them beautiful memories of the past and often make up stories in my head as I pass by about the families who used to live there. You have a lot of time for your imagination to run wild when doing a solo road trip!

wild atlantic way donegal

Stormy days really do create the best photography. #wildatlanticway

sligo wild atlantic way

On the road again in County Sligo!

Wild atlantic way donegal

I feel like I’m on a road on Mars – but it’s just Donegal Ireland along the #wildatlanticway

Silabh League Cliffs

I adored the colors at Silabh League Cliffs – the aqua of the water & orange/ yellow of the foreground. The wind was brutal up there but the view was worth it!

sheep wild atlantic way

My last day on the #wildatlanticway – I’m heading the the northernmost point in Ireland – Malin Head. The roads are quiet – it’s just me and the sheep.

Sherry Ott
Sherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She’s a co-founder of Briefcasetobackpack.com, a website offering career break travel inspiration and advice.

Additionally, she runs an around the world travel blog writing about her travel and expat adventures at Ottsworld.com.com.
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