One of the evenings there we decided to drive the short distance up to Banba’s Crown (called locally ‘the Head’) at Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point.
I didn’t expect there to be other people up there at that time of the evening but I was wrong. There were quite a few cars already there by the time we arrived.
The sunset from the height at Banba’s Crown, with the vast open ocean before you, is sensational. Nothing but golden sun shimmering across the Atlantic before you and the tower behind bathed in the warm glow giving it a soft, sand like colour.
The people from the cars had clearly wandered around the Head as I could see very few people and my husband and I wandered separately taking our photographs from various points.
Later I came upon a couple with whom I got chatting. They were from Derry and own a holiday cottage nearby. They had their bottle of wine with them to watch the sunset, a thing they do each time they arrive to celebrate the start of their time in Donegal.
As we chatted a call went up somewhere on the Head “dolphins!”.
The pod was passing by the Head! We all watched for a moment as they passed quickly by and then, as one, everyone ran to their cars and a mad dash down the now darkening narrow bendy road began, chasing the pod over to Portmor to see if they came in to frolick.
On the way down and back on the main road between the Head and the port, the car in front of us (the Derry couples’ car) was stopped chatting with some firemen in their fire engine (who were probably wondering where the stream of traffic was coming from and going to). I took the opportunity to lean back out of the passenger seat to capture a photograph of the outline of the tower at the head, blacked out with the sun setting beyond it.
Later the guy from Derry was telling us that he was telling the firemen what the chase was about, they had indeed been wondering what the string of cars at that time of night was all about in such a quiet location. It was quite funny to see the firemen all leaning to the side to try and spy the pod of dolphins going by over the sea to our right. I off course took a photograph as I had done earlier of the chimney fire they were coming back from.
So, all down to the port and out of the cars, up on to the heights there to look for the dolphins. But they just kept on swimming.
As one, once again, all into our cars and over to the ‘Wee House at Malin’, the next view point for we dolphin hunters.
At the Wee House there were already quite a few people gathered: some with cameras and some just watching the sunset and looking out for the dolphins. This is normally a very remote and quite spot so it was nice to have a bunch of people gathered there and there was a great sense of camaraderie.
Although we did see the pod passing, and they did a few leaps out of the water, they seemed to be in a hurry to go elsewhere and I only managed to get a few photographs of them. Again, too far away to be impressive (you can see one of the photographs of them below).
However I did get chatting to a man there ~ mainly about cameras and photographing dolphins. We introduced ourselves and it turns out I had seen his photographs before and greatly admired them. I told him about our efforts to get close to the dolphins and our boat trip the day before (more of which in another post). To go on the boat we had had to give up the plan to watch and photograph the Red Arrows who were putting on a display over Moville that day. Michael (the name of the man I was chatting to) had attended it. I told him I knew because I had heard on local radio about the fantastic photographs he had taken. He has now very kindly emailed them to me and I will add them to this blog shortly. And having seen them, I concur with the radio presenter ~ they are indeed fabulous.
Our Derry couple invited us to join them for drinks but we said we had to go to our apartment so we invited them there and had a lovely while having drinks, chatting and watching the sun go down from our balcony.
Later, it was decided a trip Ireland’s most northerly pub nearby was in order .
I will draw a veil over the end of the night when, after some great Guinness and a shortcut walk across the rocks and sand back to our apartment one of us ended up with a very sandy bottom and the realisation that Guinness does not make one a mountain goat!
See also: Ham Sandwiches And Talking Heads ... But No Dolphins!