This coastal area is much like the west coast of Scotland - not surprisingly as on a good day from some spots you can see the Isles of Jura and Islay - LOL, we still can't tear ourselves fully away!! Van parks line the coast like coconut sprinkled on a lamington. Spots and spots and hundreds more - relocatable homes, on site vans, permanent vans, touring vans and motorhomes. You could be mistaken for thinking you were at Budgewoi or Huskisson!
We turn off the main route to Ballintoy Harbour.
In the nearby town of Bushmills there is a different memorial to the fallen right in the centre of the main roundabout; a testimonial to the local Irish who lost their lives needlessly during the Great War. However, what sets this memorial apart from others we have seen is the sculpture: an Irish Fusilier at the charge.
Further on we stop at the Old Bushmill's Distillery where the order of the day is Whiskey (and don't insult the Irish by quoting the Scottish whisky!)
The history of Dunluce Castle is a story of wealth, war, consolidation, betrayal and finally -destruction.
As we drive away from Bushmills on the Causeway Coast route towards Londonderry we get held up in a traffic jam along the foreshore in Portrush that would rival trying to drive in mid-summer along Campbell Parade at Bondi Beach or North Steyne at Manly Beach. In fact, the foreshore of Portrush reminded us of Coogee - pubs; seafood outlets; apartment buildings and concrete!
We are now at Groarty House/Manor B&B on Groarty Lane, Sheriffs Hill in the hills just outside Londonderry where Margaret and John (and their son Stuart who excitedly tells us he turns 12 in 2 days) gave us a very warm welcome. It was so good to get back to a more regular B&B where the house is the family home, and feels like one. Lots of parallels - Stuart, and John before him, is in Scouts, Margaret is into handiwork and none of us can understand young people's need for social networking tools like Twitter! Our room is at the front of the house with wonderful views across Londonderry (herein after referred to as the locals do - as Derry). By night the lights are just amazing.
A shared garlic and cheese breads
Jack Stack Rib Eye (rib eye cooked to your preference [blue] stacked with roasted bell peppers, onion, mozzarella cheese and rich roast herb juices) Michael
Chicken Teriaki (fillets of succulent chicken marinated in their 'secret' Teriaki spices served with a curry mayo) Maria
Tobacco Onions (Michael particularly liked the name!); fresh vegetables consisting of baby carrots and steamed cabbage (...for self propulsion); Parmesan fries.
Banoffi Pie (Maria)
Choc Brownie and cream (Michael)
Apologies for not supplying photos of our meals; we were quite knackered and couldn't be bothered going to the car to retrieve the camera.....