Thursday 25th August 2016 – From Malin Head back to Londonderry, about 50 miles

The view from Sandrock Hostel window is superb – distant mountains over a blue sea sprinkled with foam whitened rocks, an occasional neat surfy wave breaking out in the deeper channel. This was the venue for breakfast. It was a bit difficult getting going given how lovely the place is… Impressive wifi too, so at long last diary entries were uploaded, along with photos. But we got going at about 10.30am and cycled around the headland to Malin Head, which was busy. A girl was playing old tunes on the violin in hope of an appreciative donation, a PR man was asking a victim to rate his experience of the area (‘how would you rate the magic of the experience on a scale of 1 to 10′), food was available and numerous tourists were coming and going, parking being at a premium. I suppose it was a bit like Land’s End…

We pushed on along the coast, stopping only to take a photo of the metoffice (Irish Met Office) that gives the readings for Malin. You know the sort of thing – ‘Malin Head South West Gale Force 8, light snow, good’. As good as a cup of cocoa for getting off to a cozy sleep safe on land…

Then mostly following the Inishowen 100 route – Portaleen, Culdaff with its lovely beach where I swam in the very clear, and cool, water while the tiny swell rolled in 10″ high, delicious for a sweaty cyclist, then along the back roads to Leckemy. Then on to Moville where we joined the rather busy coast road down to Londonderry – except that at Muff we diverted off onto a smaller road inland which led us into a bit of town we just didn’t know so we wound around for while… But we still got to the hostel almost at the dot of 5pm. Early for us. Derry City Independent Hostel has a bath which is very nice.

Aside: do you say Derry or Londonderry – whichever you say you offend someone. Can’t they revert to an older name or invent a new one… I suggest Fifi, a town called Fifi would be a tourist draw and no-one who was passionately on either side would ever want it. So that’s the perfect choice! A serious choice would be Calgach or Columba since they predate Derry entirely.

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