What a beautiful day on the Causeway Coast Way! After yesterday’s rain, I had some sun to complete this second stretch of trail. Today, I had to hike about twenty kilometres between Ballintoy and the Giant’s Causeway.
And unlike yesterday, this time, I followed a real trail along the sea. And from my first kilometres from the harbour of Ballintoy, I knew that this portion of the trail would be spectacular.
From Ballintoy, the Causeway Coast Way follows the coast to White Park Bay Beach. A portion of the path along the cliff is inaccessible at high tide, but I was prepared and inquired about the tide schedule before leaving this morning, so I had no problem accessing the long beach, which I followed for almost 3 kilometers.
After, the trail becomes a bit steeper. It runs along the cliffs, up and down promontories and even passes under a rocky arch. It also passes through a few fields of sheep and offers spectacular views of the coastline and its particular rock formations.
I felt like each view from the trail was breathtaking.
I eventually arrived at the ruins of Dunseverick Castle. Like yesterday, there was nobody around the ruins of the old castle dating from the 16th century, so I took the opportunity to take a short water break among the ruins and enjoy the landscape.
Afterwards, I knew that I was approaching the Giant’s Causeway because hikers were more numerous (whereas I had only met one in the morning). The path followed the crest of the cliff (which at its highest point reached 100 meters high) and as it was a clear day, I could see, in the distance, the mountains of Scotland.
I was starting to have tired legs when I reached the site of the Giant’s Causeway. The cliffs were now given way to the large basalt columns that give the site that particular aspect that has earned it recognition as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Legend has it that the giant Finn McCool is responsible for the creation of the causeway (hence the name of the place), but the hexagonal columns are rather the result of volcanic activities.
I probably could have stayed longer on the site, but I was starting to be rather exhausted and there were too many tourists for my taste. So I walked the last mile I had to go before reaching my accomodation for the nigth. Last portion of the trail tomorrow!