Teelin Travel Blog› entry 21 of 25 › view all entries
May 31st, 2005 – by: kingelvis14
The Irish have to be the funniest people on the globe.
Paddy told us stories of stranded sheep and suicides as we idled along the rocky shore. The cliffs had claimed many lives; some by careless mishap and others by despair. One of the suicide victims was a familiar name ~ Hegarty. Conal's brother had taken his own life by throwing himself from these cliffs.
A picture speaks a thousand words. You can tell from my photos that we were having just a grand time, being entertained and informed by our new friends, Paddy and Paddy. I'll have to separate these for you because they have the same name. Paddy, the boat owner, and the other Paddy, who moved to Carrick from Belfast some years ago. "Why did you leave your home?" I asked of him. "They didn't want me there anymore." Okay. I think I know what it feels like to not "fit in" or to not be included. But in your own home town? Paddy is Catholic and Belfast is under English Protestant rule.
An hour's ride along this rugged seacoast brought us to the highest sea cliffs in Europe. At 1,972 feet above the Atlantic, these towering cliffs
are an astounding 600 feet (60 stories) taller than the World Trade Center Towers (now destroyed by terrorists) and 160 feet taller than the CN Tower in Toronto, the world's tallest structure/building. I have been on the observation deck of both these buildings, so I can truly appreciate the magnitude of this natural wonder. There is a walking path along the top of the cliffs for the strong of heart. In other words, it's not for me.
Mid-afternoon had the sun dropping lower on the horizon. What I wouldn't give to be able to see the sunset on these stone walls, igniting every color of orange, red and tawny gold. Reality is, however, we had an hour's ride back to Teelin Harbour and then another hour back to our hotel in Donegal. Have you ever had a moment in time that you would like to hold still, if just for a little while. That was how I felt at this particular hour on this particular day. But it wasn't to be. Small talk gave way to silence as we all realized our day was quickly coming to an end. Paddy gently guided his little boat back into the safety of the harbour. We were sad to say "goodbye" and lingered for awhile on the boatdock. A picture of Paddy from Belfast with his prized possession, a 1975 Goldwing Motorcycle, tells it all. His smile, his jolly demeanor, and his willingness to make a new life in a new town because he was "not wanted" anymore, is a story as old as time.
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