September 18th, 2003 – by: Aditu
One of the reasons it took forever to get to Burtonport, lol.
We were up super early and on our way this day because we had to get from Portrush to Burtonport to catch the ferry to Arranmore Island. I have a bit of an obsession with missing ferries so it didn't matter that we didn't catch the ferry until late afternoon, I wanted us on the road by 7am. I think Leann muttered at some time during the morning that I was worse than any tour director we ever had with "bags out by 6:30am". I have to say though that it was a good thing that we left when we did because getting to Burtonport was like finding a needle in a haystack. As a reminder if you ever go to Co. Donegal be sure and get the dual language map that's both Irish and English (which we did) and then still be prepared to get lost because many signs in Co.
Donegal are either very old and worn or dare I say rubbed off, lol. We did eventually find it, with time to spare as was pointed out to me oh maybe 100 ot 150 times. I have to say that our little 2 days of not getting lost and not having to ask for directions was shredded to pieces this day. The town of Burtonport was a cute little harbor town, and I vaguely remember that the scenery on the way there was pretty, but of course I was obsessed with getting there. I don't like to be lost and I'm not pleasant to be around when I'm lost which I'm sure Kerry and Leann can attest to, lol. But I mean come on we had a ferry to catch :)
We were all excited about going to Arranmore cause we were staying in a lighthouse on the island.
Now if you've read any other part of this blog you'll know that we are sunset freaks. You might have also noticed that we are castle freaks but what I'm sure you haven't figured out yet is that we are also lighthouse freaks. Kerry found this website for Lighthouse Dwellings on Arranmore and that was that, we pretty much rearranged our whole trip because we were going to Arranmore to stay in the lighthouse and it was well worth it. I guess I should clarify, it's not really the lighthouse itself that you stay in but the keeper's house but still right next to the lighthouse.
When the ferry to take us from Burtonport to Leabgarrow finally got there I thought I was going to die, not because the ferry looked in bad shape but because it looked like it was about 12 inches across AND I had to back the car onto it.
Me backing the car on, notice all the ferry workers, lol.
Now I feel I'm an okay driver and I can back up okay, but I had to back the car down the ramp across the beach thru the surf and then up the ferry ramp. That was bad enough but then I had to fit the car (which I'm pretty sure was wider than 12 inches) onto the ferry and it's 12 inch wide gate. I begged for the guys working the ferry to do it for me and they all said no mumbling something on the order of it's an island I better learn how to deal with ferries, lol. Of course I'm sure when we were at like 45 minutes of me trying to get the car on the ferry they were probably like, I should have done this for her. I did finally manage to get the car onto the ferry to thunderous applause from the ferry guys, Leann, Kerry and other random passangers who had been waiting 45 minutes to board, lol.
On the way to Arranmore Island.
I had stopped crying by this time and everyone was a good sport about it but I have to say anytime I knew we were going to get on a ferry and I swear we spent half the trip on ferries, I got a sick feeling in my stomach until I saw if it was a roll on, roll off ferry.
We made the 3 mile ferry trip in about a half an hour and the scenery on the way over was great, once we got there we went and got the key to the lighthouse and headed to the very end of the island where the lighthouse was. The inside was amazing, and huge. A living room, a kitchen, a pantry, a laundry which we were estatic over until the next day, and upstairs a bathroom and 3 big old bedrooms. I was in heaven until I realized that I was going to have to lug the monstrosity upstairs, then I decided why I'm just gonna leave it downstairs in the living room, lol.
The beach at Leabgarrow.
We all got ready to go eat and go out for some cider, we went to the Atlantic Bar and ate dinner, then headed down to Leabgarrow to get a drink at another pub, we pulled in at 6:05pm and......it was closed. Evidently tourist season is over on Arranmore Island in the beginning of September and if there's not many people in the pubs it closes. Of course I was having a good hair night that night doesn't if just figure, lol.
When we got back to the lighthouse we noticed that the front gate was closed and there was another car there, we hadn't originally noticed that there were actually 2 keeper's houses. I have to tell you, that place is on the very edge of the island and there is nothing, I mean no houses, no people no nothing but sheep ( when you stand outside at night you could see their eyes glowing in the dark when the light from the lighthouse hit them which kinda creeped me out ); I mean it took close to 30 minutes to get from town to the lighthouse.
The road to the lighthouse.
So when I saw the car, once I got over the gee hope their not serial killers thought I was kinda relieved. Kinda relieved turned into really relieved when 10 minutes after we got back there was a knock on the door (which was initially frightening) and our "neighbor" a professor from Dublin
who was here to go birdwatching came in and lit the coal fire in our living room. It was a little cold in there and I for one had every warm thing I own on because not one of us knew how to work the coal fire. lol. We all went to bed and my fondest memory of that night is laying there watching the light swing around every couple of minutes, listenting to wind rattle the window, hearing the waves crash on the rocks below and being all warm with the electric blanket that Lighthouse Dwellings so thoughfully provided for every bedroom.