The guinea pig's revenge

Dunfanaghy Travel Blog

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Mussendun Temple

I got up before dawn this morning after my first real night's sleep (yay!) and headed out along the causeway.  I really wanted to see the Mussendun temple, so I headed out there just in time to see the sun rise over the water.  It was really beautiful as this perfect little round temple is sitting on the edge of a high cliff overlooking the water.  I was completely alone up there as well, it seems that the Irish don't get up so early on Saturdays because the roads were empty as well.

My next stop was Ballymoney which is where some of my family roots can be traced.  I found the old church that my great great (etc) grandfather attended and the graveyard he's buried in across the street immediately.  (Here's more info if you're interested http://www.

geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/4592/   But the graveyard was still locked, so I went to a local restaurant for an Ulster fry for breakfast.  An Ulster fry is bacon, sausage, soda bread, tomato, fried egg, tea, potato bread, toast, and pancake.  Very filling, but also very tasty.  With my toast I was given orange marmalade which is apparently the only type of jam they use around the area.  Which made me wonder about how my dad always said that is what his family ate all the time (which is why he can't stand it) and how far back that tradition really goes.

The graveyard was open by the time I finished breakfast and I had no trouble finding the right grave as it is the very first one as you walk in.  My next stop was the Ballymoney museum which had some interesting things from the area, plus I needed some directions.

Grave of James McFarland

I then headed down the road for The Jungle for zorbing (aka the human hamster ball).  It was nearly impossible to find and I had to get directions twice.  I thought I was in the wrong place when I turned into what was clearly an active working farm and drove right between two of the main sheds and the farmhouse up a hill filled with grazing cows, but then I saw the giant clear plastic balls perched on the top of the hill and knew I was in the right place.  I was the first one of the morning, so I climbed into one of the big balls and sat there.  The staff then took a giant hose and stuck it through the opening and I was hit by such incredibly cold water that I swear it was colder than ice.  I had to hold my feet up out of the water because for some reason that made it feel warm enough that I wasn't going to die instantly.

Zorbing
  Then they plug the hole with a piece of plastic that they inflate into place and cover with a small circular tarp before pushing me down the hill.  I tried to remain sitting upright, but that lasted only a split second before I turned suddnely 180 degrees and was lying on my back, just in time to see a huge wave of water land right on top of me soaking me through.  It was like a crazy giant (and freezing cold) waterslide and lots of fun.  I spun around in circles, mostly with legs flying somewhere above my head until I reached the bottom.  They then unplugged the hold and I slid out feet first along with all the water like a weird breech birth or something.  My wonderful trekking pants were already dry by the time I got back to the top of the hill, but I changed and watched some of the others go down.
My hostel
  Apparently most people are able to go down upright, but the other people yorbing eagerly informed me how hilarious I looked going down the hill flying around inside the thing.  It was very fun even with the cold water.

I was off again, this time to Londonderry which I thought for some reason would be great as it had this large old walled city in the middle of it.  I was very disappointed.  The city walls are nice, but the buildings within the walls looked more like a suburban mall than an ancient historic village.  I did stop for fish and chips and a Guiness for lunch and it is true that Guiness is actually drinkable in Ireland.  I can't stand a sip of that bitter stuff in the US, but here it really didn't have a strong aftertaste and was not as yeasty.

Dunganaghy
  I still could only have 1/3 of a glass because it was so filling, but that is much more than I have ever had before.

I then headed up to Dunfanaghy which is where I was planning to spend the night.  It is located on an incredibly picturesque part of the shoreline of Ireland that somehow puts the other amazing places along the coast to shame.  It seems that every feature of the other parts of Ireland that make it awe inspiring were somehow made ten times better and all put right here in Dunfanaghy.  I watched the sunset from a high cliff top overlooking the Atlantic.

I then went to enjoy some Irish music at a local bar along with a pint.  There was a wedding party there as well and the bride had a very unusual dress that reminded me of a mermaid, but it was still very pretty.  Still not sure what I am doing tomorrow yet, so it'll be a surprise for everyone!

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Mussendun Temple
Mussendun Temple
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Grave of James McFarland
Grave of James McFarland
Zorbing
Zorbing
My hostel
My hostel
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Downhill Demesne
Ballymoney clock tower
Ballymoney clock tower
Zorbing
Zorbing
Cattle watching Zorbing
Cattle watching Zorbing
Zorbing
Zorbing
Zorbing
Zorbing
Derry
Derry
Derry
Derry
Derry
Derry
Derry
Derry
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Wonderful fish dinner
Wonderful fish dinner
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy
Dunganaghy pub- with a ghost  :)
Dunganaghy pub- with a ghost :)
Dunfanaghy
photo by: nicoleah