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Cushendall - Belfast and the journey back home

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Monday 23 December, Cushendall - Belfast and the journey back home

The last morning and still our bad luck in this hotel is not entirely over, at least for Elisabeth. Instead of the ordered fried eggs she gets scrambled eggs. Eggs are eggs, one can say, but scrambled eggs is my favourite breakfast and Elisabeth doesn't like eggs that way. We are the only guests in the hotel, but the staff is very busy elsewhere and we don't want to bother them with this. Well, at least Elisabeth now can experience what I like to eat for breakfast...
Glenariff Valley Glenariff ValleyWe start out driving through Glenballyemon and the Glenariff Valley, two beautiful valleys with waterfalls everywhere, falling from the steep hills into the green valley. There have been found many traces of habitation in this area from the Neolithic period and it surely it must have been a good place to live: sheltered by the mountains, fertile soil and near the sea.
Glenariff ValleyFrom the main road along the coast there are several valleys which go more inland and we follow them all. We still have the whole day before we have to be at the airport.
We noticed that the roads in Northern-Ireland are of a much better quality than those in the republic Ireland, but sometimes very narrow. And the more south we come, in the direction of Belfast, the better the roads.
Road along the sea Road along the seaFrom Carnlough until Larne, the road is very close to the sea, which splashes high above the fairly low seawall. How would they have placed all the blocks of concrete there?
A last picknickAt Larne we go looking for the waterfall near Glenoe, but we can't find it. On a picnic place we make some sandwiches for the flight back. Until now we have had a dry day, but now the real rain starts to fall, something we had been expecting for a few days now. But with 10°C it is still not cold.
Another journey is over!In Carrickfergus hebben we dan onze laatste publunch. We wandelen wat door het stadje, maar het weer wordt nu echt onaangenaam. We besluiten nog In Carrickfergus we take our last lunch in a pub. We take a walk through town but now the weather is getting really unpleasant. So we decide to get into the car and drive on some nice roads through the interior but we can't see very much with all this rain. Finally we come to experience some real Irish weather, in our last few hours here!
One last picture together and then we head for the airport. Of course we get lost a few times, but we still have time enough.
At the airport we look for a gas station but the only one present is unmanned: the man has his teatime! So we have to drive back almost 10 kilometres to the last village we went through and then back to the airport. But in the few minutes that we filled up our tank, the army has blocked the road and we are being checked by men with machine guns, ready to fire at our tires. Until now we hadn't noticed anything of the presence of the British army, but thanks to this missing employee at the gas station, we have this last experience. We can pass immediately, but not everyone is so lucky.
On the airport it takes quite lot of time to report the (small) damage to our rental car, but after that time flies. A cup of coffee, boarding the plane and before we realise we have left this beautiful and really green island. We arrive at home after twelve at night, but our minds are still in Ireland, they don't travel that fast. Again, we have had a wonderful experience in a beautiful country with very friendly people... sigh... When can we go again?


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