Wild Atlantic Way - Donegal
A new photo series as I embark on The Wild Atlantic Way journey, with hopes of visiting the nine counties it traverses, during the next few months. First stop Donegal, in the northwest of Ireland, and what a fantastic place to start. What struck me most about Donegal is how vast it is, the driving times are longer than they look on the map, the scenery is rugged, beautiful, magnificent, so many different words could describe the place. It's no wonder Lonely Planet voted Donegal the coolest place to visit on the planet in 2017.
The magnificent mountain ranges I hadn't expected. Living close to the Dublin and Wicklow mountains all my life I am used to seeing mountains but our mountains are gradual inclines and rounded hills, whereas Donegal's mountains with sheer cliffs and pointy peaks rising from the valleys are the real mccoy.
Why not go on a micro adventure?
Whilst many people no doubt would be supping pints in the pubs on Friday, as a novelty being the first time pubs allowed to open on Good Friday in over 90 years, I would be somewhere completely different. Not for me the call of the pub, I would be waking up in a remote location to the freshest air, and the sounds of the sea somewhere along the coast, having pitched my tent late the night before with plans to be gone by early morning hopefully not to be disturbed, following the principles of Leave no Trace.
Fanad Head Lighthouse
A signature stop along the Wild Atlantic Way, Fanad Head Lighthouse is one of the best looking lighthouses in the world, and my first destination. I was here many years ago with Sinéad and the kids when they were small, I even have one of my early photos framed on our wall. I was interested in revisiting to test if my camera knowledge had improved and if I could get a better image and perhaps replace the one in my house.
Until recently I hadn't even heard of the immense sea cliffs of Slieve League, thanks to the advertising campaign of Go Visit Donegal, this was firmly on my radar and a must visit location whilst I was travelling the Wild Atlantic Way through Donegal.
I hiked up to the top of the cliffs before sunrise, guided by the light of a full moon which shone on the cliffs and the shoreline below. The image above was taken pre-sunrise as the full moon was setting. The sun shortly after rose behind me giving me the best of both worlds, I may even merge these two photos in photoshop to give a transitional light effect, could be interesting. Below the image I took as the sun rose lighting the tops of the cliffs.
No trip to Donegal would be complete without taking a photograph of its most famous mountain Mount Errigal. I was lucky to catch this image with the sun dappled mountain on an otherwise overcast day.
Another location I am sure every photographer who travels to Donegal takes a photo of is Dunlewy church, I am no different.
Some more of the images I took on my short trip to Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way.
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More info on the Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way, is the longest marked coastal route in the world at approximately 2,500 kilometres it follows the peninsulas and coastal outcrops along the West coast of Ireland. I was surprised to learn how long that coast is too. A truly magnificent road trip. For more on the Wild Atlantic Way areas of interest, places to eat and place to stay visit the website https://www.wildatlanticway.com/home