Ireland generously treated us to unseasonally beautiful weather for most of our road trip. There was just one fateful day that the skies opened up and it happened to be at the culmination of our Northern Ireland route. But that didn’t stop us - we still had fun anyway.
When we arrived at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge the wind was squally and rain started coming down. Finding shelter in the small café, Erin got comfy with the kids and enjoyed a generous serving of warm, hearty (expensive) soup. I volunteered to take a bullet and venture out into the biting cold rain in order to go where no Bender had gone before. After all, how hard could it be?
I just paid for 1 adult entry (£5.60) and received a handy brochure which included a map of the area and interesting tidbits. I received a friendly warning from the smiling gent in the ticket booth, who looked rather rugged up, that it was a 1 kilometre walk to the actual rope bridge. It probably wasn’t such a bad idea leaving the kids in the café as that would have been a stretch for them.
I pushed against the driving wind on the way there and occasionally picked up my head to enjoy the breathtaking views. The pathway meandered along the cliff face and led straight to the legendary rope bridge. Swinging over 23 metres above the ocean, it might not sound very high, but it certainly felt that way. Combining the wet, slightly slippery wooden planks, swaying in the wind, it didn’t strike me as particularly child-friendly. I wouldn’t say it was dangerous but the weather wasn’t making it a walk in the park either.
Once I walked across, the rugged island provided a perfect panoramic view of the cliff face.
In the ocean below I could spot a dorsal fin protruding from the water, slowly making it’s way around the coast of the island. I grabbed a couple more photos of the dramatic coast and island and then made my way back to the bridge. On my way to the entrance I ran into Erin, Mia and Caius who came looking for me. Once they realised there was a 1km walk to the bridge, it made sense why I was gone for so long and we turned back to the carpark. Erin loves adventure and was pretty bummed she didn't get to cross the swaying bridge over shark-infested waters, but the slamming wind and driving rain sealed the deal on heading back.
We hastily hopped back into the car, cranked up the heater and drove 15 minutes down the road to our next stop, and the main attraction, Giant’s Causeway.