Walking Around Horn Head Part 2

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Late sunshine as I made my way back along Horn Head.

 

In Part 1 I had been making my way west along the northern cliffs of Horn Head.  A late start meant I wasn’t going to make it as far as Tramore beach, which would have to wait for another day, but I still wanted to get as far as possilbe before having to turn back to the car at Coastguard Hill.  There was a succession of high headlands, divided by deep inlets, and each one enticed me a little further along.

 

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Thrift, also known as sea pink, added a bit of colour on this grassy cliff top.  It had been a fairly dark, gloomy day so far, although if anything, that suited this wild, dramatic landscape.

 

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Making may way around one of the deep indentations in the cliffs.

 

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It was getting late, and I had a fairly long walk back again to the car, so I decided that I would turn back once I reached the high point in the above photo.

 

Making my way to the top of the next headland, where I knew I would then turn back for the return leg, I was passing through an area where a lot of the underlying rock was exposed in great slabs, or scattered around in fragmented pieces.  The rock is apparently quartzite, a sandstone which has been metamorphised into quartz, and is the same type of rock as that found on nearby mountains like Errigal and Muckish.

 

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The watch tower, one of the first points I had visited on the walk, was the merest dot on the skyline, to the right of the Horn Head formation.

 

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Layered and twisted rock in the cliffs.

 

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Tory Island on the horizon.

 

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Reaching the top of the next headland, the cliffs still stretched ahead invitingly, but I was running out of time and light for the walk back, and it was time to turn.  I promised myself however, that I would return to walk the rest of this magnificent stretch of coastline.

 

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As I started back towards the car, the sun broke through the clouds for the first time that day, briefly lighting up the cliffs with golden light, making for an awesome sight.

 

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The light also lit up the ridge of higher ground inland, and I made a mental note to include a walk over that raised area on my next visit.

 

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Already, the clouds were beginning to close in again to the west.

 

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I startled this duck from the heather on the way back.  My best guess is that it is a tufted duck or a scaup, but I’m not sure.

 

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Horn Head catching the last of the sunlight.

 

As the sun disappeared behind the clouds again, I arrived back at the ruins of the watch tower dating from the Napoleonic Wars.  It would soon be dark, but it wasn’t far from here to the car, so I lingered a while, taking shots of the tower against the late evening sky.

 

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Back at the ruined watch tower.

 

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I had a few final glances at the last shafts of light piercing the clouds and creating spotlights on the sea out towards Tory Island, before I felt the first drops of rain, and had to put the camera away.  Time to make for the car.

 

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