Northern Ireland: Day 3 Whiterocks & Binevenagh

After breakfast we checked out and headed to Whiterocks Beach. We were hoping to explore some caves on the beach but got a bit more than we bargained for. In the distance along the shore we saw an amazing arch formation that we wanted to explore. We began walking on the sand towards it. Soon the sand was gone and there were only rocks to walk on. Next, the rocks turned to water. We wanted to press on because there were more rocks on the other side of some shallow water. We rolled up our jeans and took off our shoes to get to the other side. This happened several times and the tide was rolling in making the water deeper each time we would try to get to the other side. Soon, the water was up to our wastes’ and we had to hold car keys and phones. We had to wear our shoes because the rocks are too sharp to take them off. Finally the rocks ended and the water is too deep to go forward and too deep to go back due to the tide. We were trapped.

We found cove with a small beach where we could climb up and over the cliffs. At least we could see light and it looked better and safer than going all the way back. We couldn’t tell how deep but there was 50m of water separating us from the shore. I handed Tommy the keys and jumped off the rocks into the middle of the unknown water. I sank 15ft to the bottom and pushed off back to the surface. In a freezing panic, I swam for the shore. The rip current was pulling me back out but I made it to land. My back felt like it was burning from the cold water. Now I had to swim back to Tommy to retrieve the phone and keys. I held them above my head and swam back to shore. Tommy jumped in next and was also shocked by the cold. Back on land we were so happy to be out of the water. Now we have to climb out of this narrow cove up the steep gravel cliffs. I lead the way carefully trying to find strong footing. We had to use our hands and feet as the loose rocks fell behind us. Climbing just 50ft took us 20 minutes due to the danger of the loose rocks. Each movement had to be carefully timed and thought out to ensure we don’t slide shirtless down the steep sides. We finally made it to the top!

After rejoicing, I looked down at the grass and saw there was blood on it. I quickly realized that one of my fingers was badly bleeding, so I used a sock to put pressure on the cut. We walked back to the car park in soaking wet jeans and I found some lifeguards to ask for a bandage. We changed our clothes and rested for a while before moving on.

We were sore and completely tired from the traumatic experience on the white rocks, but we pressed on to Binevenagh. About 40 minutes later we arrived at the carpark at the cliff plateau.  We were nearly alone at the cliffs taking in this amazing view. I would highly recommend driving here. It is free, easily accessible, and the view is unhindered by tourists or guided paths. This was a great place to recover and sit in the sun taking pictures. That was our last stop on the trip, so with backpacks full of wet clothes, we drove back to Belfast airport.

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