On the second part of your day 2 trip, we headed towards Mamore Gap, a route of windy roads. Watch out for speeding tourists and locals who usually take up two sides of the road even on blind corners!
This beautiful drive took us out of our way by only 10-15 mins and was well worth the trip, some fantastic views from the top are visible on clear days. Rising up at 250 meters above sea level, views of Lough Swilly, the Fanad Peninsula, Urris and North Inishowen can be seen.
Near the summit of Mamore Gap there are a number of holy relics that can be discovered. A holy well devoted to St Eigne and a small alter of statues are the centre point of annual mass held here every August 15th. On this day the feast of the ascension of the Virgin Mary into heaven is held, which is of huge importance in Ireland as a commemoration of penal times when people had to practice their religion in secret to be protected from persecution.
Cyclists travel from over the world to try and concur Mamore gap as it is a mecca for them. Known as the hardest climb in Donegal, Mamore Gap was last used in the An Post Rás – Irelands only UCI-ranked cycling race where the feedback afterwards was on of utter astonishment at the difficulty of the route.
Keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Gravity Hill’ along the way! An optical illusion of a slight downward slope, which appears to be sloping upwards, confused? Yeah me too.
As a result of this a car left in neutral, will appear to roll, uphill.
The steep meandering road is sheltered on either side by the hill of Mamore on the east and on the west the hill of Craogh Carragh. To the north east is Raghtin More which stands 1657 feet in the distance.
These hills are only a small feature of glacier deposits and formations which are abundant in this area, other local imprints of the Ice Age date as far back as 15000 BC.
Rosguill Holiday Park
From Mamore Gap we travelled an hour and 30 mins to get to our second camp site, Rosguill Holiday Park
When we arrived the office was closed (4pm). We made several attempts to contact someone so we could find out where we could pitch the tent. Eventually someone answered and told us where to go and said they would be there in 30 mins. We pitched the tent and after a few mishaps we finished in under an hour!
Afterwards, we thought we would call into the office again to get paid up etc.. After another phone call the girl said she would be down in 5 minutes. Sure enough this time she came down, we paid, €16 for one night.
We also got the keys to unisex toilets, male and female showers (1€ for 6 mins) and keys to a kitchenette (microwave, kettle, toaster and fridge). After this we decided to go in search of food.
An Sibin Ceoil (The Singing Pub)
We didn’t have to look too far, as just down the road from the campsite, we found this little gem:
An Sibin Ceoil, which translates to ‘The Singing Pub’ – it’s beautifully atmospheric with a peat fire, wooden beam ceiling and thatched roof. We asked for a table for two, to which we were told to sit at a reserved table and someone would be with us shortly. We waited and waited and eventually we had to go to the bar and ask for service. To be fair, they seemed very busy, but no one likes to be kept waiting, especially when they’re hungry.
The food was divine and definitely worth the wait, hot wings and breaded brie with a cranberry sauce for starters. Both starters were unreal! The hot wings were succulent with the correct amount of BBQ sauce over the top. The breaded brie was coated perfectly with the inner cheese melted to perfection. The only complaint on the starters, there wasn’t enough!
We both had the same main. A 6oz Irish beef burger, with cheese. Again, the same as the starters everything was made to perfection. The only overall issue we had was, as mentioned above, we were told the table was reserved for 7pm. So as we rushed through our meal we felt like we didn’t enjoy it. Finally we got to the point were we just decided to sit and enjoyed our meal. This however, wouldn’t put us off going back or recommending An Sibin Ceoil to anyone.
It all worked out at €51 including drinks.
After dinner we returned to Rosguill Holiday Park and waited up just long enough to catch the moon rising over the lough.
Goodnight from Rosguill Holiday Park and Day 2.