Whisky Magazine Issue 133
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From Mazin Head to Malin Head
Malin Head, Rockall; south-west backing south for a time, seven to severe gale now, storm ten later, very rough, occasionally very high in Malin, rain moderate or poor.' The shipping forecast murmurs from the radio, as squally winds batter the lime-washed walls of our rented fishing cottage. In the fireplace, hand-cut peat from nearby Connemara smoulders, filling the entire cottage with the comforting reek of smoke. To the west, Storm Desmond crashes across the west coast of Ireland. Road conditions are treacherous. It looks like we will be staying for a while. We are driving the Wild Atlantic Way, a touring trail that stretches the entire length of the west coast of Ireland. We started at Mazin Head, commonly accepted as the most southernly point of Ireland, although there is a small crag at Brow Head jutting a further nine metres south into the Atlantic, but Malin to Bow doesn't have the same pleasing alliterative quality as Malin to Mazin. The destination is Malin Head in Donegal, the most northerly tip of Ireland. Our refuge for the next few nights will be Galway, a handy mid-way point on a journey along the full length of the coast. It is a buzzy bohemian city with a bustling arts scene, plenty of music seisún and conveniently, a recently launched Whiskey Trail.
Storm Desmond clears eventually, and with it the excuse not to leave Galway. The city lends itself to fantasies of staying forever, whiling away afternoons walking the coast, clad in an Aran sweater, Irish wol...