Having sorted out the last few bureaucratic bits and pieces in Dublin, we hit the road on Wednesday heading north to Scotland with a couple of pitstops on the way in the Mournes and Fairhead to get used to the damp weather and midges waiting for us over the water.
We stopped at Pidgeon in the Mournes to climb a few quality E1s. Dunk rattled through Castrol and Yellow Brick Road with style. Typically, it started raining as I (Jess) headed up my first Mournes E1 - Phantoms. Then the midges came out to feast on poor Dunk who was stuck belaying. We ploughed on.
Once finished, it was time to do a legger to escape the dreaded midge. We headed further north to camp in Murlough Bay for the night. Murlough Bay is a fantastic spot with spectacular views of the islands of Rathlin, Islay (where Dunk and his single malts are from), Ailsa Craig and the Mull of Kintyre. You can also see Fairhead. Dunk managed to negotiate the van down the tiny track with multiple warnings of road subsidence until the poor van bottomed out on a particularly high bump and had its waste pipe ripped off. Oh dear!! So we decided to stop there for the night.
I led up a friendly VS to warm us up (although it was bloody cold especially belaying in the shade) and then Dunk headed up a classic E1 line on the Prow - Midnight Cruiser. 5b moves kept him working all the way up.
With the E1 in the bag, it was time to pack up and hit the road to try to make the 5.30 pm ferry from Larne to Troon and to warm up!