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Today we set out of Corrymeela to see some of the local sights, after a fun and wistful goodbye to our hosts. If you are lucky you might see the My Pony video…let’s just say we sang a silly, simple and infectious tune while we pretended to ride ponies in a circle. We were leaving adult sleep away camp. We would also sing “My Pony” many more times…

The next few hours would be the most harrowing for those of us who consider the distance from the couch to the refrigerator a good hike. (Ahem.) We stopped first at Giant’s Causeway, a natural rock formation that juts out into the ocean. It took some convincing, but my crew convinced me to climb up. As I recalled from a childhood tree climbing incident, just a bit too late…it isn’t the climbing up that is the problem…. It’s coming back down. Yikes!

I survived the hike about a mile or a bit less ? down to the causeway, it was coming back that also got me, with the steep grade most of the way. I was so proud to reach the top without assistance or taking the £1 bus ride back up. Now it was off to the rope bridge. as it turned out we were too early for admission to the rope bridge, so we went on our tour of Bushmills distillery.We weren’t allowed to use any electronic devices, including cameras, and certainly not allowed to smoke because of the level of alcohol in the air. I’m no fan of whiskey, but the history and process were nonetheless interesting.

We went back to the rope bridge, where I contemplated sitting in the small restaurant the entire time the girls were enjoying that. But I went ahead and made the trek down to the bridge. My hamstrings feel as tight as a piano wire now. I wouldn’t cross the bridge, much to the chagrin of the girls. Um. H2tN.

The hike back up from the bridge was fierce. It made the giants causeway journey look like a walk to the mailbox. I had to stop at least three or four times. Photo op! Recovery breath! Sweet buttered toast, why didn’t I train for this? Many of the girls were, as I like to say, hurtin’ for certain, and I will admit I felt a tiny bit of relief that I was not alone. We grabbed some lunch and headed out for Derry.

We made it to Derry, a little tired and ready to settle in. When we arrived at our hostel, I had more than one reservation. I tried to mentally calculate how many chapters the report would be if my husband were doing a home inspection on it. Now any parents reading this should not be alarmed. The conditions of the hostel are somewhat like those i have seen in off campus student housing…deferred maintenance, low or no budget finishings, etc. I didn’t sense danger, but it came off rather shoddy. The girls seemed to like it, even with six sharing a room the size of my closet back home.

We had dinner at the Ice Wharf and hit up Tescos (kind of like a super Walmart, but smaller, less selection, and much more grocery than non grocery items). Later i supervised the girls at the social center where they were playing live traditional music. I feel much better keeping an eye on them and escorting them back to the hostel. I talked with locals and a few visitors, with one eye on my baby ducks. 🙂 I was so proud of their choices and behaviors, I complimented them all when we got back for the night.

Tomorrow we have a walking tour of Derry and learn more about the Troubles from a different perspective.

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