5W, Rathlin Island, Visiting the ancestors and a 36km one day walk….

Today is a down and chill day, so I thought I would try to catch up on my blog post. My friend and I did the one day, 36 km Sligo Camino, and can hardly move, -more on that later- but thought this would be a good time to try and catch up.

The day after my last blog post, I took a bus from Cork, and made my way over to Wexford. Did I tell you there is a heat wave here? And one of the buses did not have air conditioning..it was warm. But I finally made my way to Wexford and was met by one of the 5W members. This time it was Heike, and what a wonderful generous women. I also met her lovely husband Thomas and wonderful 4 legged sidekick- a golden retriever name Rocky 🙂 We visited The Irish National Heritage Park, http://www.irishheritage.ie/ Hook Lighthouse, /www.hookheritage.ie a famine ship, https://www.dunbrody.com/ a tapestry exhibit, Which Heike took part in,http://www.rostapestry.ie/the-story/ a walled garden and so much more.

They treated me like royalty, showed me around, had great days out and lots of laughs. They fed my body, spirit and soul, they were amazing, kind , welcoming and caring. I feel blessed to have met them.

Wexford and the surrounding area is a must stop on your trip to Ireland, its beautiful and full of history.

After a wonderful welcome it was then off to Dublin, and the next morning my hiking and adventurer arrived on a 7:13 am flight. WE rented a car- did I tell you there was and is a heat wave- we upgraded to one that has air conditioning. Even the lady at the car rentel desk said he never thought she would be recommending to people to get air conditioning while in Ireland.

After a day of adjustment with time and traveling for 17 hours- the 1st day you feel like you have been hot by a truck. The next day we drove- well Sherry did- up to Crossmaglen. We visited another 5W lady, Roisin, the very same person who picked me up back in May when I first arrived in Ireland and I stayed with her for 4 days. It was great to see her again, and she had invited us up for brunch, it was also great to see her mom again who gave me a photo of my last visit. It was lovely of her.

On the way back to Dublin we stopped at Newgrange, oh dear, I’m so upset I had to see that again 🙂 Once again it was amazing, and magical…. we both enjoyed it. However because of the heat the grass is a little brown

The next day day Tuesday, we made our way up to meet up and stay with another 5W lady, Pat, who lives is Coleraine, Northern Ireland. On the way there. we stopped and had a tour of Trim castle. Back on the road, “Jane” our GPS took us on a side trip and up side roads that Sherry said..” this isn’t a road, this s a cow path” and she was right as there was cow poop in the middle of the road. After being turned around, filling the tank and bathroom break…we were back o the road and made our way up north, stopping at the Giants Causeway on the way..WOW!! IT is stunning….we could have stayed there all day…

That night we met Pat, and 3 other 5W members, who were from Japan , for dinner. The food was lovely, as was the company. Sherry and then followed Pat to her house, where we had a good nights sleep. The next morning we were up, and off to Rathlin Island for the day.

A friend of mine has a cousin who lives there. They have never met, but she hooked us up. We were met by the lovely Allison, and we were treated like royalty. She took us to the Rathlin Island Bird reserve, we saw Puffins, Razor Bill, Kitty wake and their chicks and more. https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/rathlin-island

On the ferry ride over I saw Gannets plunging into the ocean like missiles when they fold their wigs…they hit the water at 65 mph…it was amazing to watch..it was from a distant, but was still amazing.

Allison then took us on a tour of the island, I got to pet some lambs, see some young bulls being let out in the field for the 1st time, it was really funny, we saw all 3 lighthouses, were giving the history and treated to a delightful lunch. It was an amazing day, treated like royalty by a wonderful warm and funny lady. Time passed to quickly and it was time to get the 4:15 ferry. It was an amazing and magicial day.

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n the way back to Pat’s house we stopped at the “Dark hedges” where some of the Game of Thrones series was filmed- poor Sherry- I have never seen an episode, but it was still pretty cool.

We returned to Pats house and she had done so much for us, made us dinner and wouldn’t let us do anything. She is wonderful, caring and funny, and anther amazing example why love 5W.

The next morning after breakfast, we stopped at a few more sites the Game of Thrones was then on our way towards Sligo. But, we picked up a passenger, the “tire pressure loss” indicator showed up on the dash. We stopped at Bushmills, the guy there had a quick look and said it was fine. We stopped in Derry for lunch, and when we came out the tire was lower. But the universe was taking care of us and there was a tire shop 400 yards down the road. We got a new tire and on our way, everyone safe.

We eventually found our place in Riverstown…Jane took us on another side trip… we unpacked, went tot he local pub and Sherry had her first Guinness in Ireland, it really is better here…

I had arranged to once again hire the guide I had last time I was here in Sligo, to take us to Carrowkeel. yep- you can see, I was upset again to go back to Carrowkeel 🙂 If your ever in this area, and you want to see the surrounding area, especially archaeology, myths and history , hire Auriel Robinson of Seatrails Guided Heritage Tours and Special Experiences http://www.seatrails.ie/

She is amazing, bright, a wealth of knowledge and funny. We met and followed her to Carrowkeel, which was once again magical and amazing and I said hello to my ancestors once again. This is a magical. powerful and restorative place.

After that we went over to the the Keash caves, https://voicesfromthedawn.com/caves-of-kesh/ once again Auriel showed her knowledge, passion and humor. It was great, the views are stunning and calcite from this cave have been found in Carrowkeel cairns. As well as human remains that go back thousands of years, as well as bones form extinct animals.

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Then we come to yesterday…last year I saw information abut the Sligo Camino… I thought it was a good idea to do this while I was here. I asked Sherry if she would be interested, she said “hell yeah”- what were we thinking…we an hardly move today, and that’s much better then last night.

It was a memorable day, stunning scenery walking through forest, lane ways and up the Ox Mountains- where they found beads in Carrowkeel made from the stones in these very mountains. It was a day to remember, 36km in one day, up and down and around, and 1000 walkers in total. It was well organized and very welcoming. It was challenging physically and mentally and I’m sure we both learned lots from it and will be processing this walk for awhile.

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I continue to be amazed, surprised and delighted on this journey. By the people, places and landscapes of this magical place. I have 2 weeks left here, but know I will be processing this journey for months once I get home. The gifts I have received while here, are priceless and will last a life time.

Those are a few thoughts for today. thanks for coming along with me on this journey 🙂

Suzy

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