May 14th, 2016
We had a giant “Full Irish” breakfast in the hotel. These are before and after pictures of J’s plate.
Then we went to see the Marble Arch caves which are part of a huge Unesco Geopark (I’d never heard of one of these before). Apparently they were where the Beric Dondarion scenes in Game of Thrones were filmed – but I kind of doubt this now as it was never mentioned on the guided tour. First we went on a brief boat trip and then we went round the caves.
We were told the story of how when they were preparing for the caves to be opened to the public in 1980s – some vandals broke in. They threw stones at a huge stalactite and broke the end off it. With some degree of luck, the broken bit fell on to the sandy beach and was intact, so after some research at the University of Belfast, they developed a special gel which they used to stick it back on. As these things grow so slowly (1cm in 1000 years) it will be another 80 years before anyone knows whether it has ‘taken’ and started to grow again.
Then we went and picked up our cruiser. I had ordered us a baseball cap each – N’s said “Captain” (because he drove the boat and parked it), R said “Security” (because that is what he is in to), mine said “Galley Slave” (because I made all the meals and cleaned up after everyone), J’s said “Drunken Sailor” (because, well….). Needless to say J refused to be photographed in it. The boat was great apart from two features a) the electrical power was off an invertor which would only charge our numerous electronic devices when the engines were on b) the toilets were a bit sort of basic. You had to vigorously pump a handle to deposit “deposits” into a tank which was of strictly limited size, so we tried to set a policy of “if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown – wait until you can go on shore”. Some of us were better at following the policy than others. The owners had put fresh flowers and a Bushmills miniature out for R. R may be needing this as he finds boats stressful.
We set off with lovely weather and ended the day with another large, tasty and unhealthy meal in “The Mayfly Inn”. I have a feeling I may need to be on a diet when we get back.