I’m back home again in Downpatrick. I would have written this update in Newcastle but for some reason the internet connection on my phone just wouldn’t work.
So what did I do on the beach and for how long was I barefoot? Well, to answer the second question, by my estimate it was ten hours.
To answer the first question, I arrived on Murlough Nature Reserve at 8.20am where I too off my shoes. I walked along the wooden walkway to the beach and turned left. I headed up towards Dundrum, turned back and walked down towards Newcastle. On the way I took a detour off the beach up to the caravan park and into the little cafe where I had a pot of tea and a lemon flavoured muffin.
By this time it was high tide and the lure of the sea (combined with the glorious summer weather) was getting stronger. I started off by having a paddle in the surf, gradually going in deeper; and even though my jeans are rolled up they still end up getting soaked. And then the water comes up to my hips and I think, oh well, I may as well let them get totally soaked.
From there I made my way down to Newcastle. Now although it was a very hot day, especially by Irish standards, my jeans were still wet when I got to the town, so I couldn’t very well take a seat in Maud’s ice cream parlour. So I got a six-inch sub and a tea from Subway instead and had them on the grass by the promenade.
After that I played in the sand dunes for a while until it was time to catch the 7.00 bus back to Downpatrick.
So, from 8.20am when I arrived at Murlough to 6.50pm when I left the beach and put my shoes back on, that’s ten and a half hours — minus twenty minutes when I went into Subway, that’s still more than ten hours.
This has been the best Twelfth of July ever!