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Posted on Jun 13, 2019

After leaving Hobart on Sunday night 12th May, I got into Melbourne airport to find I had a delayed flight. Due to this I didn't get into Northern Ireland until Tuesday afternoon. But from then on things have run pretty smoothly. In my first week here I got to go to Chestnuts stock feed factory. They bring in different types of meal like maize, palm husk, barley, etc, and then mix them together to make different stock feeds. That same day we all went to see an old rope bridge and went to a seaside village called Ballycastle. I spent a couple of days at the Balmoral show which is very similar to Agfest. Lots of showing and judging of stock. From chickens and goats right through to cattle. On the Saturday I went to Bushmills whiskey distillery for a tour. This pretty well concluded my first week in Northern Ireland. For the next week I was in county Amargh. While here I was able to go shearing for a day with a local shearer, have a tour of a robotic milking farm and also saw a tractor rally. For my third week in Northern Ireland I stayed back up near Ballymena. They had a show on that weekend so I spent a few afternoons going to the grounds to help set up. The show was like a small version of Agfest but had a lot of stock judging.

For my fourth week I flew to Wales. Here I got to see my first castle and experience the joys of Welsh cakes (kind of like a thin fruit scone). I went to a massive old coal mine called "Big Pit". The tour through that was amazing. I also went to the Welsh Museum that showed the Welsh lifestyle from back in the 1600s right through to now. They had old buildings that they relocated from all over Wales, back to this one site. They numbered each brick on the houses so they could put them back together exactly as they were originally. I went down to "the Gower" for my last few days. It was right on the coastline and was very scenic. My host, Tom, took me to a massive natural feature called "Worms Head". It's an island that you can walk to when the tide is out. At that concluded the first half of my UK exchange. Just Scotland and England to go.