Surf’s up in Ireland
When my CEA coordinator asked if I would be interested in surfing in Ireland, I immediately responded with a, “YES!” I had no clue that there was surfing in Ireland and as a guy who fell in love with surfing the last time I went, there was no stopping me from trying it out in the beautiful country.
My trip started with me missing the bus from DCU to east side of Dublin. So I called the surfing company and informed them I was going to be a good 15 minutes late. Little did I know the bus was filled with 32 other people. WHOOPS!
We arrived in Bundoran in County Donegal when discovered I was the only American at this event. The hostel owner greeted everyone and informed that there is a 30th birthday party for one of the employees on Saturday night. I set my backpack down and proceeded to explore the town. I stuck my head into a few pubs where I finally ordered a pint at the Kicking Donkey with some live music. I ended up talking to one of the guitarists and found out he was going to be performing at the birthday party tomorrow.
While at this pub, I talked to at least four or five Irish people who all were extremely friendly and continued to buy drinks for me. The next morning I got up to go surfing on an absolutely gorgeous day. I hopped on a bus to head to the beach and we put our wet suits, boots, and gloves on and got a quick lesson before getting in the water.
The wet suit kept most of the Atlantic cold out, but I was confused why I had a bad headache a few times during the surf and I realized it wasn’t a headache at all! It was actual brain freeze from the water smacking you in the face. So the next day I made sure to have a hood and that was a game changer for sure for both the cold and keeping my hair out of my face.
After the two hour surf session, I went on a lovely coastal walk with some people I met from the hostel. We took solid nap on the side of the cliff and saw two para gliders fly over us as we were mesmerized by the ocean waves crashing into each other.
After our walk, we went to another hostel where a barbecue was taking place. There was a solid 30-40 people in the hostel and every single person I talked to was incredibly nice! The food was stellar as well as the craic and there was even a surfing competition in Oahu, Hawaii on the TV in the lounge.
I didn’t want to leave the gathering but I did want to check out the birthday party at my hostel. I met some more great people at the party and listened to some more awesome music.After the music stopped, I went to another pub on the guitarist’s suggestion to see another performer who was also crazy talented and then the final stop to see a live Irish band.
I got up Sunday and headed out to the beach for one last surf in Ireland. Both days had amazing surf, Saturday a little better than Sunday, but fantastic none the less. There’s a strong chance that I might go back for round two of surfing if the opportunity presents itself. I met so many happy people this trip. The people I talked to didn’t have much money but they were filled with life and optimism for the future. It made me realize how blessed I am to have the people in my life I do and all of the opportunities God has provided for me. This was by far my favorite weekend in Ireland so far.
Sylas S. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in Dublin, Ireland. He is currently a senior studying Mechanical Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Platteville.