I was very excited to write this post about my surfing experience with Turf’n’Surf through the CEA. Unfortunately on Sunday the GroPro I was using got taken by the Atlantic Ocean (sorry Zack!) while surfing so I lost St. Patrick’s Day footage and all of the surfing weekend. However, I will tell as much as I can with the little photos I took.
So Molly and Tommie left Friday morning, I did some homework and then got ready for my surfing weekend. 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. I was told that there was only six people through the CEA going to this event so I felt bad for holding them up, little did I know the bus was filled with 32 other people. WHOOPS!
After passing out on the bus there, we arrived in Bundoran in County Donegal. I discovered I was the only American at this event and was put in a room with five French people. The owner of the hostel greeted everyone and informed that there is a BYOB 30th birthday party for one of the employees on Saturday night so make sure to get alcohol for the party. 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. So the next morning was a little rough getting up and moving to go surfing. But I got to the beach after carbing up to soak up some Guinness on an absolutely gorgeous day.
I’ve said a couple times in my last posts that the weather was incredible, but it was honestly the best weather yet. I hopped on a bus to Rossnowlagh Beach where I got into a full wet suit with gloves and boots. My group walked our boards down to the beach and got a quick surfing tutorial which was a good refresher since I hadn’t gone in two years but I was itching to just run to the water.
The boots worked great but the gloves weren’t that great for keeping the cold Atlantic out. The worst was when you’re surfing through a wave and the crest hit your head. 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 met up with four Google employees staying at the same hostel and we went on a coastal walk and absorbed some vitamin D with a solid nap on the side of the cliff. We had 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. We got there and there was about ten to fifteen other people in the hostel waiting for the BBQ as well. By the time the food was ready, there was a solid 30-40 people in the hostel and every single person I talked to was incredibly nice and I talked to a good seven or eight people! 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 hostel that we were staying at, so I headed to the birthday party.
I was glad we did, I met some more great people and listened to some more awesome music. They stopped the music at 11:15 but I went to another pub on the guitarists suggestion to see another performer who was also crazy talented. Lastly for Saturday, I went to one last bar where I saw a live Irish “punk” band (I put quotes because they weren’t punk but it’s the best way to describe the young musicians).
Sunday was another slow start, but I was ready to have my last chance at surfing in Ireland. I brought the GoPro and made sure to get a hood when I was changing into the wet gear. I made it to the beach and after about twenty minutes of filming on the GoPro, the stick it was attached to snapped. I took a solid minute kicking around in the water for it, but there was no use to continue. I wanted to get as much surfing in as possible before I had to leave.We got back to the hostel after surfing, had a quick bite to eat at a cafe, and headed back to Dublin.
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.
I just got back from a weekend trip to the Netherlands and have tons to tell in my next post.
Oh! I also got the change to play some tennis this past week on a sunny day with John. Certainly going to be doing that more since it was only €5 to play with rackets and balls included at DCU. Speaking of, shout-out John Fitzgerald for his 21st birthday today. Love ya bud.