Going Back to the West

28 Nov

In the past 3 months I’ve had countless opportunities to get to know this amazing island I’m living on. I’ve made my way for the north, west, south, and east, seeing and experiencing different things in each direction. I know I won’t forget the murals in the Bogside,the amazing foliage around Blarney Castle, or my beautiful hike through Howth, but what I know I’ll remember most vividly is my weekend trip to Sligo.

On Halloween night, a group of friends and classmates and I took a bumpy bus ride down a dark road in the middle of nowhere. Upon arrival I ran to put my bags down and claim my spot in the top loft of the ecolodge which could only fit five people.  The little room had 360 degree windows, but everything was black when we got there and when we went to sleep, but it was very much the opposite when we woke up in the morning. The sun woke me up, as it was shining into the window right next to me and when I looked out, it felt like being on top of the world (the ecolodge was on top of a hill). The hills all around us were colored in crisp fall colors of green, orange, and brown under the clear blue sky.  After a relaxing start to the day with yoga and home cooked breakfast, we hiked up to see a carin. The way up was a nice hike, but once we got to the cairn the weather got upset. We had from the wind but as we walked over to see the Atlantic Ocean it began raining. A lot. It was so cold. The wind was actually blowing the rain sideways. My right arm was soaking wet but my left arm was dry. The steep journey down wasn’t so easy once the rain kicked in to make everything so slippery – I almost had to run just to keep my balance. Once we passed the steep part we we had to wait for a herd of running, mooing cows to pass. The cows didn’t seem too happy to be outside in that weather and I don’t blame them.

Once we were all finally back on the bus trying to warm up came the realization that we were about to go surfing. Surfing in Ireland on the first of November turned out to be beautiful, and amazing fun. And it wasn’t even that cold once we put wetsuits on! I’ll admit I definitely did not want to surf when the instructor told the group that the lesson before us had to be cancelled because of bad weather and danger wind conditions, but in the end it was better than okay and I’m so glad I can say I learned how to surf in Sligo, Ireland.

On Sunday, it was anything but easy to leave. I did not want to leave the beautiful countryside to come back to the city. We made it back to Dublin around dinner time, and by the time I went to bed I was already dreaming about the next time I’ll be in Sligo.

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