Last weekend I went surfing in the surfing capital of Ireland—Bundoran, County Donegal—with fellow Champlain student Maggie Ploufe. Tony Langan, the Assistant Director of the Dublin campus, suggested Bundoran Surf Co. and this was a great recommendation that lead to an awesome weekend. For just €160 each, Bundoran Surf Co. arranged for us to be picked up from Heuston Station (a twenty-minute walk from Highlight) by Feehilys Sligo Transport on Friday night and driven to the Bundoran Surf Co. hostel in Bundoran, where we had our own room with included breakfast for two nights. They also drove us to and from the beach each morning for our lessons and arranged transport back to Dublin Sunday evening via the express bus from Ballyshannon.
Saturday morning after breakfast we hit the beach where we were given wetsuits, boots, and boards before a two-and-a-half-hour surf lesson from two instructors for about thirteen of us. They taught us the basics on land before we got to try it out in the waves. By the end of the lesson, we were both consistently getting up and riding every wave we attempted to catch.
After the lesson, we got some lunch and wandered around town for a while. There was no shortage of arcades—I counted at least eight—several surfing-related shops, and a carnival! We played a round of mini-golf, went on the Ferris wheel, and I did a session of bungee jumping while Maggie got an American-looking iced coffee (with chocolate syrup and whipped cream). Then we wandered up to a fancy hotel with a golf course and a “leisure center” to avail of the pool and hot tub. (Unfortunately, the hot tub was overrun by a pack of pre-teen boys so we stuck to the pool.) For dinner, we went to the pub directly across the street from the hostel, but we had to venture farther down the street to find dessert—we had banana caramel cake which was delicious.
Sunday morning started the same, but the waves were much bigger and closer together than the day before—so much so that the ocean stole my sunglasses after my third wave. So while Maggie did two days of surfing, I did one day of surfing and one day of blindly wandering the shallows hoping that my lost sunglasses would run into my knees or something. (They didn’t.) But despite this setback, the weekend was still really fun and I would totally recommend it—although I would suggest that my fellow blind bats requiring sunglasses invest in a sunglasses strap to avoid having to purchase another (ridiculously expensive) pair after the ocean eats them. After Sunday’s lesson, we spent a few lowkey hours doing errands and preparing to leave. I got a new pair of sunglasses, and we both ended up with sweatshirts and memories to last a lifetime.