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SoundsLike Bundoran (Ireland) 28.10.18

Bundoran, August 2016.

When used I tell people my sister lived in Dublin everyone asked me: “Have you ever surfed in Ireland?”

It was time to change my answer to this question.

After a weekend in Dublin with the family, on monday afternoon Charlotte flew in from Manchester. Neither of us imagined we were going on a cursed trip. But after all, we were in the land of magic.

We wanted to leave the next morning but the adventure started even before that as I managed to break the entire left wing mirror of our rental car on the way from the airport (cliché alert).

Adding that to some expensive extra fees we had to pay for the car, we decided to name it: The Evil Queen.

So then we spent an unexpected sunny day in the city and got our mirror glued (Yeah, glued).
We finally packed The Evil Queen with our surfboards and started our desired surftrip.

Destination: Bundoran.

Bundoran is the most famous town for surf in Ireland. There we found a really cool comunity of surfers. Some irish, some foreigners, more spanish people that I expected. Actually in Bundoran I found a lot of girls surfing. Sometimes there were more girls in the water than boys! Sick!!

After we droped our stuff at the hostel we went directly to Tullan Strand, the closest beach break with a name that took me 3 days to memorize.

We were in the water when I yelled “There is something in the water!!”
On my way back Charlotte replied “It’s a dolphin!! A family of dolphins!!”

Apparently there is also a cool dolphin community living in the irish waters who joined us on our surf sessions almost everyday. Sometimes noone was surfing, just enjoying and contemplating them.

Bundoran felt like Sagres, similar vibe but colder temperatures, you would find the same people everywhere, in and out of the water. Someone once said “In Ireland you have loud line ups in the water”. It is true, I would hear every surfer who arrived being asked about their daily life.

People you don’t know will ask you how you are and will be really interested in starting a conversation with you. The first times when someone started to speak with us I was asking myself – “Does Charlotte already know this person?” – It definitly looked like that!

I guess we got noticed because at one point we were even asked: “Are you the two british girls?” . I am going to ignore the fact that I just changed nationality (I am portuguese btw) and just focus on the cool fact that this town is so unique that you can indentify who is visiting.

In spite of the colder tempertures outside, the hostels had a really warm energy. We got to meet three hostels, and their volunteers and workers are all friends. It is normal for them to meet each other in a random hostel living room. Once this guy showed up in our living room, and after I asked him he told me: “My hostel was empty so I just walked outside with my plate in my hands and came here to have dinner with you guys”. When they don’t bring their own food, they even cook there. I guess Bundoran is just a gigantic house.

We stayed around nine days in Bundoran but we also got to explore around. We went to some kind of famous cliffs, named Slieve League, where we got a full sensorial experience of nature. As soon as we get to the top of it, walking, it starts pouring rain. I think Ireland has finally baptized us.

On another side adventure we went to Sligo. We went directly to the beach where there is a super nice road with coffee shops in one side and the waves in the other. Of course, being on a cursed trip, it wasn’t possible to surf there that day. But since we should always be positive, I got to eat one of the best cake in my life at “Shells” – a known coffee shop owned by the autors of “The Surf Cafe Cook Book”.

Besides Tullan Strand, Bundoran waves are mostly reef breaks. For those who who don’t know, it means that you are trying to surf waves that are, well, on top of reefs. The most famous is named “The Peak” and we eventually went there, but someone had told us about a softer and nicer reef break that only locals know about. The challenge was on, we were set to find it and to surf it.

We got completely obcessed with this place, we looked and looked for it. We drove for hours. We tried several days. First thing we did: we asked in a surfshop. I guess it wasn’t that smart as the guy was really averse to tell us about it. He finally did and added “don’t tell anyone where you got that information”.

One day, while we were driving the Evil Queen in the search of the mystic wave, we stoped at a small group of shops in nowhere to ask for it. The only one oppened was something that looked like an antique shop with an old man who was really nice and…. a wizard. He looked like one AND he knew everything about us! They say Ireland is magic and it didn’t end here. We stopped at another place to ask directions and the reference point was “If you pass through the – cake lady house – you are already too late”. Guess what the “Cake Lady House” looked like? The Hansel and Gretel witch house of course! And that’s when we thought maybe we should leave a trail as we could get lost anytime.

Eventually, on our last afternoon, we found out the mystic wave actually had a different name – maybe it worked as a protection spell – but we managed to get there. HURRAY! Were there waves? Of course not.
Next morning we had to pack and go back to Dublin. But since we are positive people, we decided to check the mystic wave before we had to go.

And guess what? We got to surf it.

As this trip could not have an happy ending I lost my camera and Charlotte lost… well…. Charlotte lost her flight.

More playlists from the people that I met in Bundoran will be displayed here

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SoundsLike Bundoran (Ireland)

When used I tell people my sister lived in Dublin everyone asked me: “Have you ever surfed in Ireland?”

It was time to change my answer to this question.

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