Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting away for a weekend with the lads. Myself and 4 mates headed up to Sligo recently where the days were filled with surfing and mountain biking, and the evenings with plenty of laughs and pints of Guinness.
We went to a small place on the coast of Sligo called Aughris where there is a gem of a thatched pub sitting on its own looking out over the sea. It's a great pub that serves food and has a few rooms out the back where you can put the head down for the night.
So myself and Jamie loaded up the van on Friday afternoon with surfboards, wetsuits etc. and hit the road to meet the others up there.
We woke a little blurry eyed on Saturday morning but sprung out of the bed when we got a glimpse of the day that was lined up for us. The sun was splitting the stones with a kind of a mist clearing off the sea. I took a quick look around and realised fairly quickly that we were in an unbelievable spot; unspoilt on the west coast of Ireland.
After a bit of a bit of a look around the place we headed up to nearby Collooney where we met up with Warner from North-West Adventure Tours for a bit of mountain biking on the forest trails. He sorted us out with bikes and showed us around all the best routes in the area. Warner was a sound guy and took us for a brilliant spin around the place. There were plenty of laughs at each others’ thrills and spills on the way around (check out Alex going over the handle bars in the video clip here http://on.fb.me/1zAOHzC !). After the cycling Warner told us where we could get some grub and we charged up the batteries with some Strandhill crab sambos and a cold bottle of Bulmers while sat out in the gardens of Markree Castle.
It was then back for some surfing in the afternoon. The swell was fairly small but there was a slight offshore breeze with some nice little peaks rolling through. The water was warm (compared with the what I’d been used to in Cape Town anyway!) and the setting is absolutely stunning while sitting on your board waiting for the next wave. We must have been out for a good few hours until it began to get dark. Back to the pub to sit by the fire, replenish the bodies with some Stript and wash it all down with a few creamy pints.
The next day was another belter where we got in another surf session in the morning (watch here: http://bit.ly/1zfMgUd) and then hiked up above Strandhill to catch the views from the top. Then it was down to Strandhill for a bit of lunch before heading back home. Things went from bad to worse for Alex though- after going out over the handle bars on Saturday, he lost his shirt in Strandhill’s version of MGM Grand Casino (see picture below)!