Rock Climbing, Sea Kayaking, and Sailing, oh my! An Adventure in Co. Donegal

Hey friends!

Last weekend was one hell of an adventure. Definitely one of those cross-off-your-bucket-list sort of trips.

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I signed up through my University’s International Student Society, knowing only one other person going, which made for some memory-making.

Let me just put it this way: Saturday morning I awoke to a mostly naked Czech man singing the Duke Tails theme song in my bedroom. So how does one find herself in such a situation?

Well, I met this guy on the van over from the bus to the hostel. Went through the usuals, Where are you from? Why Ireland? Have you been to the States? What are you studying? Etc. Twenty minutes later our group leader is calling for groups to room together. She calls for 2 people and my fellow friendly foreigner volunteered me as tribute.

It may sound sort of sketch, but seriously super nice guy y’all haha. I swear it was totally fine haha. However, I guess he thought we bonded pretty solid because he was totally chill with walking around in his tighty whiteys. The whole Duck Tales thing is actually not so random. He told me that after the Soviets left Czech, one of the first unfiltered television shows to broadcast was Duck Tales. Apparently the theme song was top of the charts for awhile. So random, yet awesome hah.

Anyways, I got my study abroad hostel experience fersure.

So moving on to the cool stuff…

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Rock climbing for real is so badass. Seriously, it was so fun. And you feel so accomplished when you finally make it to the top. Plus, if you’re like me and tear up your hands, you have the battle scars to brag (sort of haha). Needless to say, I had a great time. That’s sort of where I got to know everyone in my group too. You bond with people when you have a common challenge to complete. The guys running it were hilarious too which always makes things more fun. They promised not to kill me though, so there’s that. Mission accomplished. Still breathing.

Then we went Kayaking…

My Aussie partner and I totally killed it by the way. For some reason we were better at going backwards though… we were a reverse machine. Whatever works man.

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Let’s not talk about the wetsuits though… Adventure requires sacrifice sometimes. In this case, my comfort and dignity.

The next day we went sailing and hiking along a few beaches. You know, you never really picture Ireland as being a beachy sort of a place, but they definitely have beautiful sandy beaches. The problem is that it’s almost always 50 degrees outside and the waters are probably even colder. People surf a lot, but always in wetsuits.

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Our skipper was your typical bearded hardcore mountain man type. He was great. He told me to look up the band Crow Black Chicken… I haven’t yet. Not sure what I’m going to find typing that into Google.

Now, you guys all should know you can’t really have a weekend in Ireland without a visit to the pub. One of the cool things about where we were is that the Irish/Gaelic language is still being used on the daily. The first time I heard it being used at the convenience store check out counter, I was caught off guard. It took me a second to realize I wasn’t hearing English hah.

Of course, we were basically in the middle of nowhere so there was like one pub within the surrounding 30-mile radius. This place was hoppin’ though. Saw Jesus-bearded-rock-climbing man who toured us the say before and I met a guy who designs costumes for Game of Thrones (it films almost entirely in Ireland). Anyways, live music, cheap drinks, and good company made for a fun evening.

I was sad the next morning to leave. Co. Donegal may not be the most modern corner of the island, but it is certainly one of the friendliest. And breathtakingly beautiful to boot.

A huge thank you and shout out to the company Rock Agus Roam who organized the weekend. 

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People do not take trips. Trips take people.

John Steinbeck 

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