Friday, August 18, 2017

Westport & Carrowniskey Surf Trip

Another venture to attempt surfing, second time in Carrowniskey, and staying in Westport Harbour. Nice place and the weather behaved itself, and it was sunny for our surfing! I like Westport Town, good buzz about the place, ok it is a bit further to drive from Dublin than other venues, perhaps the road could do with an upgrade, and Carrowniskey Beach is a further drive beyond Louisburg along the southern side of Clew bay, we had a fine clear view of Croagh Patrick, although didn't venture up it this time. I am always impressed with the amount of things to do in the Westport area, ok cycling and surfing appeal to me, but there is also golfing, horse riding, hill walking, fishing, boating, take a trip to the islands, visit the stately home, venture on to Newport or Achill for a day. As ever a very enjoyable trip, no doubt will end up having a return visit some day.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ski Amade 2017

Third year with Specker Ski Trip to Ski Amade in Austria. Again a great trip and ski resort. Ok some early morning Ryanair flights to negotiate but all went smoothly. I would describe the weather and conditions as two very sunny days, two snowy days, and 2 mixed days. A massive ski resort with many different runs to do, and outstanding scenery. Overall it was quite warm and on the sunnier days some of the lower slopes were quite sugary and slushy, but overall some excellent skiing was had. Most days finished off with a Coffee and Cake across the road, sometimes still in ski boots still on. Dave and Eileen and Seigi Tours arranged things well for us, and Hotel Post fed and watered us very well. Good company with stories and laughs as usual. A good night with a sing song and laughs to see is off, I promise I must learn some songs for next year! he says presumptuously, and I look forward to going again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Winter Surf trip Bundoran

Perhaps a bit foolishly we ventured for a weekend away surfing in Bundoran, Co, Donegal. The trip kept on being postponed, and it ended up towards the end of November that we eventually went. Ah well at least it will be a weekend aways we thought as the rain and hail and snow greeted us on our drive up through Meath, Cavan and Fermanagh. A cosy hostelry for our dinner and to ponder the folly of our endeavour with the usual messing and joking, we awoke to a crisp frosty morning, again dubious about attempting surfing. Nevertheless the surfing went ahead, dressed up in a burka-esque wetsuit and booties and gloves and cap, we entered the waters in Rossnowlagh. As ever the suit did the trick and we have a laugh. Returning to shore the cold did hit you, but a hot chocolate and bickie soothed it somewhat. An evening watching the all-blacks robust tackling and revenge on Ireland for beating them in Chicago, and a evenings craic was nice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Iceland

Well a trip to Iceland was something which I always wanted to do. I alway wanted to see the weird landscape and in preparation for the trip my checklist of things to do and I attained them and much more. The land of fire and ice, I would add waterfalls and roundabouts. Hiring a car is a must and dealing with some quirks of driving in Iceland takes a bit of getting used to but is easy enough, many of the main things to see and do are within a day trip of Reykjavik, the golden circle, with Geysir, gullfoss and much more is a must, the blue lagoon, where the 2 continental plates meet, the waterfalls, volcanic sites, and glacier on a southern drive is amazing, another route we took was north west and round the fjords which is amazing. For me the highlights were the geysir, walking behind a waterfall, and walking on glacier.
visited 19 states (8.44%)
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Surf trip to Westport

Went for a surf trip with my comrades Ivan and Lee, after attempting surftrips to Lahinch, Bundoran, and Strandhill, for a change we choose Westport, and surfing in Carrownsky, Louisburg, Co. Mayo. Was my first time in Westport which is nice quite touristy but a lot to do and places to go. We stayed in Westport Harbour a brisk walk for 15mins into Westport. The self catering appartment, was nice and clean, and nice living room, where we were able to watch the rugby (New Zealand v Wales and South Africa v Ireland), and soccer (European championships) We had booked surf lessons with www.surfmayo.com about a 30min drive west from Westport Harbour, and a little bit beyond Louisburg. The conditions were mixed for both days we booked, the instructor was very good, and the boards were excellent. Saturday we were lucky to be the only ones so a lot of personal instruction and Sunday was busy and we had a lot of waves which was tiring somewhat but still great fun.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Ski Amade, Salzburg Skiwelt 2016

Again this year I went skiing with the guys on the specker trip to Ski Amade, Salzburg Skiwelt, in Austria. It is a massive resort and a good variety of runs etc., testing enough for the likes of me. The weather was a bit better than last year there was two sunny days one very cold and one very snowy day, and two ok days. The last 3 days I found skiing totally different than the previous day (for ice, to powdery snow to slushy). I found the lift people very helpful and considerate to the guides and VI skiers and most other skiers were understanding and very interested.
The resort was full of dutch people? apparently one of the weeks of the dutch mid-term, and the dutch downhill championship was on this week. Dutch Skiing Championships!!!!! for a country without a mountain I hear you say. Maybe we should have the Irish championships there next year;). The gang was the usual faces a good gang, and good craic was had, a couple of nights of sing songs, and other nights of cards, and the usual cabal who practice the dark art of “Shot Dice” a mystery to me, we all found ways to have a laugh and fun. Skiing with Mick my Phibsboro Chess Club colleague (who got me involved with this gang originally) was good fun but for someone unfit like myself the former para-olympian left me wrecked after a week of trying to keep ahead of him. My Skiing is not improving, but my enjoyment of it, and this trip each year seems to grow. The guys in the Hotel Post, and from Siegi Tours treated us well and I would highly recommend them and many thanks to Dave and Eileen and Pete and Eveyln and Caroline and Peter and Windy for their organising etc.(sorry if i left anyone out). I hope to go again next year, my skiing is not improving, but my enjoyment of it, and this trip each year seems to grow.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Ski Amade Austria - Ski trip

After a late decision I enlisted to go on the Specker ski trip again this year, and again it was amazing (super-cool to quote the Siegi rep.) holiday. While the weather wasn't great only one full day of sun on the slopes and a couple of days where there was white outs for a long time still it was a great trip, and the under ski conditions were excellent. We only covered a fraction of the Ski Amade region, and I would say it is a place I shall return to. Guiding was quite easy and fun for me this year, since i was guiding a VI skier who followed me, I had a full day effectively free skiing when i just followed another guide an excellent skier. Over the week it seems i guided for about 100km and skied freely for about 30. The lift workers were very nice, and helpful especially when you were with a VI skier. A couple of nights sing song as well as an interesting Austrian culture night we had some craic. The hotel was fine and the food excellent, I like German/Austrian food, they were also very helpful in the hotel and with the group. One thing about the ski-amade region is the engineering of the ski-lifts, the gondolas and chairlifts were impressive, but the g-link was an amazing feat of engineering. My flight to saltzburg was at some inhuman hour but had to be done, the saltzburg airport was pretty basic especially behind at the gate, one coffee shop, and 4 euro for a coke... I suspect i will end up going again.. and hope to do so.