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Archive for October, 2013

It has been a while since my last update so here’s a quick rundown before I continue with the main part of the post.

At the beginning of October, I handed in my Masters dissertation signalling the end of my program. A week of celebration and frantic packing later, I am back in the arms of my significant other in Ireland. A week later, a friend from Vancouver flew in for a visit and we flew over to Edinburgh for a quick visit and reunion with another high school friend from Vancouver (I will update more on the Scottish schenanigans at a later date). After the five days gallavanting around in Edinburgh, I’m back in Ireland and seeing as how it was a long weekend, the significant other and I dropped by a mutual friend’s place in the county of Sligo and he proceeded to show us what the county has to offer.

A panoramic view of Strandhill in co. Sligo

A panoramic view of Strandhill in co. Sligo

One of the first places we visited was Strandhill. It’s a small town in the north-west of Ireland facing the North Atlantic ocean. The weather was thankfully sunny enough and dry enough for stroll down on the beach and the sand dunes where surfing seems to be done year round. As we walked by, bundled up in our coats and jackets, people of miscellaneous ages clad in wetsuits were running into the freezing ocean.

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For the avid golfer, there is also a beautiful looking golf course facing the beach (the Strandhill golf course). And with the boy being an avid golfer, our friend decided to show us a better vantage point so he could get a better view of the course. As he took off, we followed him…. and started to climb up a sand dune in sneakers and flats which got the sand into every single crevice of our footwear.

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Climbing up the dunes

That was all well and good as the views from on top of the dunes were spectacular.

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From up there, you could see the golf course which stretches out away from the ocean. You could also see the town and the whole length of the beach where people were running into the ice cold waves. We walked around the top of the dunes a bit as he pointed out the various landmarks and sites around Strandhill and the further mountains and hills in the county of Sligo.

Then came the moment of truth.

How exactly do we get down without completely slipping and rolling down the sandy dunes?

With what could only be described as a smirk, he walked towards the other side of the dunes… and proceeded to run down the incredibly steep hill.

I could only stared at horror as he did a strange loping run down the side of a dune with a slope angled at a good 50 or 60 degrees. When he got to the bottom, he turned around and the urged the two of us to follow his example.

My boy merely shrugged and with a few words of encouragement, he did the same, albeit at a slower pace.

At this point, I should point out that both guys were wearing sneakers, adequate enough footwear where you could dig your heels into the side and not worry about falling face first and sliding all the way down to the bottom.

I was wearing flats.

And had an inane fear of heights when looking over the edge of anything.

I also had much much shorter legs than the two Irish behemoths with my boy standing at a good 5’10 or 5’11 and the other at a good 6’3 or 6’4. And this is compared to my measly 5’3/5’4.

So, sucking in a deep breath, I resolutely decided to walk down the side of the slope, making sure to dig my heels into the steps that they have already made. While I took my time, the first half of the slope was relatively easy… nearing the end however, the steep slide ensured that my pace was picked up and at the end of it, I ran down, practically crashing into my boy at the momentum and being unable to stop.

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I made it in the end anyways! Looking back, I decided to get a picture of the steep hill… only to find that it wasn’t quite as daunting as it looked from up above. Wow did I feel like a wimp.

After shaking the sand out of our respective shoes, we headed off into town of Sligo for a pub crawl and a good meal. The conclusion of the day ended up with us stumbling into the house and crawling into bed. And so ended our first day in Sligo.

 

~JGM

 

 

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