10 June 2007

Surfin' R.O.I.

Bundoran is an interesting place, “the Brighton of Ireland“ it has been called, though possibly that is something of an insult to both towns. Aside from being the birthplace of a good friend of mine, it was recently in the news when the latest Lonely Planet guide to Ireland had a few unflattering comments to make about it:

“Long one of Ireland’s tackiest holiday resorts, a kitsch assortment of half-baked fairground rides, flashing arcades, fast-food diners and overpriced B&Bs, the town has nonetheless been riding a new wave of popularity as one of Europe’s premier surfing spots.” (P.490)

They were right about the surfing at least, as when we were there last Monday the beach was awash with folks trying their hand at this most un-Irish of past-times. I've been bodyboarding in Pacifica, and that was definitely a laugh, but as I have the manual dexterity of a bemused yak I think that surfing is something that just isn't meant to be. But it says something about how much Ireland has changed in the last ten years that surfing is now a widespreadh(ish) past-time, surf-shops abound, and inner-city kids now wear wet-suits when they take their horses into the canal for a bath (a sight I actually witnessed on Thursday, but didn't have my camera with me at the time).

And yes, I know the waves in the photo aren't very big, but to be honest none of the surfers were any good, so it's probably just as well really.


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