The All Boys Trip To Ireland
Finally, after thousands of cancellations, discussions, oppositions and arguments, we had succeeded in going ahead with our all guy adventure trip to Ireland.
So here we were, 5 of us heading en route for an adventure break which was pending since more than a year.
Ireland is an island located to the north-west of Europe and is a world famous tourist destination, worshipped by travelers for its scenic landscapes and green hills.
The reason behind choosing Ireland was the outdoor adventure activities which were of interest to all five of us in the group. Hence Ireland was a unanimous decision.
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We reached Dublin, capital city of Ireland at night so we decided to commence our trip with some nice Irish dinner since we all were very hungry. We stayed in a 4 star luxury hotel in the center of Dublin since it was a perfect location for an action – packed holiday. Another reason to select this hotel among others was the tempting and comprehensive bar menu that it proposed and a stylish cocktail bar. We chose the classic rooms which were the cheapest keeping in mind that we would be coming to the hotel only to eat, drink and sleep.
The first day of adventure was dedicated to Kayaking. So after breakfast, we headed to south Dublin for a good dose of sea kayaking. Today, Ireland is one of the leading destinations in the world which offers all sorts of kayaking. We just had to carry a change of clothes and a towel while the rest like wet suits, helmets and splash proof gear was provided by the center. The instructor on our Kayak was deeply passionate about this sport and had given 12 years of his life to kayaking. This was certainly the best way to explore the coastline and view the entire city amidst splashes of water. We learnt some basic kayaking through Dalkey Island and witnessed a lot of seals, birds and goats. The instructor told us that this island is very famous for its marine life like sponges, lobsters, mussels etc. This island is also an ideal spot for a good dive and the underwater scenery is worth taking a look at. We were in water for almost three hours in the wavy sea, into the world of kayaking and it was fun paddling and paddling.
On the second day we proceeded to one of Ireland’s Seven Wonders – the Cliffs of Moher.We boarded a shuttle bus from Suffolk Street .Our first halt was in Kinvara, a sea port located in Galway. Kinvara meaning ‘Head of the Sea’ is a popular fishing village at the south-east corner of Galway bay. After spending some time there and clicking photographs, we proceeded towards the Galway city which is both picturesque as well as lively. We saw a lot of local handicrafts shops which sold hand knit clothes and scarves, pottery, glass and jewellery.
Our next destination was Burren. Burren is an area of limestone rock which covers majestic mountains and serene valleys with beautiful streams. We saw tombs and monuments which were older than the pyramids of Egypt and an astonishing display of flora and fauna. After a splendid and magical view of Burren, we made our way to the Cliffs of Moher, which are 200 meters high and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean. The Cliffs got their name from an old and ruined fort called “Moher”. The Tall O’Brien’s tower marks the highest point of the Cliffs. It is a round stone tower near the midpoint of the cliffs. The view while looking towards O’Brien’s Tower was remarkable. It was a perfect backdrop for an ideal group picture. We spent a few leisurely hours here, enjoying the stunning views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara. Cliffs of Moher was termed as a classic beauty by one of my pal. Over all it was a great destination and an awesome day trip.
The third day was devoted to mountain biking. We wanted to explore the countryside and the landscape closely, so our aim was to soak in the atmosphere of Mother Nature, beauty, history and friendship. So, after a full traditional Irish breakfast of eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes fried in bacon and butter, we were geared for our vagabond expedition.
We chose the 14km Ballinastoe Mountain Bike trail to the south of Dublin since we had overheard a lot about this single track trail from the hotel staff and other travelers hence we had reserved 5 bikes for us beforehand. On reaching, we first headed with our bikes and route map to the practice loop in order to get comfortable with our bike gears. The 100 meter practice loop consists of short hikes, flat sections with minor turns and a big heaped downhill junction. We warmed up for about five minutes before proceeding towards the short loop and then the long loop. The trails took us through thick forests and valleys and the Wicklow Mountains. We enjoyed the ups and downs as well as the twists and turns of this trail with cool breeze on our faces which accompanied us to the top. When we reached the top, we saw the beautiful Lough Tay- a small lake which lies between two mountains, Djouce and Luggala. This entire scene looked like a fusion of the mountains with the lakes amidst the deep blue sky. This scene was like our trophy for this stimulating and challenging ride to the top and back downhill. So we were successful in making this day thoroughly amazing and adventure packed.
Late evenings were dedicated to pampering ourselves for the days hard work by visiting the spa in our hotel where we enjoyed a hot stone massage. Our bodies were gently massaged by using warmed stones with traditional massaging techniques. This session was absolutely necessary today and was worth the money!
Being guys we knew we had to visit the various pubs and bars out there but since we were out of time we decided to go pub hopping since on our last night in Ireland. The whole night witnessed visiting different pubs, great selection of beers and other drinks on the menu, nice traditional Irish music, appetizing food, friendly bar tenders and a blend of locals and tourists like us.
After downing a few heavenly pints in one of the pubs, our dear friend had almost cracked a deal of starting a pub partnering with a fellow tourist, though he did not recollect the conversation next morning.
The fourth day morning witnessed our departure from Dublin. With heavy hearts; and off course heavy heads too, we packed our stuff and headed towards the breakfast buffet in our hotel. We dived on to the fresh lime soda drink to cure our hangover.
We remembered starting our journey in Dublin with Irish food and hence we wanted to conclude this journey by relishing Irish food. So, we had a wholesome brunch in the hotel before leaving the hotel.
A well-deserved vacation leaving behind anxieties of job appraisals, monthly EMIs and traffic in our city, Ireland was an experience in itself. By capturing the stunning and rugged landscapes and green scenery and the crystal blue sky, we got to taste a slice of heaven on earth.
A trip to this Emerald Isle symbolizes the strong roots of our friendship which will be truly cherished by all of us.
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