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this past weekend a group of us caravanned across the country to achill island for a surfing trip. we stayed at a cute b&b run by french kite surfers. we arrived a bit late on friday evening, so we had dinner and drinks at the b&b and then went to the pub with a few locals. we had our surfing lesson booked for all saturday, but spent a bit of the morning trying to locate our instructor. by the time we got everything got sorted, the clouds broke, the sun came out, and stepping into the atlantic didn’t seem so daunting. the beach we were on was rather long, with picturesque cliffs to one side and more mountains in the distance on the other. i ended up swallowing more sea water than i’d care to admit, but it was so much damn fun that i can’t wait to surf again.

we were out on the water all day and delightfully exhausted and sunburnt by the time we got back to the b&b. a band played during dinner, of which the singer was from kentucky (i managed to guess correctly from his accent and attire). we relaxed over a few bottles of wine, and then made our way to another b&b with a bar where the band would continue to play. someone asked if it was like coming home for me, the music made me nostalgic for tennessee. after the band finished, we made our way back to our b&b and then stayed outside staring up at the stars for a while, watching satellites and meteorites pass overhead.

on sunday, three in the group mustered up enough energy to continue to surf and the rest of us explored the island. we drove up to the cliffs that hugged the beach and climbed the rest of the way to the top, dodging sheep along the way. there was a statue of the virgin mary, a few graves, and a whole lot of rocks up there to greet us. i should mention i was climbing the hill with a couple of geophysicists, who i got to listen to geek out as we trekked up. fair enough, the astronomers geeked out the night before. the views were absolutely incredible, not to mention we had another gorgeous day on our hands. afterwards, we drove back down to the beach to scoop up the surfers, grab some lunch, and then head over to the lake so that grainne could play around with the kite she bought for kite surfing. while grainne was testing out her kite, we watched other kite surfers out on the lake and relaxed in the sun. when she was through, three of us meandered over to the deserted village, so called because it was abandoned during the potato famine. it comprised of rows of old stone houses in ruin. we then begrudgingly made our way back to dublin.

i am still waiting for my film from the trip to get developed, so i will post it as i get it. i also still have loads of film from michelle’s visit the weekend before that i will post. in the meantime, here is a gallery of the photos taken with grainne’s camera at achill. hardly, if any were taken by me, but i do take responsibility for the ridiculous photoshopping. you know me.

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