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17 April 2014
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surf camp

Craic of the Irish


From Inch Strand to Dingle...

We now needed to find a suitable camping spot and there was still a chance that better surf lay just around the corner, so we headed off on our next jaunt, over the mountains!

scenic route This was definitely not for the faint hearted, as the 'scenic route' was no more than a goat track with big drops either side and no room for turning if you happened to come across another car.

The drive took us over the spine of the mountain and down through the valley into Inch, home to a legendary reef break. Unfortunately on this occassion, it was virtually flat with the beach at Inch Strand producing 2-3ft close outs.

Inch Strand

It must be noted at this point that Ireland has a large population of women surfers. We probably saw as many women surfing over there as men so it was good to see the local girls charging.

The nice thing about this part of the world is the fact that you can drive your car along the beach and just park up where you want to surf!

Park and ride

After a brief moment of indecision, Aran piped up and declared he was taking control - yes, we were going to do some more driving!

We headed off to check one last spot on the map that looked promising. A nice quiet bay with reef on one side and some exremely clean, hollow waves were washing in onto the shoredump.

Unfortunately the tide was too high and we couldn't risk waiting an hour for it to improve as it was getting late.

As we drove off we saw bigger waves starting to form on the dropping tide so we can only wonder what this little gem has to offer in a good swell.

secret spot

Driving up onto the coast road now it began to resemble classic Hollywood car chase country.

The one lane road ambled around blind bends alongside sheer 100 ft cliffs with incredible views. At the top, built into the rock face was a white marble shrine dedicated to Christ.

 cliff shrine

This was to be our last surf spot to check so hopes were high. Although not spectacular in wave quality it was a beautiful bay with wildlife galore and the clearest blue water you'll ever see.

Small 2ft waves were funnelling in with a light offshore wind framed by enormous mountains wherever you looked.

A couple of Grey Seals swam through the line up as Gannets and assorted seabirds flocked to feed on the fish just beyond the surf.

We chatted with a few locals who didn't think the surf prospects would be great over the next fews days but we were quietly optimistic as this was the best surf we'd had so far!

Rattz took up his position above the surf - you can actually drive down a windy cliff road to the waters edge and get a good vantage point for taking photos.

Apparently they filmed 'Ryans Daughter' and scenes from 'Far and Away' here also.

It turned out to be a fairly mellow session with a lot of 'desperate Irish surfers' as one guy put it, as apparently they'd been wave starved for some time.

Arans' board walking kept us enthralled for the next hour and it was then time for our nightly feast of whatever happened to be in the van - chicken with orange & ginger sauce. Apparently the sauce was a good vintage as it had never actually been decided what it could be used for but it was tasty nonetheless.

Aran styling

Around 10pm we arrived in Dingle for a quick dose of culture. After a few laps of the town we ended up settling for the grounds of what later turned out to be the local mortuary - quite befitting really, considering how we all felt the following morning.

The pubs were great with local musicians in every pub and Eurovision fever in full swing. The highlight had to be the local hardware store/pub/off license where you could order a drink and buy a woodsaw at the same time - now that's what I call service!

View the Ireland slideshow



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