Bundoran Travel Guide

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Surfers at Donegal Adventure centre

Surfers at Donegal Adventure centre

C MacPhaidin

At the bottom of Donegal but at the top of our hearts (augh) Bundoran is a separate town unlike any other. Disowned by the county (jealousy) and on the border of three others, it is easy to see why this little town is so independant. The strong force of the Atlantic has sculpted the coastline defining the long curved direction of the town that has developed over time. The shores of 'Beautiful Bundoran' can simply be described in three words - rough, ragged and silver. Quite simply the landscape is grey, not in a derogatory sense - it merely captures the essence of the Atlantic... moody skies, dark mystical seas, angry waves (and boy can thay get angry), the blue mountains of Darty View and Ben Bulben in the backdrop - a simple pallette of atmosphere. The shoreline itself is a world of discovery with the coastal walk of Roguey an exceptional journey, with the fairy bridges (mysterious blow-holes) and a wishing chair sculpted out of the rocks waiting to be discovered en-route! On a clear day when the sun shines (rare but exquisite) Donegal bay is visible in unique detail, the shores of nearby Mullaghmore and the fishing village of Killibegs acros the bay.
The Atlantic swells that hit Bundorans shores are envied globally, particularly in September - October when old Tiki himself dips his finger in the water and sends a gift from the Gods! Bundoran regularly hosts notable international competitions with teep tanned surfing celebs sharing the breaks with the milk bottled ass locals, the majority of which are absolutely charming! Warning to the naive however, Bundoran's breaks are not for beginners or those who were inspired by Keanu Reeves in Point Break. Dont take my word for it though check out the local guru - Richie Fitzgerald at the local surfworld, thats if he's not already in the water. For the Keanu Reeves's in you, Donegal Adventure Centre will teach you how to surf and learning in Bundoran already puts you one step ahead of the game (it may make you fussy though, once you've ridden the best it's hard to accept any less) Perhaps the most special aspect to Bundoran is its sunset. Overlooking the Peak (Bundoran's famed surf reef) a local sculptor and stone mason Brendan Mc Gloin has created 'Carraig na n-ean'(Rock of the Birds) a (grey) stone arch framing a sculpted sandstone monolith with Celtic engraving of local species of birds, seagulls, oyster catchers etc... The monlith is perforated near the top, framing the view of the Peak. You must, must, must, catch the atmosphere of the sunset from this sculpture, its very special! The accomodation caters for all, self-catering aaprtments, B&B's (highly recommended, the locals set a standard of their own), wide-ranging hotels, a hostel, caravan sites, everything, although it must be mentioned, camping is very limited, very very limited. Bars, cafe's, restaurants, nightclubs... the mardi gras of Ireland, some might say all types of entertainment. The most coveted pub in Bundoran's crown has to be Brennan's! A very old fashioned public house with a lounge the pub is run by two elderly sisters, fantastic ladies that are tough as old boots! There are rules in the pub... no music, no bad language, no unacceptable behaviour, or you will be out, and once the sisters say out - you're out! Its a homely pub for catching up on local gossip and events and having a damn good pint of guinness. Many have argued that Brennans have the best Guinness in the country - i reckon so. They wouldn't have it any other way! Bundoran suffers from critisism from the media. As a local girl I'll tell you how it really is. Yes we get a lot of tourists, the majority from Northern Ireland that have been coming on their holidays for generations! Lovely genuine people that are nearly as local as the locals themselves. Like most places though, a few scallywags always slip through the net... and thats all it takes, though it must be said there are a few indigenous scallywags and all! And being on the border doesn't help the politics of the town during the summer months when we get an influx of liquorice allsorts! I cannot stress enough how unpredujice the majority of the locals are, the town itself is not politically inclined (in terms of the troubles) So there you have it, worth a visit, i promise!

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May 04, 2006 change by giorgio

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