Irlande ou pays de la terre mouillée - deuxième partie
Story by Cornélius Accoh
Photos Yann Perez

We have been in Ireland for 3 days. What we experience and see lives up to the island's reputation. We're not just talking about Guinness... :)


As soon as we wake up we know very well that surfing will be compromised. The wind blows very strong, between 30 and 40 knots. Over a coffee and a local breakfast prepared by Damien, we decide to visit the North, towards the famous cliffs of Slieve League . As usual, we stop from time to time on the road to find more remote places or muddy places where we cannot access by car. Before even arriving at the cliffs, Damien and Yann already had paddling pools instead of shoes. As for me, I prefer to stay further back and not have to stick my feet to the car heater to evaporate the water from the shoes.

We stop at a shop that sells shirts, sweaters, slippers and other accessories made from the wool of local sheep. Then a few questionable sandwiches in our stomachs, bought in the neighboring village, we set off again in search of these famous cliffs, which are now only a few kilometers away. Once there, it is a true spectacle of nature which offers itself to us. The cliffs are more than 600m high. The colors of the sky, minerals, vegetation and the ocean intertwine. It appears to us like a dance, or fight between Wind, Earth and Sea. Images full of retinas, which we will surely never forget, undoubtedly thanks to Yann's photos, we can go in search of a wave possibly sheltered from the wind, which calms down little by little.

With the west swell increasing, we opt for the south of Bundoran Bay, about 1 hour from the cliffs. It shouldn't be long before night falls. Once there, we follow the bay and find a deserted left. A short walk with donkeys and horses through the fields is necessary to reach the once again deserted spot.

Once in the water, the wave is absolutely not as expected.
It's a big slab, with a take-off at water level, the side/off-shore wind is so strong that it slows down the start on the wave and makes the wave even more complicated.

The swell increases (3m for 15 periods), large sets break sometimes 50m further than the others inevitably condemning us to be stirred up, large foams come at us without us having time to pass or to one side nor the other. Yann, remaining on the pebble beach, tries to take a few photos while this tricky session only allows Damien and me to take 2 or 3 waves each.

The session doesn't last long, the sun (actually hidden by clouds) sets. The warmth of the house calls us, the next day risks being full of waves.

Day 5

The wind blows southwest, too side-shore for the south of the bay. However, the swell is big. We choose to go see what Mullaghmore has to offer this morning. The spot is very impressive. The tide has been falling for 3 hours, the rocks are coming out of the water, the wave is nasty. However, it is not a big Mullaghmore, but that is also what makes it more dangerous since it is even closer to the rocks than during very large swells.

After a few sets that we observe from the top of the hill, I choose to try it out. I hadn't really planned to surf this wave, so I took the longest board I had on hand: a 6'6 Chipiron surfboards set up as a single (1 fin). Once in the water I then understand how the waves are not big enough. The tubes break exactly on the slab. There are only the biggest series waves that are surfable since they are further from the rocks, but they do not offer tubes, only a well-established take-off with a rock in front just waiting for the wipeout. There are four of us at the spot, the session is going well. I take 5 or 6 waves and get out of the water. The dose of adrenaline taken for the day we now look for a more welcoming wave for a good while, to finally end up on the wave closest to our accommodation, a wave rolling left and right, which all three enjoy equally . The lights are beautiful, the waves are there, and so is the cold.

It's a successful day for this 5th day in Ireland. When night falls we will warm up in a slightly dark but no less hospitable pub, to end this penultimate day. 

Day 6

The wind is not as expected, completely on-shore. We tour the spots but nothing really attracts us, especially since the rain and the cold are here today. Yet we are here, so we have to motivate ourselves.

Damien and I, more motivated than ever in this hostile day, are going to surf The Peak, yesterday's wave, where there is no one. But in the water it's a happy surprise since the wind is so strong that it smooths out the wave faces and makes the session really fun. A few locals join us, always as welcoming. We share this windy but fun session with them until the wind gets even stronger and forces us to go out. There is no question of letting your day be ruined by a simple wind. We are going to visit the country for the afternoon. Our legendary photographer Yann wants to go see a famous forest, not far from here. He was telling the truth, the forest, mainly made up of birch and fir trees, is magnificent, and the cliffs in the background even more impressive. We then walk a few kilometers through it. Shoes obviously succumb once again. But this place was well worth it. We come home, we have to pack the boards, prepare the bags and do some tidying up. The trip is already over.

A big thank you to Damien Marly and Yann Perez, faithful to the end in their humor, in their positive energy and their everyday motivation.

See you next year for new adventures!