This weather reminds me of ...

WHAT a way to start the summer holidays after a year's hard work, well, maybe not hard work but going to school is hard enough anyway.

It's raining, windy cloudy and chilly (well it's not anymore but it has been for a week or so). That's probably why I'm starting to miss a certain place close to my heart. The weather at the moment is really reminding me of that beautiful little island perched on the edge of the Atlantic. An island scarred by mother nature. Scarred but also of a rare beauty. It's Westerly coast is cut up from years of horrendous weather propelled at it by strong winds. But what a coast line ! Every little bay is just a gem of beauty. Every where you look is beautiful. The roads are, how can I say it, sometimes challenging I have to admit. You'll know what I mean if you've driven there before. But at least you don't get bored driving on them.

Have you guessed where it is yet ? Yeah, spot on. Ireland of course.

Cold, windy, rainy, pubs, Guinness, beautiful, green, rocky, great people ... These are some of the words when I (maybe not just me) think of Ireland. Yes it may be rainy and cold sometimes but that's no problem. Just head for the nearest pub. Order a Guinness, a packet of salt and vinegar crisps ( I don't know what your favourite crisps are but salt and vinegar are my best) and start chatting to the locals. In 5 minutes it'll feel like you've lived there for 5 years. The people there are so friendly, old or young.

I'm saying that it's beautiful when it's raining and windy haven't you noticed. So when it's sunny, oh my gosh, it's stunning ! I've been to a couple of beaches there, of course I can't say exactly where. But anyway, they remind me so much of some of those really warm islands in the Caribbean. Perfect white sand, perfectly clear water. You only need to dip your little toe in the sea to come back to reality and remember you're in Ireland. But that's the whole beauty of the place.

I absolutely love surfing there. For a start the waves are amazing. Maybe some waves aren't as punchy - what I actually mean is heavy and gnarly- as down here where I live (just south of Hossegor) but still amazing (I have to say, mellow waves are quite nice sometimes). I really do miss those reefs that form some of the most perfect waves I've ever seen. There are waves everywhere. There are so many known and unknown breaks. You'll be driving one day, minding your own business, trying not to drive of a cliff and come around a corner to discover a perfect little A frame peak. Amazing. You'll try to go back the next day and it won't be there. Not because it's disappeared but because the conditions are a bit wrong. There are so many factors to take in account due to the way the coast is cut up. Swell direction, tide, wind and so on. Some breaks only work on a specific combination of these factors. If the tide's a bit wrong, it won't be breaking. If the swell direction is wrong, it won't break. You know what I mean. Going for a surf is like an adventure sometimes. I love an adventure !

Anyway, I could go one for hours talking about Ireland but I think I'd better stop here.

Just one thing though.
If you haven't been yet, as soon as you've finished reading this, open a new page and book a flight straight away and get your arse over there. Don't forget to pack a camera and warm clothes.

For more articles and to see my photography go to this address :
http://nicochapman.blogspot.com/