Rosses Point and Strandhill

Back to Sligo and surroundings! When I went to the tourist office in Sligo, I was recommended the quick ‘day trip’ that one can do in and around Sligo. There is a city bus that can take you to both Rosses Point and Strandhill for just under 10 euro for the trip all the way around.

The town of Sligo sits deep inside one of the bays along the West coast of Ireland called Sligo Harbour. If you head to the North West corner of the bay, you get to Rosses Point.

Village? Hamlet? Not sure. Tiny, though. There are a few hotels, a few houses, a couple of bars and a coffee shop. There are probably other things too, but I was there mid day on a weekday, so I likely didn’t experience the entire Rosses Point experience. I did, however, do the recommended walk along the bay and ocean. It’s not very long… maybe 3kms round trip?

Before I set off towards the trail though, I located the popular statue in Rosses Point:

The statue is named “Waiting on Shore”. The plaque at the foot of the statue reads:

This sculpture reflects the age-old anguish of a seafaring people who watched and waited for the safe return of loved ones. The men and women of Rosses Point Parish have a proud history of courage and survival, of loss and grief that should not be forgotten by future generations.

It is to honour the memory of these brave people who once lived, sailed, or were lost at sea, that this woman, cast in bronze, stands to day on our headland.

“Lost at sea, lost at sea or in the evening tide, we loved you, we miss you, may God with you abide.”

The statue overlooks the bay that leads onto the wide, open ocean.

The trail that leads to the beach and back was quiet that day. I crossed a few people, but the overall atmosphere in Rosses Point was quiet calm.

In the last photo, I walked down the the waterside and had a chat with my parents, looked at rocks, etc. Not a bad place to stop and listen to the waves crashing onto the rocks and fizziling into the bay. I picked up this… thing. Rock? Shell? Not too sure.

Any geologists or marine biologists want to take a crack at this one? I kind of wish I had hung onto this one. I did keep one rock that was full of these worm hole kinda things. When you blow into it, the air comes out on the other side. I tried to google what burrows itself into the rock… but I didn’t find a clear answer. It’s almost like a lava rock… but white. Strange world.

After my short break near the water, I continued along until I looked over the beach:

This guy walked up half a second after me, and while I was taking the sight in for a moment, he went and sat right where I was planning on sitting. I kind of wish I knew him so I could send him this majestic photo of himself, but, alas, he will remain anonymous til the end of time… In this blog anyway!

Took my own photo anyway. Not as majestic, but it will have to do the job!

I was going to walk down to the beach to spend some time there, but time was kind of tight because I had to fit in stop #2 of the day: Strandhill! Strandhill is across the bay from Rosses point, South West of Sligo.

All I knew about Strandhill was that it was one of Europe’s most popular surfing areas. Cool, I thought. I’ll come back in the summertime and check that out!

Well. When I got off the bus in Strandhill, I was in for a treat! It was cold outside, but the ocean was wavy, and surfers were in the water catching waves! Strandhill is packed with people. It was off-season, but the place was still bustling! BnBs line the streets, cool pubs intertwine local shops and restaurants on the way down to the ocean.

I’m trying to think back to a time when I’ve seen anyone surf other than in the Bow River in Calgary, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen people genuinely surfing some waves!!

Much excitement was felt!

At one point, there was a group of seven surfers waiting to catch waves.

Swimming is not allowed on this beach because the water is often like this. I had dinner in a place on the side of the ocean. Fish and chips. Delicious.

Once darkness had set in and the cold air grew colder, I was headed back towards Sligo. My only regret about visiting the Sligo area was not staying longer. I could have taken a hostel in Strandhill… had I known it was this cool, I absolutely would have picked that hostel!

When I go back, I’ll do the longer 7km loop walk you can do in that area!

The next day I was back on the bus, direction: Donegal.  Stay tuned for the potato meltdown, and the irony that followed.


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