“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” –Helen Keller
One of the fantastic things about studying abroad with IFSA-Butler has been the weekend activities. First there was the Coast, then there was Dublin, and finally Killary Adventure Weekend; in my opinion, they saved the best for last.
The weekend began with a five hour bus ride from Belfast to Leeane, Co. Galway in western Ireland, taking us through some absolutely beautiful countryside and a whole lot of sheep. As the drive progressed, we found ourselves surrounded by hills and then we were in the fjords of Ireland. I never believed I would actually see a fjord!
The first night was eating and chatting with students from all of IFSA’s Ireland programs, but the next morning the adventures began! I signed up for kayaking and gorge walking, but since it was too windy to kayak safely the guides decided we would start off the day with Killary Adventure Co.’s famed “Turf Challenge”–basically an obstacle course through mud, lots and lots of mud. We put on wet suits and began crawling through streams, jumping into ponds, balancing on ropes, and wading through neck-deep sludge. Then we went straight to the gorge walk to clean ourselves off a bit. These activities were both SO much fun, though it was a bit too cold for this Texas girl. After lunch I went on a hill walk to see the gorgeous landscape around the camp. That night there was a disco after dinner, though I was too exhausted to stay for long. The next morning I took advantage of the giant swing, quite a thrill!
After a large lunch we got back on the bus and headed to Belfast, though it was much quieter…all exhausted from the weekend’s adventures. It was quite brilliant to get out of the city and breathe fresh country air, and I doubt I’ve slept so soundly as the night I got back to Belfast in quite a long while. What a great adventure!