Either you're heading to Westport for a holiday or like you reside in the area and wonder how to entertain your visitors. On the web you'll google out that there are numerous businesses in the area of Connemara and Mayo coast providing vast selection of recreational services from less adventurous activities like golf or fly-fishing to extreme adrenaline activities like bungee jumping or surfing. Though even with the VAT reduction in the tourism sector it's not easy in these times of economic hardship to entertain your family or friends by paying someone else for the service.
For those who like to DIY their own
leisure time I have few tips I haven't found promoted in any tourist guidelines:
1. Seal watching
Where: at Roonagh pier, Louisburgh.
Are you heading to Clare Island and arrived too early for your ferry? Then take a walk south abouth 500m and don't be deceived by the horrible smell lingering around the pier area. You're gonna find the collony of Grey Seals swimming around the little bay or relaxing on tidal boulders. With little effort of hoping from rock to rock you may get yourselves to the proximity of few metres from these interesting animals. Unless there is a heavy swell and gale force winds you will spot at least 10 of them (guaranteed).
Hazzards: be careful on the slippery rocks.
Nice to have: binoculars
Where: north from above mentioned Roonagh Pier or Old Head beach.
Need to have: full wetsuit, runners you don't mind to get wet.
Set your group off to explore secrets of the numerous caves along the coast line. There you're gonna come accross immense caves and up to 30m high cliffs. Caves lead sometimes 100m inside the ground, branching, curving in different angles and are connected with each other by underwater passages. Fairly thrilling to float in this murky environment where tidal flow funneling through narrow spaces lifts you up and down as on a rollercoaster.
There are few spots where cliff jumping is fairly safe though use a common sense and don't jump higher then from 5m and 'pencil drops' and 'cannon balls' only.
For those who are into rock-climbing a deep water soloing is an option.
Hazzards: falling off heights, drowning, hypothermia
Nice to have: watersports helmet and buoyancy aid. Waterproof head-torch.
Please feel free to contribute to this blog with information about other places where to conduct above mentioned activities within a 'daytrip' around Westport. Also more ideas what to do or your own experience from holidays around here are welcome.
by Peter Stavela (activities manager)