Well I'm back in Dublin now! It's a rocky return to the real world in which my Masters Thesis is due in a week, and many other important things are going on, but before I jump back in completely, I needed to post about the Regatta Weekend!
The August bank holiday weekend meant that the Festival of the Sea in Castletownbere was in full swing. This is a festival going on until August 12th and involves a number of events coordinated by volunteers and local businesses. The regatta weekend in particular involved the boat races, the slippery pole, a scavenger hunt and plenty of children's events too. Cars were parked in every possible place, all the pubs were bursting full with people and a lot of drinking went down! I had an amazing time and enjoyed seeing Castletownbere come alive.
I'll be honest, I didn't take too many pictures because instead I was sleeping in, then drinking each day, but I got a few!
The weather throughout the weekend was perfect according to Irish standards. There were scattered showers here and there, but the sun always made it's way out. The Monday in particular was extra beautiful.
On Monday a lot of festivities were going on. Nick and I made our way down to watch some of the water events, in particular the slippery pole events. Basically, a wooden pole is greased up, and different obstacles are attempted on the pole. There were pillow fights (with heavy pillows soaked in water), and one obstacle where you had to run down the pole and grab a flag at the end. There was plenty of hilarity in watching people fall off the pole. I tried to snap a few pictures, but my location wasn't the best for getting closeups.
There was one contestant who some spectators didn't feel he played fairly during the pillow fight! It made me giggle as a little girl below me shouted "that wasn't fair! he pushed him!" I wasn't sure what the rules were, if there were any. It looked like all of the contestants were having a good time, and that's what it's all about really!
There were many people watching people watching the slippery pole events from the pier and different boats scattered in the harbour. It definitely was a highlight of the events for me. I had to admire the bravery of everyone who took part. Some of the guys were shaking desperately from the cold of the water afterward.
The square in town was also bustling. Plenty of people were outside enjoying the festivities. There were market stalls up so you could shop around, and they had those huge inflated play bouncy houses up and running for the kiddos. Later in the day and evening, two bands performed as well. Walking around the market, we stopped at a stall selling a very interesting selection of books ranging from a dated One Direction fanbook to some wicked old memoirs written in French. It all added to the charm of the day!
I was really happy to see so many children everywhere. I felt that the whole Festival of the Sea was family-oriented, but it seemed parents could have a good time too.
After strolling through the markets, we stopped roaming and started enjoying a few pints at O'Donoghues and our night went on from there!
In the end, everywhere you go in Castletownbere, you are bound to see something beautiful, enjoy great food, and have a lot of fun. Regatta weekend was such a special event and I loved meeting all different people throughout my holiday. For anyone looking for some time away from Dublin, I would highly recommend you consider visiting the Beara Peninsula and Castletownbere.
Just don't call it a village ;) !