Thursday, 13 April 2017

Exploring: Delphi Resort, Co. Mayo

This post is very overdue - I've just been putting it off for ages because it meant that I'd have to sort out through all my photos that I took on this weekend (and I took way too many)! I couldn't help it though - the area in which Delphi Resort is situated is absolutely stunning, and coupled with my drive home through one of the most scenic areas I've come across in Ireland meant that I was definitely camera trigger happy.

I should start by saying the reason I was in Delphi in the first place, the first time since transition year in secondary school where we went on a year bonding trip, was that I was attending the hen party of a friend of mine who's getting married very shortly ( about two and a half week countdown left at this point.

I was invited to attend, and it wouldn't be like to me to resist a good party so off I drove one Friday evening after school.

As you near Delphi, you come across the most spectacular mountain scenes. I knew I was getting further away from civilisation because the coverage on my phone was decreasing by the hour. Still, I managed to retain enough coverage for the GPS on my phone to get me to my destination (How they managed with maps I'll never know, I'm bad enough when I've got a person telling me where to go!)

The day was so foggy driving up, but I think it just added to the area. What was a wild enough area as it was just seemed so much more so with the addition of the thick low lying clouds.

{The winding lakeside road on the final leg of the journey to the resort}

When I arrived at the resort itself, my first impressions were of Fred and Wilma Flintstone's House - you know, from the film. I'm not entirely sure why, possible the stone columes in front, or the curved windows. Stepping inside was completely different to the outside. Instead of cold stone, there was a comfy snug, with a welcoming fire scene in the reception area. The curved windows provided beautiful scenes of the mountains with fog rolling down them, and the red fabrics used throughout the resort, restaurant and bar created a warm and inviting atmosphere.

I checked into my room, I was sharing a dormitory with the bride to be on the first night, and we would be joined by her future mother in law, sister in law and friend on the second night. Obviously, as it was a dormitory, we're weren't expecting the lap of luxury, but the rooms were perfect for our needs over the weekend. There were four sets of bunk beds in the room, so I had a bed for myself and one on top for my things, and there was an en-suite in the room for us to share. The beds were comfortable enough, although I do love having two pillows at night, and it does only come with one each. Still, it was better than I remembered the place being back fifteen years ago when I had last been there.

The Friday night was very much a relaxing night. We headed out to the nearby village where we got served a lovely meal in the Derrylahan. The meal was definitely made by the server who took our orders. He was full of chat, great fun and helped to liven up the group with some good natured jokes. Great customer service from him, and great food too which also helps.

The drive home that night was a little bit scary as the fog had really rolled in from the lakes. We could barely see out of the car window, but managed to crawl it back on the lakeside road to the resort. Knowing that we'd to be up early for activities the next day, we only stayed up for a few drinks in the bar (and only the tiniest bit of a sing song).

The next morning, the remnants of the fog were still lurking, but by the time of our first activity had come around, the sky was so much clearer, and we could even see the blue skies hidden behind.

{Even the sun was peeking its way through}


{The hair was tied up so you know I was ready for action!}

Off we went for our first activity of the day - tunneling. This involves climbing through a series of tunnels which are in a square formation. It was a little claustraphobic as you are locked into the tunnels (don't worry, there were rescue hatches every few meters if you needed help).

The most exciting discovery of this weekend was finding out that I was able to do this course. If you went back to where I was two years ago, there would have been no way on Earth that I would have been able to fit through these tunnels, and even if I had managed to squeeze in, have the energy to actually complete it. The grey tunnels are what we had to crawl through, and there were little puzzles in the wooden boxes that you had to navigate through, often with no light.

The second time we went through it (as if I wasn't enough of a sucker for punishment, I had to go a second time), we were tasked with working in pairs and carrying a cup of water around with it and to try and not let any of the water spill - definitely team building for sure.

We broke for lunch after our first activity and met up again to have a go at activity number 2. If I'd been nervous about the first activity after seeing the tunnels, the second activity left me with no doubt that this would not be for me.

It was a climbing activity, and there were two different types. The first one involved climbing a pole on your own, using the foot holes in it to help you up before you stood on the top (with a harness attached to you) and you jump off into mid air to try and hit two balls that are about two meters away from you, also in the air. Sounds like fun, right! (Utter sarcasm!)

I actually managed to do this one - I was the second person to climb it up, and I just went for it. When I got to the top, I did have to take a moment or two to collect myself before I jumped off and hit the ball. I think I did just to prove to Shane that I was able to - he knows I absolutely hate heights, and when I said this was one of the activities he had said there was no way I was going to do it - I had to prove him wrong.

The other activity was a no go for me. Four people had to climb a similiar sized pole, except when they got to the top, they had to wait there until at four had made it up. Then, they had to hold hands and keeping their feet on the top of the pole, lean backwards in a diamond formation.
I was feeling brave, but not that brave.
Definitely a worthwhile experience, and you do feel amazing after you do it - totally understand why people talk about adrenaline rushes now.

{Feet right on the edge}

After all that, all I wanted to do was relax. The resort has a spa in it, and luckily I had brought a swim suit with me. Myself and one of the other girls wandered on down to it for an hour or so where we were able to relax and use the hot tub (with amazing views!), the sauna and the steam room. The best thing was there were showers in the spa area so we didn't need to wait for the showers in our room to free up.

After everyone was all cleaned up, we headed down for dinner with the whole group, before heading out later that night in Westport Town.
I didn't take pictures while on the night out, because after all, what happens on a hen party stays on a hen party.

The Sunday I woke up feeling tired and groggy after a busy weekend. I knew I didn't want to be driving a long journey straight away as I was feeling so tired, so instead I decided to take the scenic route back and stop off at Kylemore Abbey on the way.

The fog was back with a bang, so I knew that I wanted to take my time and just get back to Kildare safely.

{Kylemore Abbey in all its glory}

 I continued on my way home through Connemara before I ended up in Galway city and began the straight journey home up the motorway. Driving through Connemara was just so beautiful and I couldn't help but think if it looks this good on a foggy, dull day, imagine what it must look like on a gorgeous sunshine day. We've already decided to go back and visit and drive through here again during the Summer. We might even make our way back up to Westport and finally climb Croagh Patrick like I've been threatening to do.

{Like something off the Lord of The Rings Set}

All in all, I had an absolute ball of a weekend - I never thought I'd be one for an adventure weekend away but I enjoyed every single bit of it. I must confess to loving the relaxing in the spa probably the most, but that's a given.

I'm hoping that it won't be another fifteen years before I'm back in Delphi again, but after seeing how spectacular the area is and how much there is to do around I'm confident that it won't.


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