This weekend I had the chance to try something new that’s been on my bucket list for quite some time. I went to a Roue Cyr workshop. I first saw a cyr wheel in action when my mum posted a video to my timeline on Facebook joking saying “This is something you would try”, well little did she know! It took me a long time to go for it but finally I did with the newly established Sligo Cyr Club.
It’s all about taking that first step and putting yourself out there. I signed up and hoped for the best. The people there were absolutely lovely, super friendly, helpful and encouraging.
The workshop was great! As with most things it is of course harder than it looks, but I love a challenge. Learning how to manipulate the wheel and where to position your body is hard. In my head I wanted to keep my feet on the wheel, but my body refused and I kept stepping off. The body’s natural response to ‘save’ you was rather frustrating at times. When I did manage to keep my feet in place and somehow get my body to move in the correct direction it was amazing! As Ronan our coach said it’s all about the little wins.
This weekend however ended up being a whole lot more than just the workshop I expected. Ronan was a phenomenal instructor and has a way of teaching that is second to none. I not only tried something new but left the weekend full of a new sense of motivation and passion. Its unbelievable how one person can motivate you to extents you never knew existed. I hadn’t even realised I was in a rut or that something was lacking in my life. Sometimes all it takes is somebody’s passion and enthusiasm for something to wake you up. Ronan’s passion and dedication was clear and naturally came through in the way he thought, it was impossible to become anything but enthusiastic and determined from that. I left the weekend pumped and inspired and I’m ready for more.
I ventured out to Strandhill People’s Market on Sunday morning to have a look around and see what was on offer this week in Hanger 1. It was absolutely fabulous! I would definitely recommend a visit to everyone and anyone. They have everything imaginable! All sorts of food from sweet to savoury to Christmas themed treats, herbs and spices and all things nice. There is something to tickle everyone’s taste buds! I went for hot potato bread with butter from the lovely Coeurine of Murson Farm, to warm up on the chilly day. It tasted like more, it was delicious.
As I wandered around looking at the various stands I found friendly faces and smiles greeting people of all ages at every turn. The sense of community, pride and a welcome feeling was abundant. The craft work was phenomenal in all areas. No matter what you are looking for you are sure to find it here and more. All crafts were present artwork, wood work, patchwork creations, candles, calendars, homemade baked goods, jams, chutneys, jewellery but to name a few. I even came across Game of Thrones dragon eggs and acceptance letters to Hogwarts for the Harry Potter fans both young and old.
I decided another treat was in order as I wandered around. I went for a sweet treat from the Black Sheep Bakery. The cookies were to die for, melt in the mouth bliss. I bought a whole bag but had devoured them within a few minutes!
I was absolutely amazed at the range and quality of all artisan products at the Strandhill People’s Market and truly believe there is something for everyone here. Check out their page and dates for the Christmas Markets here.
We arrived back to Phuket again but stayed in a different location, Old Phuket Town. We went for a walk through the area and saw some lovely temples and statues. It was a much quieter area, although there were still other tourists around.
The buildings are very old style whit intricate designs carved into them. There are beautiful little cafés dotted along the streets that you can pop into for a break and some refreshments.
We got a boat to Phi Phi from Phuket. Our hotel was situated right at the end of the beach which was really nice as we were within walking distance of everything but also a little out of the way so we couldn’t hear the music blaring if we decided to have an early night.
That day we went for a walk around the main area and booked a trip to Maya Bay. In the evening we had dinner on the beach as we watched the most spectacular fire shows of the trip and tight rope walkers.
The next morning we were up early for our boat trip but it was lashing rain so we pushed it back to the following day. There were no problems at all with this and the company were super accommodating. We went for a traditional Thai massage, a little stroll around the area and then we spent the rest of the day relaxing in the room as we hadn’t really done so in a few days and were glad of the break.
The next day we got to go on our boat trip. It was probably the highlight of the trip to date for me. We were on a small boat with only six others. We were supplied with flippers and snorkels and given a chance to try everything on and make sure it fit properly. We saw the Viking Cave where swiftlet birds nest, monkey beach, a beautiful cove where we stopped for a swim and snorkelling. The fish were stunning. The colours were so vibrant I felt like I was in the
middle of the “Finding Nemo” movie.
We also pulled into Maya Bay known for being the place where the movie The Beach was filmed, another stunning location. The tour company also provided lunch for us which we ate on another small island. We chilled out there for a while after food before moving on again. While chilling here I managed to get burnt while in the shade. Everyone thought this was hilarious as I must have gona through a full bottle of sun cream that day as I was trying to be careful as we were in and out of the water so often. I guess I should have used two bottles of sun cream?
After lunch we started heading back to base. on the way back we stopped at shark point. At this stage the water had gotten extremely choppy as a storm was starting. The guides asked if anyone wanted to get in to see some sharks, everyone said no but I said yes, oops! Once a girl had said yes though the boys all became braver and four of us went for a shark spotting snorkel. This was terrifying, my heart was in my mouth which was not ideal as the choppy waves kept sending water down my snorkel, I guess I was much braver on the boat! The current started getting very strong and all of a sudden I saw our boat take off. Oh my, did I panic! I thought it was leaving without me and that I was going to be eaten by sharks! Bear in mind there were no sharks to be seen anywhere, but that didn’t stop my imagination from running wild. I swam like crazy towards the boat against a crazy strong current, thankfully I was a strong swimmer only for them to wave and say they would be back. I was so confused. Finally the boat stopped and I swam over to it to find out that someone else had gotten swept out by the current and they had to go rescue him. Thankfully everyone was ok, I didn’t get eaten by a shark and we were all finally back on the boat.
We were given fresh coconut to drink and freshly chopped pineapple
and wow was it amazing. It was so tasty and thirst quenching after the gulps of salt water taken in from the choppy water. Pure perfection.
What a great finish to our stay on Phi Phi before getting the boat back to Phuket the following day.
We landed in Phuket airport only to bump into a college friend, talk about it being a small world. We got a mini bus to our hotel. I thought I was going to die! There was no air conditioning and we were squished in with our bags and random people.
When we finally got to the hotel we were delighted with it. We were back to a nice 4* hotel, super clean, kind of fancy place, robes, lovely bathroom and shower and a beautiful pool. A rest at the pool was needed to recover from the long stuffy bus ride. On that note I’d like to point out that as you may have noticed by now we stayed in a variety of accommodations along the way. We decided on this before we left Ireland as we wanted to go and enjoy a holiday not just the typical back packing experience. We were really glad to have a few nice hotels to enjoy in between the more simple/basic ones!
We went for a look around that evening heading to the famous Patong Beach area. It was crazy and great fun. The place was wedged, music blaring and everyone was in good humour. We bargained at stalls, wandered around and got henna tattoos. Note to all: please be careful to take note of how you get to places. As it was dark when heading back to the hotel we lost our bearings! We did the sensible thing and hopped into a tuk tuk back to the hotel instead of wandering around looking lost.
The breakfast in the hotel was yummy! It had the most varied selection I have ever seen. From traditional breakfasts of rice and dishes I would consider to be main courses to a wide variety of fresh local fruits and everything in between.
Then it was time to hop on a boat to Phi Phi Island.
We got a boat back to Koh Samui after our stay on Koh Phanang. This time we headed to the opposite side of the island which is known for its windsurfing. Once we arrived at the hotel a nap was in order after our previous night partying.
There was a little bit of chilling on the beach where I watched the kite surfers pull off some pretty cool tricks. If you are into kite surfing or wind surfing this would be a good location for you, otherwise it’s pretty quiet and there are other beaches nearer busier locations where there is more to see. We did venture to try and find a waterfall while we were here but it was an hours walk from the hotel, we were clearly the only tourists in the area and at times didn’t feel super safe especially on the walk home as it was starting to get dark. Did I forget to mention after the hour walk to the waterfall we then hiked for 40 minutes up and across extremely steep and rough terrain in sweltering heat only to see part of the waterfall then gave up and headed back. Thank god we did in the end as it would not have been safe walking back in the dark. We crawled into bed for an early night as we were feeling the effects from the night before and our trekking that day.
We got a boat over to Koh Phangan from Koh Samui. A mini open jeep type car brought us from the pier to our hotel. The island is extremely hilly so make sure you hold on tight! I really don’t know how we made it up some of the hills to be honest. Our hotel was fabulous. It was right up on a hilltop hidden among the trees with an amazing view of the beach below. We couldn’t travel at a time of year when there was a full moon party but decided to head to the island anyways to see it for ourselves and have a bit of fun.
We chilled out at the pool for a few hours before getting dressed and ready to explore and experience the beach parties. The pool had a build in bar where you could sit on stools that were built into the water as you sipped your drinks. There was also a beautifully designed outdoor shower surrounded by vines and flowers, just like something from a movie.
We headed down to the beach which was actually much quieter than we had expected. We choose one of the outdoor restaurants so we could sit on the beach while having our dinner. As we were having our food a thunder storm rolled in! There was a mad dash by everyone into the sheltered inside part of the restaurant. It was hilarious. Everyone was windswept and wet but in great humour. The purple lightening flashed and light up the entire sky. Once the rain stopped the staff dried the seats and we headed back outside.
We strolled along the beach watching the various fire activities that were taking place. Everyone was jumping flaming ropes, through hoops and swinging flaming fire balls around. That night I got a motorbike taxi back to the hotel another terrifying transport situation!