Switch off out West

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By Róisín Delaney

Everyone is obsessed with getting outside and away from Wi-Fi, so when Staff Editor Róisín heard that there was no phone reception in Delphi, she couldn’t wait to get there and switch off.    

‘Oh she wanted a relaxing weekend away, so she went on a spa break?’ I hear you say. Not this time.

I went into the wilderness for an unforgettable weekend and spent almost every second outside. What’s more, we have made plans to return to newly refurbished Delphi Resort in the autumn.

We set off from Dublin on the almost three-and-a-half hour drive to Connemara, where our 3G-free zone awaited. From the moment we arrived, every smile and footstep at the Delphi Resort made us more relaxed, albeit famished.

We met the most friendly maître d in the 814 Restaurant. I wish I had taken note of his name because he summed up everything that Delphi is about. It’s warm, charming, safe from the elements and is made for making memories. Not only did he remember us the next evening, he remembered the wine we were both raving about the previous day and brought it out to our table straight away. (It was the Cotes du Rhone for anyone dining there soon.) We thought that was impressive, or is that how every maître d should be?

That’s the effect Delphi has on you: It makes you think, make plans and reminisce.

There was no lying in on Saturday morning, although our super king bed was hard to leave. We were booked in for a sea-kayaking course at 9.30am. The adventure centre at Delphi provided us with everything we needed to stay (somewhat) warm and buoyant. We like to think of ourselves as pretty outdoorsy, but the real test came when we were in the centre of Killary Fjord – checking out the mussel farms – when hailstones began to plummet from the skies and hit us hard in the face. Yes that was the true test of how ‘outdoorsy’ we really were.

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After a coffee it was time to try the zip line and suspended obstacle course. I was so sure of myself and had been waiting to feel like Jane in Tarzan, but perfect helmet hair doesn’t exist. Alas the nerves set in. We were standing 40 ft. high in the forest, peering anxiously over the tips of the evergreens and then there was an, ‘Oh look, there are no safety nets moment.’ Lets just say I was not going first. This is not your typical zipline - this was walking planks, swinging from ropes and climbing over walls, while attached to a wire 40ft high in the air.

We both admit to being chickens when it came to the next activity, the bridge swing. I don’t understand why any sane person would actually try this one! I was not willing to free fall without anything to cling for dear life to. I’m sure there’s someone out there who would be willing to do it for the thrill.

Next we tried the rope swings and that was more like climbing a thick telephone pole and then being lowered off it with ropes once you reach the top – think ESB worker meets Tarzan.

Which brings me onto my next point, the service. The staff at Delphi are from near and far, which made us feel like the resort had searched high and low for the best in the business. Our adventure guides were from Dundalk, Kildare, Kerry and Limerick. We didn’t only ask them questions like ‘real’ tourists; we drank hot Miwadi from a flask and shared stories of home.  

We couldn’t resist a dip in the thermal suite that evening. Our skin had been through the four seasons of the Wild Atlantic Way after all. The view from the jacuzzi must be seen to be believed.    

What to bring

A couple of pairs of runners, wellies, warm active wear and gloves and sunscreen. There’s no need to dress up. I didn’t even bring my make-up bag.

What to do

You can’t go all the way to Connemara for a spa day. While the spa at Delphi Resort has everything you need and offers tailored treatments using Voya products, it would be a shame to miss out on the great outdoors. Delphi Resort offers a range of activities, not just what we signed up to (or got ourselves into.) Check out the resort’s website (www.delphiadventureresort.com) for a full list of activities, spa treatments and overnight rates.

Tips

Wear layers! We both agree that Delphi would be an ideal spot for a stag, hen, or just a healthy break away for a group of friends.

Catherine Devane