On the day the school holidays officially began for our kids, we took them on a trip Kayaking with Outdoors Ireland.
We were told to be at Kinvara at 10am where we were met by our lovely guide Henry. He couldn't have been nicer, from giving us the run down of what to wear and what we'd do, to being very helpful and diplomatic when faced with the prospect of sorting out the kayak for my shorter-than-average 10yr old!
We were a group of two adults and two children with little experience between us but kayaking is very easy to get the hang of and soon we were all paddling away from the pier and meandering in the general direction of Kinvara castle.
It's been a while since I last kayaked (college seems a long time ago……….) and I'd forgotten how peaceful it is. There is stillness and calm all around with the silence only interrupted by our chatting and the sound of the birds we encountered along the way (seagulls, swans, a heron amongst others).
We had a little stop on the shore line after an hour where Henry produced some delicious Earl Grey tea and some squares of dark chocolate; while it wasn't cold, it wasn't exactly warm either (summer in Ireland!) and the pit stop was most welcome!
We carried on a bit further and were at the furthest point from where we began when it started to rain……. However, it didn't seem to really matter as by then we were really enjoying ourselves and there was even something pretty about watching the raindrops bouncing off the sea! Plus, you're already sitting on water, so what difference does it make if you get some from above ;-)
We turned around and made our way unhurriedly back to the pier we had started from.
Both adults thought it was great; we quizzed the kids – one gave it 11/10 ('it was fantastic'), the other was laughing when he gave it 8/10 ('it rained, and I was too short for the kayak!'). When I pointed out that he got towed most of the time, he revised it back up to 9/10 ;-)
Outdoors Ireland recommend kayaking for ages 10 and above but that has more to so with being able to sit comfortably in the kayak than ability to move along; and the short 10 yr old still had a great time.
Outdoors Ireland run kayaking trips in both County Galway and County Kerry.