This post is also available in: polski (Polish)
You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.Mark Twain
On a warm afternoon, Marisol, Jacek, Marcin and I, arrive at Menlo Pier, just 4 km from Galway. Jim Morrissey from Kayakmór sits on the bench in front of the water, we say hello and we keep waiting for a few more people. Behind the car, we change into wetsuits, put on matching life jackets. Yellow, orange, red, and blue kayaks gleam on the shore against the background of the sweet flag.
Before we leave, Jim gives us a short training and explains that it is important to sit straight in the kayak. He also shows us how to row. Wilderness kayaks look a bit different than the ones I used to kayak in Poland for many years. Those ones are set a bit lower, narrower, and mostly single which we like because we want to try our own possibilities in a single kayak. When I finally land in the kayak on the water, it turns out that in the center of the bow there are also food brace and pedals which relieve the hands a bit while rowing. So, kayakers have to use not only hands but also feets.
Finally, we are all on the water following through the reeds by the river Corrib. I feel mighty free. It is incredibly nice and comfortable. The navy blue sheet of Corrib, illuminated by the sun, slightly waves and carries us towards Lough Corrib – the largest lake in Ireland. I get faster and feel like a swan or a duck.
After two hours of kayaking, I don’t even think about going ashore because be on the water is amazing for me. And rowing seems like meditation, it is very relaxing and completely dissolves stress. Kayaking is an awesome way to meet nature, other people, and also yourself. When we are swimming side by side and talking about something that we might not dare say on land. The kayak extricates sincerity and even greater friendship in us. It strengthens our hearts.
When we take a break on the water, we put kayaks close to each other almost glue them together, eat sandwiches and bars, drink water and warm juice. A light wind is blowing. The sun is blinking happily, although it is not hot, the weather is just right. On the way back we scramble a little through the reeds, just for fun. It is good to glide quickly. However, we remember that some birds may have nestes there, so we don’t explore far.
I don’t feel like going back at all. And when I’m standing in the street in the city, I feel somehow strange. As if my true nature remains on the river and lake. The day I buy my own kayak is coming. In Ireland, I can also swim in the ocean.
Kayaks are a great adventure and the opportunity to experience nature first-hand. Because sometimes there is tipping over, entanglement in the reeds, or a trip in the rain. However, you are always breathing with full lungs and you want to go back on the water. You miss it.
–When I come to visit Ireland again, we will definitely meet on kayaks – says Marisol. And, we know, that it will be exactly like that.
Photos by Jim Morrissey. All rights reserved.