Written by James Bradley (Boring James)
We arrived in Dublin for a nice well crafted pint of Guinness (Not our last of the trip). Shot on down to Wicklow with our big boats in tow only to find every paddlers worst nightmare, no water. This seems to be my reality. Being Irish they ran the event anyway. It was very low – I have never paddled a river like that let alone raced down one. This was rock bashing at its best, aggressive and violent, with team races and three people head to head. It proved to be a particularly tricky race with paddlers having to squeeze through small gaps between rocks, some even getting stuck (I may have been one of these). In the end Ed Smith ripped the competition to pieces, winning the knockout men’s finals and the team races. The Party began with the compulsory England rugby match which, I might add, we won. Then everyone retired to the marquee for an impressive effort, a fancy dress themed party.
Then it was time for our no water Irish adventure to begin. We drove to Cork via Wexford and Waterford, stopping for the night so Rob could do a bit of star gazing, I just didn’t expect him to bring a large telescope with him.
Cork was a bit of an anti climax for us with our main memory being a seriously scary woman, which saw us high tailing it out of the city. The Dingle peninsula was our aim. Not knowing what to expect but looking for traditional Ireland we stumbled into a pub only to find it was the bar managers leaving party with live traditional music and two amazing vocalists and of course copious amounts of Guinness. When we walked in one of the men at the bar said “lads you do know this is a private party,” then added “but you’re invited come in sit down and enjoy”. This was exactly what we were looking for. The next day we searched the whole peninsula finding some amazing picturesque views with surf on the horizon, so we did what every self respecting paddler does -we drove to the horizon to find some beautiful six foot glassy surf.
Then the surf died so we went drinking again, ah the Guinness. The next day we came across the cliffs of Moeher. Outraged at the expensive anti paddler rates to get in we set off in search of a point where we could just hop in our creekers and paddle round. This was quite possibly one of the most breathtaking paddling experiences Rob or I have had. We came across waterfalls pouring into the sea, caves the size of football pitches, a very curious and inquisitive little seal plus the scariest rip tide I have ever been caught in.
The rest of the trip? Well of course when in Ireland do as the Irish do – Drink!
We got home only to find Hurley had been on 3 gates for a few days so England had water, unfortunately for us Ireland didn’t.
All pictures by me as Rob had the video camera.