Yesterday I headed to Ballina, Co. Mayo to go kayaking with David from Paddle and Pedal. To be honest I was a bit apprehensive as the first time I went kayaking I was rubbish – also as you know if you are a regular reader I’m not very coordinated at all. So I did warn David what he was dealing with – just in case he had to fish me out of the river! Luckily I managed to stay in the kayak – part of me was a bit gutted as I’ve turned into a bit of a water baby since starting my Wild Atlantic Wayfarer project. I met David at the Ballina Quay, he gave me the option of a wetsuit but the effort of getting it on put me off and I had a change of clothes with me just in case. It was drizzling on and off but this is Ireland and you can’t let the rain stop you or you’d do nothing. David gave me a waterproof jacket and a life jacket and explained how to use the paddle before we got on the water. I was a bit worried that my backside might not fit in the kayak but I was in luck. So off we went into the River Moy. David showed me how to reverse in the kayak and even how to do a ‘three point turn’! I even got the hang of it OK. We journeyed up the river, alongside the beautiful Belleek Woods, at one point we had a swan gliding along beside us. There were also several herons along the way as well as ducks, a cormorant and a Canada Goose. Paddling onwards we joined Nimmo’s Canal where we saw salmon jumping in front of us. It was really amazing and just so relaxing. It was like being in another world and it’s a fantastic way to see Ballina. We paddled right up to the bridges until we could see the Ridge Pool – as the fishermen were out we didn’t go too close. On the journey David was telling me all about the area, including some of the history of the place. He told me about The Creteboom, which is a derelict boat located at Ballina quay, during World War 1 there was a shortage of steel so they had to make some ships out of concrete. There are only two left in Ireland now, the one in Ballina and The Cretefield which is located in the Carlingford yacht marina. Thanks so much to Paddle and Pedal for a great day. I was amazed when David said we had paddled around 3 miles, I was also surprised to find that I wasn’t aching at all today. It’s a brilliant day out and if you don’t fancy taking to the water you can go on a cycle tour and explore Belleek Woods. David also hires out bikes so if you are in Ballina on holiday and want to go out and about on your own get in touch with him. I’ve decided I need to go back to Ballina and explore some more.