I have to say as brilliant experiences go, canoeing is up there. ‘Go with the flow river adventures’ owner Charlie Horan met us in Borris. We drove down to Clashganny and quickly change into the wetsuits. Our children listened intently, just at times mind you, to all the instructions and history Charlie told us, before we set out on our adventure down the River Barrow.
Our children were singing this very apt song, it went something like this: “Row, row row your boat gently down the stream, if you see a waterfall don’t forgot to scream”. This is exactly what happened going over every weir and white water experience. Shrill screams of delight erupted. They were also willing their poor parents to fall into the river. Kids these days…..
Getting into the canoe is a challenge, and you do rock the boat as you manoeuvre yourself to a kneeling position to set off. It’s a great way to look at the countryside from a different perspective. I also feel it’s great for team building which is important for a family and for your children to learn at an early age. Even though at times I found myself saying to my husband “your going the wrong direction, you’re not steering properly”. Later on those words would be eaten…
Charlie guided us over the weir and white water, filling us in with the history of the area along the way. He has over 20 years in the business and we all felt very safe under his gentle guidance.
The locks are amazing to actually be in. We have been by-standers watching the lock keepers open up the gates for barges, but to be in it, in a canoe is an experience. As parents, we were well impressed at how the children helped each other in the canoe, to steer themselves in on their own to the Lock. Charlie spoke to them from up over and of course there was a little bit of squabbling, but they got the hang of it.
Now you read earlier about me having concerns about my husband’s steering, well I got my turn. We swapped and I was at the back steering, lets say “it’s not easy”. I was made eat my words. Charlie let us get a head start, we thought we were doing really well. It started to go pear-shaped within 5 mins. I couldn’t figure out my left from right. Charlie glided past us at leisure with the two kids. Whilst we were left, in fits of laughter, tears rolled down my face trying to figure out how to turn this contraption around. But you really do have to literally “Go with the flow”
We eventually got our bearings and got going again. Not before a few words from each of us going “what are you doing?” We caught up with Charlie and the kids to be informed by Charlie that the canoes in the States are called “divorce boats” mm. We could both see why!!.
As a family we would recommend this adventure and if you are wondering what to do over the summer, this is one thing you could tick off your list. Expect a few sore arms and legs if your like me. As my son said last week “Dad you were around with the dinosaurs and mum came a year later”. We both feel this sometimes , don’t you?….