28 July 2009

August Bank Holiday Adventure Weekend in Killarney, Kerry

Come to Kerry and take part in a unique and exciting break this weekend, with enthusiastic like-minded people! Choose from hiking secluded trails on the Kerry Way; climbing Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain; exploring the Lakes of Killarney by kayak; or paddling down gently flowing rivers. At night relax and enjoy the gourmet food and vibrant atmosphere of Killarney...

Sat 1st: Morning or Afternoon Kayak Trips across the Lakes of Killarney - €50pp
Sun 2nd: Climb Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain - €75pp
Mon 3rd: Hike through the Black Valley and Gap of Dunloe, along the Kerry Way;
or Kayak down the gently flowing Laune River - €75

Weekend Price For One Person: €190 per person
Special Weekend Price For Two People: €165 per person!
Come for one, two or all three days

16 July 2009

Last Minute Places

After a crazy few weeks I'm finally getting a chance to put up some details about limited places left available on upcoming trips and training courses over the next two weeks...

Friday 17th

  • Kayak Trip on Lakes of Killarney: 2pm - 5pm: €50pp
Saturday 18th

  • Kayak Trip on Lakes of Killarney: 10am - 1pm: €50pp: 2 places
  • Kayak Trip on Lakes of Killarney: 2pm - 5pm: €50pp: 3 places
  • Climb Carrauntoohil via O'Sheas Gully: 9am - 5pm: €75pp

Sunday 19th

  • Kayak Trip on Lakes of Killarney: 33pm - 630pm: €50pp

Monday 20th

  • Kayak Trip on Lakes of Killarney: 2pm - 5pm: €50pp: 3 places

Tuesday 21st

  • Kayak Trip on Lakes of Killarney: 10am - 1pm: €50pp: 6 places
  • Sunset Kayak Trip: 6pm - 9pm: €50pp

Wed 22nd & Thurs 23rd

Friday 24th

  • Rock Climbing in the Gap of Dunloe: 10am - 1pm: €50pp

Sat 25th & Sun 26th

Contact Nathan on info@outdoorsireland.com or 086 860 45 63

15 July 2009

Testimonials Competition

Win a Weekend's Adventure in Killarney!
I'm looking for testimonials from anyone who has been on an adventure trip or training course with me and my team.
When you submit your testimonial you will enter into a draw to win a weekend's adventure in Killarney for two people, which will include a kayak trip on the Lakes of Killarney and rock climbing in the Gap of Dunloe.
To enter just leave your testimonial as a comment below this post, along with your name.
Visit back on Saturday 1st August to see who the winner is!

14 July 2009

Carrauntoohil Night Ascent!

This August 22nd or November 14th, join experienced and qualified mountaineering guides from Outdoors Ireland for an exciting night-time ascent of Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain!

After the success of the Summer Solstice Night Hike in June, we have decided to team up with Ireland’s leading African education charity, Link Community Development, so you can not only undertake this brilliant night hike, but support education in Africa too.

Make an exciting and unique night ascent of Carrauntoohil, in darkness with head torches and guides. Stand on the summit of Ireland's highest mountain at dawn to savour the early morning calm and (hopefully) sunrise over the MacGillycuddy Reeks. After descending Carrauntoohil in the dawn light, enjoy a huge freshly cooked breakfast in Killarney. Food never tasted this good!

Link Community Development can offer supporters the chance to participate in this exciting event, free of charge; fundraisers who collect a minimum of €350 sponsorship will be reimbursed their €85 registration fee!

To find out more, please email info@lcd.ie with the subject "Carrauntoohil", call +353 (0)1 284 1414 or text "Carrauntoohil" to +353 (0)87 969 7623.

All participants receive a free sponsorship pack, including a free LCD t-shirt!

A Weekend Trip – A World Away!

Just back from a Yoga and Adventure break with Outdoors Ireland feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, alive, and planning my return...!

From greeting us at the train station, encouraging us to explore our adventure and postural limits, pointing out the local wildlife (and edible flowers!), and joining in our celebratory drink at the end of the weekend - the personal service, awareness of nature, sense of adventure and close attention to detail that Outdoors Ireland brings assures you that you are in the hands of a professional group of people who are infectiously passionate about what they do. And it catches...!

The weekend diary...
On arrival for my yoga and adventure weekend, I am greeted at Killarney train station by Daniel in the Outdoors Ireland van and meet the other participants for the weekend. Daniel has recently moved full-time to a village close to Killarney and his enthusiasm for the peace and natural beauty of the area helps to set the right tone for the weekend. The ‘busyness’ of Dublin is already beginning to fade...

We are driven through the green of Kerry’s lush countryside to our accommodation for the weekend – a lovely lodge with bright open rooms, powerful showers and a great skylight – which will help me to wake up naturally over the coming two mornings.

Outdoors Ireland founder, Nathan Kingerlee and the yoga instructor for the weekend, Bridget Moriarty greet us at the lodge with wine and tapas and bring us through the proposed weekend activities, taking care to check in on our preferences and ability levels. We opt to join Nathan for an early beach walk the next morning to start the weekend fresh before beginning our yoga programme. After a nice chat with the other guests, we all head to the comfort of our rooms.
In the morning, Nathan is bang on time (a theme for the weekend, not entirely aligned with my own timekeeping habits but a welcome one which ensures that the weekend runs like clockwork!). We enjoy a peaceful, calm walk along Rossbeigh beach, a nice gentle start to the day. On our return Bridget is ready for us in the yoga room. The Iyengar yoga programme for the weekend is superbly customised to our needs. Bridget listens to our litany of aches and pains and tailors the programme according to our experience and our perceived bodily abilities. The great advantage of being part of a smaller group for the weekend is the level of personal attention available. Bridget is always on hand to assist in perfecting alignment in a pose or to further explore what might be possible with our bodies.

After yoga, a scrumptious breakfast followed – we were later to harass the kitchen for the organic muesli recipe! This is definitely one of the highlights of the weekend! Once we are sufficiently fuelled up for the day, we set off for kayaking - the only part of the weekend I was nervous about before the trip. However, with gentle encouragement and reassurances, I decide to give it a go. My fear of capsizing subsides as the sheer joy of gliding through the water and taking in the beautiful sights of nature all around takes over.

After a delicious outdoors lunch, we begin a gentle hike around the river. We return back in time for some tea, cake and rest in the large comfy lounge sofas before the evening yoga class began. We are very glad to be stretching after the days activities and Bridget has tailored the class to enable us to increase our awareness of the areas we have used during the day, how they might be feeling and to stretch them out. A relaxation exercise at the end of the session does exactly what it says on the tin and sees most of us struggling to stay awake.

We rest for an hour before dinner in the renowned seafood restaurant in the village. We spend the evening sharing stories from the day and looking forward to the adventures that tomorrow will bring.

On Sunday morning Bridget again focuses us on waking up our bodies and awareness before beginning the days adventure activities. I am starting to appreciate the areas of my body that may need a little more care and flexibility work - this weekend is gentle and tailored enough to help the beginnings of this adventure in listening to my body. Of course, some of the group are already quite flexible (much to my admiration and not a little envy!) and they are encouraged to stretch further into the more challenging poses. A relaxation at the end of the session helps us to rest body, spirit and mind before beginning the day.

Collecting bikes in Killarney, we cycle to Ross Castle where we have time to enjoy a coffee, have a stroll around and admire the nine baby ducklings on the lake! A friendly local Kerryman (complete with accent – much to the delight of the Australian in the group!) sails us through the lakes of Kerry, providing us with lots of local history and amazing us with his weather-forecasting skills. Someone should let Met Eireann know that this man exists!

Having crossed the lakes we climb back onto our bikes and cycle to the Black Valley for another gorgeous organic picnic lunch laid out in the peaceful surroundings of mountains and greenery. I even manage to get in a spot of meditation in the peaceful air. After lunch, it’s off to the Gap of Dunloe. The cycle journey uphill proves to be a real test and is the first time that I break a serious sweat all weekend (not helped by the quantities of gorgeous food I couldn't help but consume beforehand!). Once we reach the top, we free-wheel the entire way to Kate Kearney’s Cottage – a journey of stunning calm and beauty.

At Kate’s we do the decent thing and toast our wonderful weekend. I am keen to have a sauna as one final detox before heading back on the train to Dublin and this request is accommodated without a problem. I am driven to the local Leisure centre while the others are dropped at Killarney town centre to relax and have a look around before taking the train back to Dublin.

I meet the group on the train on the way back and we all agree that it has been an amazing, fun-filled and relaxing weekend!

I would say that the high points for me were definitely the varied nature of the activities, the one-on-one personal attention that Outdoors Ireland brings, and the beautiful organic food. The setting is amazing and while the weather may sometimes be unpredictable in Ireland at this time of year, I can’t say that I noticed whether it was raining or sun-shining for most of our activities. As one tourism poster put it – ‘Kerry - What Weather’?! The best bit for me is the ability to do all of this over one weekend. I left the office in Dublin on Friday at four, had a full weekend of activity, fun and relaxation, and was still back in my bed in Dublin by eleven o’clock on Sunday night, ready for whatever the week had to throw at me – come on, I had just conquered kayaking and the Gap of Dunloe in one weekend – I could take whatever the week had in store! I returned feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and alive – exactly what I had wanted from the weekend.

Thank you Outdoors Ireland – I will be back with some recession-weary and adventure-hungry friends for whom I suspect, a weekend like this could be just the cure!

By Sandra Coughlan, Dublin

Click here for details of upcoming Yoga Adventure Breaks

2 July 2009

Buy, Sell & Swop Your Outdoor Gear!

I have just launched a simple facebook forum for anyone looking to buy, sell or swop outdoor gear. Anything from wetsuits to maps to second hand kayaks!

  • Want to sell or swop gear?
  • Post a comment on our facebook group wall, along with a photo or video of your item.

  • Want to buy or swop gear?
  • Post a comment on our facebook group wall, or look through previous posts until you see what you want.

  • Contact the buyer or seller directly through a facebook message to arrange details.