14 December 2011

Expanding To Galway - Step 4

Our first Galway Mountain Skills 1 Course ran last weekend, based from Kinvarra. The Burren landscape is an amazing place to walk and work, and our locations for each day of the Mountain Skills 1 were ideal, with minimal driving time to each start point. The hill training locations work better and have more features then I could have possible hoped for.

Mountain Skills 2 will also work well here from what I can see. I spent the day before the course calling into the farmers who own the hills and access points and they were all wonderfully welcoming and friendly. Our next MS1 in Galway is 25th & 26th Feb, with our next MS2 in Galway on 10th & 11th Nov.

Expanding To Galway - Step 4
I explored a superb lake near Kinvarra which is littered with islands, ruined churches and castle towers and has exciting potential for the future in terms of night kayak tours, cultural/historical kayaking and corporate challenge days or corporate team building.

As this property is privately owned, plus the fact it's a divergence from my initial Galway expansion plan, this product will be put on the back-burner for the time being, but it will be something I'll look at in about a year's time.

Galway City 3
Our Galway City Kayak Tour which I explored thoroughly was a little below expectations, as access to the city canals and impressive working docks is impossible. The tidal and river effects are substantial and I have some more work to do to find a suitable and professional meeting/access point for launching our kayaks; however despite all this I believe I can still put together a really good city kayak tour, which will explore a little of the docks, possibly paddle part-way into Galway City (tide permitting), paddle out to an abandoned lighthouse on Mutton Island near Salthill and possibly take in one other island, which has a beautiful grassy shoreline and a ruined 19th century watch-tower...
Galway City 18

Our Galway Bay Kayak Tour and Galway Sunset Kayak Tour will specifically be based from Kinvarra Bay and this trip, when I explored it, was far above my expectations. I'm confident I can run a superb guided kayak tour of Kinvarra Bay, with it's white rocky shoreline, dotted with cattle and horses, it's many, many islands, an ancient and intact castle, the busy boating village of Kinvarra and the abundant wildlife - especially curious seals!
Kinvarra 3

The next step is to complete a risk assessment of our operating areas, partially to gain county council permissions. This Friday we are interviewing four candidates for the Kerry instructor position. I also need to meet the Galway Harbour Master who I'm finding it hard to get hold of, plus find a suitable launching spot for our city kayaking - which our participants will be able to find easily...