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Ireland by Canoe is an Instagram account that’s taking Ireland by storm for all the right reasons. Set up with the dream of promoting self-propelled canoeing adventures, Ireland By Canoe aims to showcase the incredible network of waterways our country has to offer. While also showing the positive impact canoeing can have on a person’s mental and physical health.
Outsider’s Killian, or Killo Hikes as he’s better known online, had the pleasure of getting to know these lads over a 25 km canoe down the River Nore. Here’s his account of the lads.
“Honestly, what they’re doing is both amazing and insane. They have gone from no background in canoeing a few years ago to now taking on a 1,000 km canoe through Ireland. What’s even more insane is that they’re training for this paddle alongside working full time jobs!
Their passion for canoeing is infectious and the craic they have along their trips is unmatched. They somehow even roped me into joining them on a portage up the Comeragh Mountains. Imagine how insane you must be to want to carry a 35/40 kg canoe up the mountains. I might have to back out of that adventure.
I highly recommend following them on Instagram and keeping up with their amazing journeys. They are so active on their Instagram account and are always looking to inspire and motivate people to get out and about and explore our beautiful country.”
Moving away from the insanity of the lads now and into their achievements so far.
Ireland by Canoe are no strangers to a long distance canoe having completed two massive trips so far. They’ve completed a 505 km paddle from Donegal to Waterford in summer 2021 and a 270 km paddle along the Shannon, from source to mouth, in winter (yes winter!) 2021.
The Donegal to Waterford trip took Ireland by Canoe over 15 days to complete. They started from Beleek on the west bank of Lower Lough Erne and followed the Erne System to the Shannon-Erne Waterway. From there they paddled through the River Shannon, the Grand Canal, the River Barrow, and then on to the River Suir to finish up up in Cheekpoint, Co Waterford. This paddle was in support of the Rafiki Network. This charity offers mental health awareness and support to vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe.
In the Winter of 2021, Ireland by Canoe completed this journey. They camped for seven of the eight nights that it took and battled a constant headwind. The objective of this paddle was to prove that bad weather wouldn’t deter them from getting out on the water. This paddle, again, raised money for the Rafiki Network. Eoin, the founder of Ireland by Canoe, said, “we thought at a time when people were most comfortable in the first world (in most cases) that it would be a good time to sacrifice some comfort to support the cause of the Rafiki Network”.
In July 2022 Ireland by Canoe are aiming to paddle over 1,000 km all the way from Malin Head to Mizen Head. Including a total portage of 50 km. For those who doing know “portaging” is the practice of carrying water craft over land. Definitely not an easy thing to do. I caught up with Eoin of Ireland by Canoe to find out more about their 1,000 km paddle. Here is the route they are going to follow.
Their aim is to complete this journey in just four weeks and they will be raising money for the Rafiki Network again.
For more information on the charity check out the Rafiki Network.
And check out Ireland by Canoe’s Instagram for more of their adventures.
By Killian Andersen
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