‘Adventure; An unusual, exciting & daring experience’
I’m back. I survived. I didn’t get eaten by a shark/swallowed by a wave/kidnapped by wild goats. And I’ve had, what can only be described as, a whale of a time.
If you’re wondering what I’m referring to, maybe go back and read my previous post about the trip here. For those of you that are up-to-date, here’s the run down of how our adventure went down with a gazzilion photos and excitable stories to tell.
I was on holiday the moment I had a Porn-star Martini from The London Bar at Gatwick Airport. I didn’t care that I had the most oversized holdall of all time that seemed to far exceed the Easy Jet hand luggage allowances. All I cared about was arriving in Sardinia; feeling the sun on my face and paddling the open seas on a kayak.
Sure, we were a tad nervous. We’d both never stepped foot on a kayak and people kept repeatedly saying to us ‘YOU’VE NEVER EVEN KAYAKED BEFORE?’ in high pitched questionable voices, as if to say ‘ARE YOU CRAZY?’
We arrived on the Tuesday evening and our kayak/wild camping trip was due to start first thing on the Wednesday. So we spent our first night skipping around the warm aired town of Olbia, sipping street mojitos, listening to saxophone buskers and browsing the street market that lined the harbour area.
It had that perfect holiday vibe going on. You know the one I mean right? It made me feel like getting my whole head braided like way back when I was 10 years old, and eating ice cream until I burst.
We stayed in the beautiful 4* hotel in the centre of town. We had our most undisturbed sleep of the holiday there. At 9am the next morning our true adventure was about to begin.
Go Sea Kayak…’Bang Tidy’
At 9am we met Taran, our Go Sea Kayak guide for our trip. (He also goes by the names of Mr T or the Taranasaurus Rex, according to Max & I).
Taran was an expert kayaker, fabulous coffee maker, stargazing Welshman who acted as the perfect host on our wild camping & kayaking experience.
The best thing about going through Go Sea Kayak was the feeling of true adventure. There was no hand holding and no ‘set in stone’ plans. There was an awesome amount of support and guidance from Taran but this wasn’t a pre-planned tourist trip that was being churned out again and again. This was our trip. Jade & Max’s trip. And it could be anything that we wanted it to be.
We had a quick stop at the local super market for supplies. There was a lot of google translation on the names of food. There was also a lot of ‘what the flip can we take that won’t go off in the heat?’ Apparently rice, cannelloni beans, chickpeas, spices, bananas, tinned tuna, rice crackers & bread. That’s what.
We sped off in the direction of the coast where we were met by Melissa, Taran’s wonderfully friendly girlfriend, Max, their adorable and wonderfully friendly dog, and our kayaks for the next few days. It had already hit 30 degrees in heat and this wild camping/kayaking trip malarkey was actually happening. Fo’ real.
We packed our kayaks like ninjas with zero space to spare. 7 litres of water, our camping equipment and spare clothes; it all fitted quite comfortably in the three holds of our kayaks.
After a quick lesson in paddling on dry land and a briefing on our route we were out on the water, paddling into the horizon. Work/life worries seemed pretty small and insignificant in comparison to the vast sea that stretched out ahead of us. Freedom at it’s very best.
The Sardinian coastline is a playground for the rich and fabulous. Oh to be that tanned and to have that much money to toss about in silly speedos. Sigh. I haven’t got enough fingers and toes to count the amount of luxury yachts we waded through as we made the first part of our journey. It was pretty incredz.
We made two stops that day on two very different beaches – the first was a small stretch of sand with only a few scattered locals and the second was a wide spanning beach fit to burst with beach revellers. I refuelled with a can of tuna at the first stop, an obvious lunch for a wandering kayaker. At the second, Max & I found beer, Fanta and ice cream and felt like kings as we devoured the treats, feet dangling in the clear water.
The weather was looking slightly stormy in the morning, but by the late afternoon the sun had come out. We covered 7 1/2 miles that day and I *almost* threw a small, sassy tantrum in the last 30 mins of paddling; my arms felt like they were gonna fall off, my ‘abs’ were killing, my bladder was full but Taran wanted to find us the most perfect beach. This meant paddling ‘just that bit further’.
It was a million and one times worth the extra paddle strokes. Our first night of wild camping was set on a deserted, picturesque beach.
We feasted on rice, potatoes, courgette & beans in tomato and curry powder sauce. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It was a basic dinner of the wild camper and to us it tasted like heaven after a long day of kayaking.
We lazed round our open fire until it went out and then turned into our North Face tent, provided by Go Sea Kayak, to get some well earned sleep.
Our second day was quite contrasting to the first. The landscape changed and we suddenly found ourselves in film set location territority. Large, impressive cliffs, caves and islands. Lord of the Rings, eat ya heart out.
We did our longest stretch without stopping, with nearly 2 hours of paddle time without a landing point. It was the best stretch by far and we were in complete awe of the Sardinian coastline.
I had a pee dilemma on this stretch. A dilemma that consisted of either peeing in the kayak (Ew with a capital E) or throwing myself into the open sea to relieve myself. I opted for the latter. Do you know how difficult it is to try and forget how much you need to pee when you’re surrounded by water? The worst, I tell ya.
We finally landed at our destination early afternoon; Isola di Figarolo. An incredibly idyllic island with great snorkelling potential and the home of the dolphins. Yup, I said dolphins.
We had a rest here; Taran erecting a make shift shelter to shield him from the 31 degree heat, me sprawled out on the sand like a seal trying to capture every single ray I could. This gal loves her tan.
The afternoon was spent snorkelling, paddling to a smaller beach and chasing the ice cream boat. You did indeed read that right; think ice cream van but on water. A magnum has never tasted so good.
We decided to return to Isola di Figarolo to make camp. As the sun was setting, with another miscellaneous rice dinner in hand, we suddenly spotted dolphins just off the island having a dolphin party. It was such a Disney moment, the only thing missing was some emotive music and singing birds landing on my shoulder.
Soon after that we were visited by some Moufloni goats. A whole curious family of them., their eyes glowing in the dark and their fluffy ears making them far too cute for a wild animal. They looked down at us from the overhanging cliffs of the beach as if to say ‘I think you fellows must be a tad lost’.
That night the moon flooded the beach with light and rats made several attempts to conquer our tent. I read that now and think ‘flippin’ heck, how did I avoid hyperventilation and throwing myself into the sea?’ But actually, wild camping was quite becoming of me and I took every bit in my stride.
[Returning to land]
On the third morning, we awoke early at 7am for a spot of dolphin watching. We then packed up, took our last paddle around the island and waved goodbye to the Moufloni goats that were teetering on the cliffs in the most precarious places.
Our Go Sea Kayak trip was done. We came back refreshed from all the sea air, slightly tanned with bigger biceps and a whole array of ace experiences.
We waved goodbye to Melissa & Taran and headed to a 4* spa to finish off our trip. A mud/salt scrub and a bloody good shower later, we skipped out of there to devour our first proper meal in days and to await our taxi to the airport.
We can’t thank Taran & Melisa enough for their hospitality and kindness and general awesome demeanour. I would highly recommend this trip a million times over. It couldn’t have been more stress free and laid back if it tried.
It was the best getaway to realise that the world is a far bigger place than your stressful office or woes at home.
If you’re interested in taking a walk on the wild side and trying something new, you can find all the information on the trip here.
And for now, Max and I will get cracking on planning our next adventure. Yolo.[There will be a vlog of the whole trip next week. Keep your eyes peeled folks]