Life At Intouch: Canoeing & Camping in Carlow

Life At Intouch is a blog series about the wonderful people that make Intouch successful.

The aim is to show what our team are passionate about outside of work. This week we have four members of the Dublin team on a team bonding trip in the Irish countryside.

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“You don’t know someone until you travel with them.”

After our crazy weekend of canoeing and wild camping in Carlow that couldn’t be more true. In a work environment, you can only get to know someone so well in a 9-5 setting; it is only once you step outside the office, do you get to know one another.

Spontaneity
I would love to say we planned the trip meticulously with a map of the river, ideal camping locations and river lock placement. It couldn’t have been further from that. The idea to go was pitched at 8 pm on Thursday with a 4 pm Friday leave time. This chaos added to the overall excitement of the trip, with camping gear and a canoe we set off down the river.

Remember To Lock Your Container
Upon arriving at the canoe rental, we were given waterproof containers for our clothes and valuables. It may seem like a no-brainer, but when canoeing, it is essential to lock your waterproof container. Unfortunately, in the rush of getting on the water, Niall forgot to do this, within an hour his canoe was flipped resulting in all of his clothes and sleeping bag floating calmly down the river. Not ideal.

You’re supposed to stay IN the boat Niall.

The Importance Of Risk
The weather on day one was glorious, 22 degrees, the sun was splitting the stones. The river was incredibly calm, with only a slight undercurrent. One thing we didn’t anticipate was just how tiring canoeing in the heat would be, couple this with lugging the canoes and contents out of the water and past the river locks and you get four exhausted, sunburned people.

Niall heading down a Weir

After a less than comfortable nights sleep day two was even hotter. Upon chatting with some locals, we found out there were ten more locks between us and our destination; morale took a nosedive. It was then we decided to ditch the river locks and choose the less comfortable River Weirs. These free-flowing patches of water usually result in a change in the height of the river level. This required us to manoeuvre through some rocky areas of free-flowing water, although a lot riskier it did save 15 minutes of hard labour per lock, which, when exhausted, was a lifesaver.

Step Back From Technology
Both in our personal and professional lives we are constantly looking at a screen, whether that be a phone, computer or TV it can get overwhelming constantly being switched on. The phone signal along the river was poor to say the least, this was a great break for us all away from the internet. A chance to be present in the moment and regain some headspace without being bombarded by texts, emails and mindless social media scrolling.

Amazing Carlow scenary

Embrace What’s On Your Doorstep
Often it is easy to forget the incredible beauty we have here in Ireland. When holidaying, flying to the Mediterranean usually comes to mind first. Only 90 minutes outside of Dublin lies impressive scenery and activities. Already looking forward to the next trip.

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