Well thanks to all those who read my first blog & great to get the long distance feedback.
So, we were planning a few activities (over & above working our way through the cocktail list) & thought a tour of the mangroves here would fit the bill. I also thought the kayak version would be a fun way to do it, to get right down on the water, up close to the mangroves and under the cliffs – it was only about three hours long, should be great & an eco friendly way to see the sights.
It really is a wonderful journey through the mangroves, which are tidal, winding your way along the river, crossing over the path to the open sea, wrestling with the changing currents and sea breeze, down to the eagle feeding area located on the open water beneath the cliffs. The big white belly sea eagles and the magnificent brown brahminy kites swoop down from on high to feed in the waters. There could be fifteen or twenty eagles swishing about at any one time – it is a spectacular sight. On the downside, it is a bit like feeding animals in the zoo as the motor boat operators provide most of the food and unfortunately it goes on all day. Not the best way for these wild eagles to ‘catch’ their food. Now, remember, we were just spectators rather than participators and in our eco friendly kayaks!
So, Mandy, our excellent guide * for the trip, was telling us about a recent trip she led through the mangroves. There was this lady, (I know it is international women’s day but these are the facts) who started to clap loudly two or three times in succession when they got to the eagle area. Mandy was a tad puzzled & asked the lady why she was clapping – “to call the eagles” she replied innocently. Apparently she had been on one of the motor boat tours previously & that’s how the skipper got the eagles to come down – little knowing that the cute skipper had just slyly thrown ‘food’ out for the eagles. Tourists lah!
So, getting back to the tour, spectacular as we expected; eagles, lizards, fiddler crabs and monkeys all came out to play. We even planted mangrove seeds. We had lunch on the floating restaurant, (spicy tom yum soup & rice for those who are interested) midst the mangroves and then on to visit the bat caves by motor boat. The caves very much resembled the Aillwee caves in the Burren – apart obviously from the bats and the trees.
Did I mention the kayaks? Well, let’s say it was a tad more challenging than moi had anticipated. We had a two seater & when we initially pushed off the floating jetty to cross to the waiting point, well we nearly capsized. We trailed the other five kayaks for the early part of the trip but eventually got into our stride or is it stroke. We had great fun, lots of giggles, proud to be Eco warriors for the day – but OMG were we knackered, soaking (glowing), a little more toasted and very relieved to be back on terra firma. Would we do it again by kayak – not this week!
Now if you are wondering why we have no pictures of us in the kayak, there is a very simple explanation. We were too busy trying to stay upright and too knackered to hold the camera steady – but, you know yourself, some things you just have to experience and pictures can’t always capture the moment.
* The company we used was Dev’s Adventure Tours & I would certainly recommend them.