Going for a paddle

Lola sets off with Patrick for the best possible kayak tour (aka Natural Wander) around Sydney Harbour.

This blog is temporarily about travel and homeschooling.

The Solomons may be coincidence capital, but it also leads to the most amazing opportunities too. A few weeks ago I got an email from Patrick who had read Coconut Wireless on his kindle. He’d visited the Solomons to backpack back in the 1980s and lucky for me really enjoyed the book. He also noticed some typos, so contacted me – and then ended his email saying if I was ever in Sydney then come for a paddle around Sydney Harbour as he runs a kayak business early mornings and weekends.

Obviously he didn’t expect me to say I’d be there in a fortnight, especially as he thought I lived in London… Anyway we met up, had a good story about his adventures in the Solomons. I hope he writes it all up one day, because there’s the time he nearly jumped on to a shark. The back of the truck full of dolphins. The introduction to canoes and kayaks in the Roviana lagoon. The huge amounts of WW2 weaponry he found on beaches – Japanese on this one, US on the one opposite, etc, etc.

Today Lola and I went with Patrick, and his friend John, from the base in Lavendar Bay for a fantastic paddle. If you are ever in Sydney, please treat yourself to this as it was fantastic. Try Natural Wanders, http://www.kayaksydney.com or call 0427 225 072.

Patrick knows so much about the coastline so on the three-hour trip we were treated to all sorts of anecdotes about Sydney Harbour Bridge, the times when the AMP small building was the tallest in Sydney and who lives where along the most amazing waterfront houses – not just celebs, but the governor general ((Marie Bashir) and the PM when she’s in Sydney (Julia Gillard).

Lola enjoyed trying to catch jellyfish, spotting a cave dwelling and posing for cool kayak photos opposite Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge too. ” It was amazing because you could see all the things you couldn’t normally see, and it was a bit scarey because of all the waves.”

It was an incredible adventure. Being on the water in Sydney is easy to organise – there are ferries to all sorts of places – but to be able to do the paddling yourself, that’s fantastic. So here’s a big thank you to Patrick, and anyone who has ever been inspired by people or places – especially in Solomon Islands – to follow their dreams.

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