This, my friends is my best challenge yet! Chosen colour and number combination was 'Yellow 2' which was kayaking. As I choose the challenge at the start of each week to do that coming weekend, I am always going to be quite restricted by what availability there is for my chosen activity. The most obvious company seemed to be London Kayak Tours. As the forthcoming weekend was midsummer, the trip they were running was a 'Summer Solstice' Kayak tour in Windsor...starting at 4.15am on Sunday! There is no room for discomfort around minor details like a crazily early starting time though, despite the fact that I would have to navigate my way around how to get there 3 hours before the trains started running. So I signed up for 'Easycar', a scheme where you hire a car directly from an owner. The one closest to me was this lovely little convertible mini....this seemed like an unexpected additional part of the adventure!
So, my alarm went off at 2.30am and I set off half an hour later in my lovely car for Windsor. A very relaxing if slightly surreal experience as I drove through West London as most people were coming home from a night out, At 4am a surprisingly large group of 16 of us gathered near the river in Windsor and got kitted up. There was a real mix of people from experienced kayakers to first timers and the team at London Kayaks immediately put us at ease saying that very few people fall out of their kayaks, on average about 2 a year. I at least felt confident in my swimming if that happened! We set off apprehensively with the sun yet to come up. Paddling down the river was such an amazingly tranquil experience, gently bobbing past Windsor Castle with no-one else on the water but our group of solstice seekers.
The London Kayak team led us down a small offshoot of the main river which had a real Amazon feel to it. By this time the sun was up and we all agreed how pleased we were that we had sacrificed our sleep for this magical experience. All too soon our adventure was over and we paddled back to our starting point at 6am. A cafe had agreed to open early for us to have some post kayaking breakfast which was much appreciated! We discussed how great it was and thought about other paddles we could do (Hampton Court Palace and Paddle is on my hit list). By 8am I was back in the car and driving back to London, still a good 2 hours before most people in the city were up. This #TheSecretLife experience is going to be hard to beat, but that said, this week's one promises to be fun - more on that to follow....!
Denise Yeats is an events professional with over 18 years of creating inspiring events ranging from arts events at Tate to Tower Running races. She set herself a personal challenge over two years called 'The Secret Life' which involved doing a new pursuit every week which is chosen at random by an allocated colour and number. This has led onto the creation of 'nnoodl - discovering your secret london life' where people are led on surprise activities...