I realised we were having the best holiday EVER!
26 Feb 2016 09:00 by Sam Taylor
The sun just peeped from behind a cloud for about thirty seconds a few moments ago. It’s gone again and I’m wondering when I’ll see some proper sunshine again this year… Around this time of year I always obsess about sun and holidays – most of us do. Fortunately, I’ve a lots of amazing memories of last years’ holiday to keep me going until the summer.
In the past my perfect holiday was all about heading to the beach for a swim and a snooze in the sunshine, reading a few good books around the pool, followed by a spot of sightseeing, finished off with sipping copious sundowners and a delicious exotic meal. Last year, with my two kids aged six and ten, there was no way I was going to get away with such slovenly self-indulgence! They wanted action and adventure. They wanted to taste something new and different! And, they wanted to be with their mates!
When someone told me about a watersports holiday on the Mediterranean in the south of France, I thought that sounded like a brilliant idea – for somebody else! In my mind, paddle-boarding was for slinky bikini-clad teenagers, sea kayaking was for muscle-bound alpha males and wind-surfing or wake-boarding was for brave young things with nothing better to do. Canyoning and whitewater rafting was definitely for idiots with a death wish!
As you can tell, I’m not one of life’s great adventurers but last August I dipped my toes in a watersports holiday with Family Adventure Holidays and, to my amazement, loved every second of it! But, the best bit, so did my kids because it ticked all their boxes - and more!
And, for the record, paddle-boarding is hilarious fun. Children get the hang of balancing on that thin strip of board long before you. They are not only delighted with their new found skill but love it when you fall into the sea - again, again and again! And, after an hour even an old wimp like me managed to paddle through the waves for a few minutes without falling off.
Sea kayaking was another winner - especially if you get one of the nice young instructors on board to help! We managed a couple of kilometres out at sea, stopping off along the way to let the children snorkel and explore underwater while the adults soaked up the sun on the beach and a few dads marvelled in the fact that they had channelled their inner alpha male!
Wind surfing was a real challenge as it was a windy day and the Med was whipping up a bit but I was proud of my efforts. I’m no waterbabe, but even I managed a rather undainty moment on the board with my sail held aloft before plunging into the sea. And, may I just say that the other mothers on the holiday were brilliant. They went into the water as novices and were whizzing around the waves within the hour! A surfboard is a mighty heavy thing for a kid but even a few of them managed to ride the waves.
The great thing was we all got to crow about our amazing water triumphs over a few beers and lemonades at the barbecue on the lovely beach at Argeles afterwards. I think it was around then – unflattering wetsuit discarded in a heap, beer in hand and salty hair in face, children in fits of giggles and elation – that I realised we were having the best holiday EVER!
And, I hadn’t even been whitewater rafting yet! But, I’m enjoying telling you all about my holiday last year so much, that has to be another story ...
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