It is that time of the year again when the centre opens fully for business and life starts to come back into Connemara. Over the winter it sometimes feels like we are living in a ghost arena with hardly any visitors and very few hotels or visitors centres open. The all changes on St. Patricks weekend when everybody starts to open again for business. Here in the centre we have been open all through the winter and have indeed been welcoming in groups since January. However the start of March is when all our instructors start to arrive and old ones come back. New and old these guys and girls are the face of the company over the next year so we are happy to see them coming back and to see what sort of a bunch we have this year
So far this year we have a couple of Americans, 3 Spanish, couple of English and a smattering of all other nationalities. It is great to have such a multi cultural bunch here as it adds a bit of flavour to the area and helps bring new life and new ideas into the business.
Also over the weekend we had our first race of the year in the centre a 22km Trail run through the Maum Turk mountains. Unfortunately the weather left a little bit to be desired as we had to change the route at the last minute. The lovely route up through the Glencraff valley and into the Leenane hills which me and Mark had spent all week setting up in glorious snow and gale force winds had to be changed as the day brought with it 50 knot winds and grey skies. Visibility at the top of the mountain was only about 20 metres so it made for some interesting running. The feedback has been great though and for the first year we had almost 190 people so here is hoping we get a lovely day next year and we can get the full 200.
Elsewhere preparations are in full swing for the Devises to Westminister 125 mile kayak race over Easter weekend. Training is still tough and not getting any easier. Putting in 4/5 days a week at this time of year is tough but it does get you outside when all you want to do is sit down in front of the fire and warm yourself with a glass of wine. On occasions when not doing this I tend to be found out cycling the backroads of Connemara .