The Waters and the Wild: The Trials and Tranquilities of a Journey on Ireland’s Waterways
In 2019, Gwen Wilkinson set herself the challenge of building a canoe and paddling it the length of Ireland. More than just a travelogue, The Waters and the Wild explores the interwoven histories of the people and wildlife that shaped her journey.
In 2019, Gwen Wilkinson set herself the challenge of building a canoe and paddling it the length of Ireland, along a network of inland waterways. She set out from the shores of Lough Erne and navigated a 400km journey to the tidal waters of the River Barrow in Ireland.
More than just a travelogue, The Waters and the Wild explores the interwoven histories of the people and wildlife that shaped Gwen’s journey. As the adventure unfolds, she also shines a light on pioneering women who have left their mark on Ireland’s landscape – both natural and cultural.
From wild camping on deserted islands to drifting on lakes in the company of restless lapwings, this book invites the reader to share an intense engagement with the natural world. The charming text is accompanied by the author’s own striking lino and woodcut prints, beautiful and thought-provoking interpretations of the flora and fauna she observed on her travels.
Gwen Wilkinson paddled to explore, searching for inspiration and a desire to learn more about the island we inhabit, and she was met with experiences rich and illuminating, far beyond her expectations.
5. River Shannon
8. River Barrow
About the Author
Since early childhood, Gwen Wilkinson, has been exploring waterways, from canal and river journeys onboard her parents’ barge to transatlantic crossings on ocean racing yachts. An award-winning professional artist and ecologist, she lives in the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains in South Country Carlow. The Waters and the Wild is her first book.
Praise for The Waters and the Wild
‘An utter joy – luminous, poetic writing’ – Irish Examiner