Member Interview Series: Ruth Conroy
What is your name?
Age + Location:
I am 57 years of age and I am currently living on the Mid North Coast of NSW.
How many WWA trips have you been on so far?
My first meeting with Women Want Adventure was July 2017. I attended a Kayaking Day in Jervis Bay NSW. Since then I have attended 14 fabulous Adventures. These range from Kayaking to Sailing to Hiking to more Kayaking and Hiking and even more Kayaking. As you can see - I like Kayaking !
To mix things up a bit however - I attended the 5 Day Wilderness First Aid Course held in Mt Victoria in the Blue Mountains. I also represented WWA to lead a Meet Up Hike in March this year. We hiked along the coast - on the beach from Old Bar to Saltwater Point and return.
In April I was lucky enough to join WWA in New Zealand where we Hiked through sections of Mt Cook - Aoraki, the Routeburn Track and Kayaked on Milford Sound.
In June I was able to join WWA to Hike Sections 10 - 11 and 12 of the Larapinta Trail in Northern Territory.
From here I found myself the very next week, in Exmouth, Western Australia where we Kayaked and Snorkelled and camped along the Ningaloo Coast. On our second last day together we swam with the Whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef. ABSOLUTE MAGIC!
The more local hikes have found me on Lady Carrington Drive and The Coastal Walk in The Royal National Park and in Megalong Valley and Govett’s Leap in The Blue Mountains.
Since commencing with WWA last July, I have since returned to the beautiful Jervis Bay region where we Sailed one day and Kayaked the next. AND !! Not to leave Sydney out of the equation in March we Kayaked out of Woolwich Marina, Balmain and spent the day paddling on Sydney Harbour around the local Islands.
In September this year I will be lucky enough to once again join WWA when we Kayak and camp around Hinchinbrook Island - North Queensland.
What has been your favourite WWA adventure, why?
I have enjoyed every trip or outing with WWA - however my favourite trip has been the Ningaloo Reef Adventure. This is a most beautiful part of not only Australia but indeed the world.
I think I may have mentioned that I LOVE KAYAKING - well to be able to do so here was an absolute pleasure. The snorkelling was also beautiful. Our Guide Leaders were extremely professional and friendly.
The camping facilities and food were amazing. These and the camaraderie which bonded a group of like minded fabulous Women made it a most magical week indeed.
What advice would you offer a lady wanting to come on a trip but feeling a little hesitant?
Before attending my first adventure last July, I was hesitant as to what the weekend would bring. I was attending on my own and even though the add did state that all ages and all levels of fitness were welcome to attend,
I thought " what if I don’t really fit in? What if I am not fit enough to keep up? " I had kayaked only once or twice before so I was worried I might embarrass myself. HOWEVER In the end I thought - “why not give it a go ? What have I to lose? “
Besides I had never been to the Jervis Bay area so I thought that would be an experience anyway.
WELL - AS YOU CAN SEE - I AM NOW HOOKED!
To anyone who wishes to attend a Meetup or Adventure, my advice is just do it. As WWA advertise - YES all ages are welcome - YES all levels of fitness are welcome and YES all levels of experience are welcome.
You will meet a friendly - like minded group of women who will welcome you and make you feel right at home. You could even meet other hesitant new comers like me !
Do you have anything quirky you bring with you for comfort on trips?
My sense of humour and a good pillow! I also think ear plugs are essential.
What is the best adventure equipment investment you have ever made?
Each time I attend an Adventure I listen to advice from others more experienced and then try and purchase a piece of equipment.
I was completely confused as whether to buy Hiking boots or shoes ? - hiking pants or tights ? - what back pack ? - should I purchase walking poles ? - do I use a Camel drink bladder or water bottles?
In the end I bought both boots and shoes. I put comfort and waterproofing at the top of my list. This does not always mean they have to be the most expensive. I have used my boots on hikes however find I now tend to use my shoes more.
Do you use hiking poles?
Yes - I do use poles or a pole when hiking. It really helps. There are many out there so get some advice and try for size before purchase. I did find a most beautiful coloured Blue pair - yep you guessed it FROM BCF - HOWEVER - they have been FABULOUS.
Tips and tricks you want to share:
BE SURE TO WEAR IN YOUR HIKING BOOTS!
Also - Use a Sleeping bag liner. Depending on what time of year will depend on what fabric. YES !! I did arrive to the tropics with a polar fleece liner !! Luckily it was too warm to use anyway - but it comes in very handy when cold. ESPECIALLY MY FIRST NIGHT IN NZ !
What does community mean to you?
Such a strong word. Maybe being a mother and a nurse makes me sentimental - maybe it is because I am a woman. I love being all three and love the sense of inclusion and sharing that belonging to a community provides.
Women Want Adventure provides a strong sense of Community. A sense of inclusion for all who attend. The sharing of warmth, knowledge, advice and much - MUCH laughter between all.
What is your number one place you love to adventure?
I can’t say at this stage that I have any specific place I love to adventure more than others. I certainly do love the water - whether to be on top - underneath or just in it.
I love all types - Rivers - Lakes but I guess I have a special affinity with the Ocean. Maybe because I am an Aries and hence a Fire sign ? I just know that I love and need to be near some water.
An early coffee watching the sunrise over the water - a day spent paddling on the ocean - a snorkel or swim in to wash off and then to sit on the beach and eat you meal or just watch the sunset or moon rise with a glass of wine - ABSOLUTE HEAVEN! Therefore ANY adventure to the seaside - you can count me in!