We interviewed Nacho, responsible for happy Kayakingwho answers our questions with infinite kindness.
Since when have you been involved in sports and... tourism?
I have dedicated my whole life to sports and tourism as a way of making a living from it. In 1985 I was in Sierra Nevada giving ski lessons, years later I created a ski school that promoted adventure sports in the snow. We promoted snowboarding, until then unknown, and mountain bike routes, a real bet in those years. Since then I have not stopped.
Sea or snow?
Both elements are indispensable to me. Each one has its moment. It has been 27 years that I have dedicated myself to tourism and teaching in the snow and the truth is that I could not live without the mountains, especially Sierra Nevada, which has welcomed me for the longest time.
On the other hand, from a very young age I grew up by the sea and that has led me to develop in water sports such as sailing and canoeing. When I discovered the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata, 26 years ago, I remembered those unforgettable moments of my childhood.the little boats on the beach, the fishermen, the Mediterranean...
My wife Isabel and I knew we wanted to stay in the area to be able to combine the winter and summer seasons. She came from the world of kayaking, she was dedicated to this in the Pyrenees as a rafting and kayaking guide, and was qualified as a national canoeing guide. knowing perfectly well this sport. The truth is that she was the one who was clear that we had to do something with the canoes. I was inclined to do something related to sailing ... finally and as always, her opinion prevailed.
All year round?
Practically . Only from November to March we are out of the Park. Although the climate here allows the practice of this sport all year round.The truth is that it is difficult to convince people to get in the water in January.
Kayak instructor or Maritime Park guide ?
I think both. Because of our didactic vocation we have combined learning the sport with the dissemination of respect for nature and the environment around us. . I think it is very important to put in value these aspects to the participants of the happy Kayak routes. To be able to do this logically we have the sports qualifications to teach this sport and we have not stopped documenting ourselves to be able to transmit all this knowledge.
How many years have you been working at El Parque?
We have been offering this type of tourism for 10 years. In fact, happy Kayak was one of the first companies to be registered as an active tourism company in the province of Almeria.
Were you crossing paths with other kayakers when you arrived?
I wouldn't dream of it, those were different times. The Natural Park was not so well known and fewer people came. At the beginning it was not easy to establish a non-existent tourist offer and create demand at the same time. During the first years it was the word of mouth that made that many people who came to the Park did not leave without trying the happy Kayak experience. It was quite an adventure to go out with a group along the coast. Now there is a demand created and also growing, which has led to the emergence of new companies and you find more and more canoeists. The good thing is that this sport is very respectful of nature. . I prefer 100 canoeists along the coast than 100 motorboats.
What makes Happy Kayak ?
The first thing the name and around that revolves the whole philosophy of the company: we want to make people happy in a Kayak. For that we need a first class team, we know how to take care and pamper the customer who comes with us to the sea. We try to ensure that the quality of our service is optimal and the time we spend with our clients is very fraternal. Safety is key in our ideology. Safety, quality and happiness makes us a little different. And of course, 10 years of experience sets us apart.
...and the new "geo-kayak" routes?
They are already up and running and have an incredible acceptance. They are thematic routes on geology discovering the coast from a canoe . DavidThe geologist of the Natural Park, an expert geologist of the Natural Park, acts as a connecting thread between the rocks and the water, transporting us back in time.
I think they are two very attractive activities and joining them together has seemed very interesting to us. Every week during the month of August we will organize a "geokayak outing" and the participants will "hallucinate" with the secrets hidden in the cliffs, caves, dunes, etc. .....
Anything to add?
I encourage everyone to practice sports in nature, but above all to be respectful with it because only in this way we will be able to continue to fulfill years and perhaps, in another 10 years, our Park will be even better than now.
Thank you very much Nacho and happy birthday happy Kayak!