A RETIRED teacher has released a travelogue on his memories of kayaking on rivers around the world.

Mike Hayward, 65, lives in Kendal and released his second book Just Around the Next Corner: Adventures with Kayaks on Friday, February 3.

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The Westmorland Gazette: The front cover of Mike's book, which shows him travelling on the River Cree in ScotlandThe front cover of Mike's book, which shows him travelling on the River Cree in Scotland (Image: Mike Hayward)

Mike has paddled more than 300 rivers in 23 countries, over 40 years. From rivers in the Scottish Highlands to the mighty Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, Mike shares his impressive memoir of paddling adventures, brought to life with reflections and photographs.

He has also travelled on rivers in Canada, India, and across Europe from Spain to Finland.

The Westmorland Gazette: Mike Hayward travelling down River Vagastie, ScotlandMike Hayward travelling down River Vagastie, Scotland (Image: Mike Hayward)

"It's a book about my kayaking adventures around the world since 1985.  

"It's got anecdotal stories, pictures of what went right and what went wrong.

"I started it in 1995 but I didn't have the time to finish it. Then when Covid came and I was sat at home, I thought it would be an opportunity to spend time on it. 

"I've kept notes on my trips, I just had to pull it together," Mike said.


The Westmorland Gazette: Mike canoeing on the Bíobío River, ChileMike canoeing on the Bíobío River, Chile (Image: Mike Hayward)

Published by Austin Macauley Publishers, the book will be sold in all major retailers.

Mike released his first book, Rivers of Cumbria: Guide for Canoeists in 1987 and had not released anything since then.

He said he enjoys challenging himself, and hopes by releasing the book he can inspire people to explore and challenge themselves.

"There's still things out there to explore.

"We went to Nepal and we were the first people to go down rivers there. It's a bit of kayaking, a bit of exploration, and I hope it inspires people to be active," he said.

He has led expeditions around the globe including un-paddled rivers in the UK, Nepal and Sikkim. Mike is still an active paddler and canoeist with the Lakeland Canoe Club, and continues to explore by river and sea kayak, canoe and mountain bike. 

The publisher's website says: "We discover how teamwork, planning and expertise can merge into those few rare euphoric moments of pure content. You will be inspired to go and look around the next corner for your next adventure."