A run to Lanesborough sees us try the Steamer Channel for the first time. We head up the Inny River and cycle to join the HBA.
The Hawthorn Blog
Liveaboard life and general wanderings on the Irish Inland Waterways.
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The last voyage of the Misfit Mariners is, appropriately, across Lough Ree - where we got together what now seems months ago. While Ted and Eric continue through Athlone to the Grand Canal, Jill and I take Hawthorn into the Inner Lakes where we get to enjoy the wonders of Temple Island for a few days. Blessed are those that Tony (the island's owner) lets moor here. We then punch on down through Athlone and Clonmacnoise.
We fall in with the 'Misfit Mariners': Ted on his barge 'Heron', and Eric on a rather lovely Dutch Sailing Barge. Still hungover and with body clocks wrecked by a few days of HBA timekeeping, we head out onto Ree to catch the Misfits and to begin what is planned to be a long summer cruise into the far north.
The real world of work descends on us and, fortunately, we pass this critical test without any nightmares. We return to Lough Ree and fall in, or are invited to fall in with The Heritage Boat Association: a bunch of hardy boaters that seem to endevour to make life as interesting as possible and to take as much pleasure from boating as possible. Good company.
We depart Barley Harbour and continue north to Lanesborough. The wonder of the response at the Tourist Information Office when we ask about walks in and around the village. On upriver through Rooskey and into Grange Lough via the reeded and winding maze that seperates it from the Shannon.
Bloody hell! Look at the size of that! Lough Ree experienced for the first time is some shock. We wander into the inner lakes and then potter up to Barley Harbour where we spend the most sociable of afternoons in the company of some interesting folk. And we get to eat their picnic...