The Hawthorn Blog
Liveaboard life and general wanderings on the Irish Inland Waterways.
Blog posts tagged in The River Barrow
After what seems like months of drought conditions, the river finally rises. And my how it comes up: 14" inches in as many hours and that on its widest deepest section. An English boating friend visits and gets the ride of his life as well as a hangover and a nickname. We join the HBA on a mad charge upstream with WI working overtime to see us all safely back onto the canal at Athy.
With a mechanical rumble and the bellowing of what sounded like organ pipes, the first car trundled down the river bank. Being down below I only made the wheelhouse in time to see the back of what appeared to be a black 1930s roadster disappearing down the towpath below the moored HBA fleet. The Gordon Bennett Rally was on its way!
What a fine day it was: the beauty of these vintage cars and the joy of their occupants at being able to drive the Barrow's towpath was enough excitement for most, but then we had a cow fall in the water and a rescue to run. Hours of fun!
Having 'wobbled' about the wisdom of our choice in continuing down the 'river that destroys boats', we pause for a couple of days at Loughlinbridge to do some work. Then it is into the really hard core length of water with the suspicion that the river bed and our baseplate are going to become good friends!
Having committed ourselves to the river we make the most of a pause with friends in Ardreigh before heading on into the unknown. Will there be any water? Are we going to spend the summer beached high and dry in the back of beyond? Hopefully, this first section of water is going to be kind....
We have no idea of the wisdom of continuing east along the Grand Canal towards Athy as conflicting accounts of water levels create mental havoc.
Determined to get clear of the Barrow in time to make Shannon Harbour ahead of family arriving from England, we drive on hard. More bangs and scrapes punctuate our upstream run than did the downstream journey.
Milford to Graigeunamanagh, where we stop having had enough of the banging and scraping and being in need of a rest.
The middle section of the river is as much hard work as the upper!
This post is not quite in the same spot as it was on the original website - it seemed a good idea to put the blogs in chronological order now that I had to move them.
We make friends with WI as they dredge the river for us priot to our being able to get out of Ardreigh Lock. Once out we find the water challenging but beautiful.
We head out onto the Barrow, but not for long! The Barrow, already known to us as a bit of a bitch to navigate, proves to be more of a challenge than we anticipated, and that was only the first lock and mile! Waterways Ireland come to the rescue and a deal is struck: they will help us down and we will 'survey' the river for them.