Here's a photo of Winter Solstice and the little blue dinghy at Manfred's on Lough Ree. Manfred's is amazing. A hidden-away tiny harbour attached to even more hidden-away chalets. The clientele are German - the place was set up by a German couple who had come to Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century to work on the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric plant. German fishermen on hireboats have been coming here for years. You can't book the restaurant, the food is plain but good, and you always get talking to someone.
We came home on Wednesday night to cut the grass, pick the strawberries (the polytunnel is bursting with ripeness) and catch up with a few jobs. We called at Shannon Harbour to see what it looked like empty now that Waterways Ireland have imposed the 5-day rule. Of course it wasn't empty - the Shannon Harbour Rally is on this weekend so it doesn't look any different - except there are no sunken or rotting boats. The pub has been painted and is looking splendid, and visitors, it seems, have been returning to the harbour.
We're off again for another ten days on the river. The boat is in Boyle Harbour, so we're well placed for a trip to the North. Though we might change our minds. The weather is supposed to be better further south, and there's a water sport event happening in Enniskillen. More updates when I find a WiFi hotspot.