Thursday, October 1, 2015

South of Lough Ree again

When we got back to Lanesborough Joe went off to Roscommon with the car and bike and tried to find the station. Not an easy job, it seems. While I was waiting for him to cycle back I went for a bit of a spin myself (have to justify eating cake somehow). When I got back the harbour was full of Shannon One Designs and bustling people - it was the end of a Regatta, and they were all getting ready to go home after the final prize giving.

They've tizzed up the riverside below the bridge in Lanesborough, putting in a whole new walkway. It was being constructed when we were last in the town on our way north. All finished now:

I had to look at this twice when I was picking the photos for the blog. It was only the red marker that made me realise it was in Ireland and not some continental paradise, with a photo snuck into my phone by some alien trying to confuse me.

It was mid-afternoon by the time we set off across the lake heading for Athlone. Flat calm and bright. A good day for it. We tied up against the wall in Athlone and set off on the bikes to see where we would eat. Joe was keen to have a Lebanese meze, but I'm hopeless with those, full after only a couple of courses. We went for it anyway in the end, and had the bright idea of making up our own, smaller meze instead of going for the set menu. Obvious, really.

While Joe went back for the car on the bus I headed off downriver.  A couple of hours later me and Winter Solstice were tucked into Shannonbridge. While Joe used the glorified hair dryer he had on board to remove the deck paint (a new discovery. Happy Joe!) I went for a spin on the bike to Clonmacnoise. It's interesting coming to it along the other, non-water, great highway, the Esker Riada, a ridge from which you can see for miles.

And here's the castle at Clonmacnoise. That blurry thing on the right above the bushes.

It was just after I turned to go back that I had a giant nosebleed (look away now if you're fainthearted about blood). A whole box of tissues wouldn't have staunched it, so I stood dripping on the side of the road until it eased, pretending I was looking for something when cars went past, then cycled back with my head up, breathing through my mouth.

When I got back Joe was on someone else's boat full of chat. Seems they have a house near us in Clare. Quick check of the mirror and clean up the nose so they don't think I've been in a fight.

I was with my mother when we stopped at this gorgeous bridge:

It's a trick. It's not on the Shannon at all. It's the River Dee, dividing Wales from England, Holt on one side, Farndon on the other. I was on a few days visit to Cheshire, bringing my niece Sara back with me.

Who became skipper for a bit as we brought Winter Solstice closer to home. Not a bother with it.

This time it was to Banagher. The walls are so high here, you have to hitch yourself up and out onto your rear end. Not very dignified. We need higher water levels to bring us up a bit in a boat the size of Winter Solstice.

Back soon.

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