Lough Derg in the Bag by Cosmo (Garrykennedy to Terryglass)

It was quite choppy in the harbour at Garrykennedy so mum couldn’t leave the planks out so everytime we needed to get off it was a right rigmarole so we didn’t stay too long. However during the time we were there we think Mum decided she was an Olympic athlete or something as she went off on a mega bike ride.

She set off to a quarry & then a viewing point called The Lookout. But her excuse is that although she’d found lookout point on her map on her tablet on the boat her phone didn’t recognise it so she had to go from memory & she ended up going to another viewing point much higher at the Graves of the Leinstermen.

It is a spectacular location and in legend is associated with a high-status Leinster king who was killed here with a small group of his men in the early eleventh-century. One story has it that the Leinster men were visiting Brian Boru in Kincora to pay tribute but became embroiled in a dispute ostensibly about a chess game. The Leinster men departed, but were caught up with by Brian’s men; a skirmish followed, and the Leinster men were killed.

Another story says that the king was on his way to marry the daughter of Brian, but that Brian’s wife Gormfhlaith, who didn’t approve of the match, arranged to have the party ambushed on their way to Kincora. The reality, of course, is that the grave was here some 3000 years before the birth of Brian Boru. Very little is known of the tomb builders, their language, beliefs, or customs.

Mum left the viewing point & started her steep descent & then by fluke came upon the Lookout so at that point realised her error when she saw the map on the board!

Anyway she survived & came home with heroic tales of scaling mountains so we humoured her as she did look a little red in the face!!

Apart from the disembarkation palava it was nice at Garrykennedy for us as it had a lovely forest trail for walkies right by the harbour.

Mum made it to Larkins for tea one night & when she came out was rewarded by a rainbow & a wonderful sunset simultaneously.

We left Garrykennedy on a perfect still sunny cruising day & we haven’t had many of those. The flow on the River Scarriff was still too high for us so sadly we’e had to miss Scarriff out from our Lough Derg tour this year. We were going to head across to revisit Drummaan but we heard the harbour was full so we decided as cruising conditions were so perfect it was a good day to do a longer cruise & we went up to Terryglass 3 hours away at the top of the Lough. This will be our last “new” stop on the Lough having done a complete circuit now. We’ll hopefully pop across to Portumna before we leave which was of course our first stop on Lough Derg in July. It feels like so long ago now.

We were very relieved when we got to Terryglas sthat there was plenty of room & we got a perfect spot on a long jetty with electric, water & dead dead easy for us to get out hurray!!

Almost 1.500 years old, Terryglass was founded on a monastery that is one of the centrepieces of Ireland’s cultural history. The village has a long history dating back to the mid-6th century when an abbey was founded by Saint Columba, who was one of the twelve apostles of Ireland (pioneers of Christianity throughout Ireland). The famous Book of Leinster which is a Celtic treasure was scribed here by monks in the mid 12thcentury. Shortly after this time the abbey was burnt down by the ever-present Viking raiders. This book is currently housed at Trinity College Dublin. A wall from the abbey is still present in the town. There are also two holy wells in the area; one is said to cure ailments of the eyes and the other headaches, but sadly not hangovers!

Terryglass has 2 pubs & a small shop attached to the pub which proved a godsend as we were there a week due to it being too windy to move. Fergal & Wendy came over for a couple of nights so of course mum went to have tea at the pub with them one night!

There’s also a little fairy trail at the harbour which was a bit underwhelming as it was completed in 5 mins lol

Mum was busy working on a big new account most of the week but she went to the Lakeshore Community market in the nearby village on Ballinderry on Falcon on Saturday.

We’re hoping to get across to Portumna soon on a less windy day & from there we’re waiting for the Shannon to be slow enough for us to make our escape from Lough Derg back onto the Grand Canal for winter. So keep your paws crossed for a kind weather September for us.

So to finish of course… a sunset photo from Terryglass Harbour!

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