We arrived back in Edenderry on a beautifully sunny day. We moored up again in the harbour but were shocked to see how busy it was. There were people everywhere & lockdown hadn’t changed other than people are allowed 5k away from their homes now. Ireland has a 5 stage plan at 3 week intervals for easing lockdown & first stage is due on 18 May. We are now allowed to travel 5km so Waterways Ireland have advised if you live 5km or less from your boat you can travel to it & take it our but all locks are still officially closed. It’s hard to work out from government plan how boating lockdown will be lifted but the closest parallel we can make is we won’t be able to cruise properly not until 20 July when caravan parks etc… are opened. But we keep watching the WI guidance even though that doesn’t really account for continuous cruisers. For now we’re in a lock free zone so we’re just doing very short hops & hoping that’s Ok.
We’d been warned previously that boats at Edenderry were a bit of a magnet to unwanted attention & although the last time we were there we had not trouble this time we weren’t so lucky. I think as it had been such a sunny day there’d been a lot of drinking & there were quite a few drunk people round the harbour all harmless but a change from our nice secluded mooring at Ticknevin. The first night we were woken a lot by noise so we kept barking but mum let us off as we were on guard. At 2am we had people running across the boat roof so that set us off barking big time. Mum also discovered in the morning that we’d had sticky drink thrown up the cratch cover so we decided we would move on from Edenderry.
Sunday was cold & very windy so we had to stay put but mum got a big supermarket shop done & Sean very kindly fetched us 3 cans of diesel. We also had another visitor Denis from the Royal branch of the IWAI so mum enjoyed chatting to him & asking him lots of questions about how it all works in Ireland.
Monday the wind had dropped slightly but mum had no phone signal so as she couldn’t do any work she decided to brave the turn in the harbour & set off. A few days later we discovered three had been down that day. After filling up with water we set off headed in a new direction right out of the Edenderry Branch.
We moored up at the quay at Rhode bridge about 1.5km from Rhode village. Sadly there was an abandoned car there spoiling a lovely spot. Mum cut that out of the photos!
It was nice to be out in the countryside again. But sadly the next evening a gang of youths turned up & started trashing the car & climbing on our boat again. The police were there within minutes but then the police left & the lads stayed. They were then trying to pull the car out of the ditch with a 4×4 with wheels spinning & the vehicle pointing right at the boat. We were terrified the car would suddenly move & the 4×4 would fly into the boat. Eventually they gave up & left but we resolved to leave the next day.
Mum didn’t sleep much that night so was very very rarely up to see the sunrise the next morning. Woke us up too messing about hanging out of the window taking photos!!
Mum had work calls the next day till 3pm so we left after that. Mum had spotted on the map that there was a Bord Na Mona lift bridge not too far away which would have moorings at it so off we headed. As we approached the bridge which really is in the middle of nowhere our hearts sank as we saw a load of youths on the bridge. We started to tie up just thinking we’d stay there till they’d gone but one of them shouted he’d do the bridge for us. So they lifted the bridge & we went through to moor on the other side.
Unfortunately then they proceeded to open & close the bridge for the next hour so maybe we did the wrong thing! Anyway it was a lovely remote mooring but we were back on planks for embarking & disembarking. Mum has a real hard job mooring up like this as she obviously has to jump off & back on the boat to tie up & put the planks in place across the gap. We know its only a matter of time before she goes in doing this & we won’t laugh honestly.
Anyway other than the kids most days opening & closing the bridge it was a nice mooring although we had a very low internet signal which wasn’t good for mums work.
We went on some really interesting walkies & learnt all about the peat briquettes from The Bog of Allen.
According to Wikipedia : The Bog of Allen (Móin Alúine in Irish) is a large raised bog in the centre of Ireland between the rivers Liffey and Shannon. The bog’s 958 square kilometers (370 square miles) stretch into County Offaly, County Meath, County Kildare, County Laois, and County Westmeath.Peat is mechanically harvested on a large scale by Bórd na Móna,the government-owned peat production industry. The area has miles of narrow gauge industrial railways for transporting turf to processing plants and turf powered power plants. In addition, the cutover portions are used as area for grazing. The bog is crossed by the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal.
A tractor pulls a blade behind it which cuts the blocks of turf and leaves them in strips. Later the turf is stacked 4 or 5 layers high as in the pic above. That let’s the air circulate through it which dries it faster. This is all back breaking manual work done seasonally.
A quick video on what happens next : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ImWj7QxljU&fbclid=IwAR2oxI-3A-ELf9hZERWXg7RIlF1s1f8boEug6ioa9zw7AauFSw6TcQOSNp4
And the finished product for sale:
See how clever me & Daquiri are teaching you all this!!
After walkies we headed back over the bridge & noticed the hut that the bridge controls were in now has a big padlock on it! If we can’t continue onwards before 20 July we’ll have to come back this way but that’s another days problem!!
We had a nice few days here & it’s been fascinating exploring the peat bog. Well Daquiri & mum have been fascinated I’ve been too busy eating it!!
Not quite up to Ticknevin standards but mum did get a nice evening shot of the pink glow over the canal with a strategically positioned swan to make it look all arty!