Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Saturday 22. 4 miles, 0 locks.
Well we are right into the swing of things now.
Today were mostly straight canals through bush-lined cuttings and rolling farmland. Passed a moored narrow boat called Water Gypsy. She was owned by a couple who did 6 months on the narrow boat with paying guests on board and 6 months in Auckland yachting. Well this is the couple that got us thinking about doing something similar after they had an article in the Air NZ magazine.
Stopped at Brewood (Brood). Wondered through the village and meet a bell ringer. Stopped at the butchers and had a chat. They brought out a staff member who had lived in NZ for 17 years. Back to the boat for cheese and crackers on the towpath.
Sunday 23. 3 miles,1 lock
Straight bush lined and rolling farmland canals. Crossing over a motorway watching cars racing by confirms the delight of our slow pace. While racing down the canal at walking pace we started to talk to a couple walking on the tow path after about an hour we stopped for lunch and asked if they would like a cuppa, well they did and it turned out we met her sister at the butchers yesterday. Small world. It even got smaller when we stopped for water and spotted another kiwi flag. They had been doing the last 8 summers on the canals. She said her name was Brenda from Whangaporoa so I said that must be Brenda & Tony. They were a couple we had had contact with 5 years ago when researching buying a boat. Tonight we are at Bridge 20, Wheaton Aston.
Monday 24. 10 miles 0 locks.
A lovely bit of canal to putter along, with no locks it is called the long pond. Bushy cuttings and high embankments where you can see out over the countryside. Stopped at the village of Gnosall Heath. 15th C Church. Next stop at a marina for an ice cream. We walked into a “floating bog” at Loynton Moss where they are doing work to restore the bog back to its original state. Then to finish the day it was less than a mile to the Anchor, voted “2nd best pub on the canals”. Tied up looking forward to a Night in a real English pub. Closed! Met a couple of locals that were also looking for a drink so we followed them down the tow path for a mile or so to the Wharf Inn. Home made food etc, sounds good. “Closed Mondays”. Back to the boat we walk. Anchor now open so in for a pint and cider. Real quaint but no idea how they make a living. We were the only customers. No food though.
Tuesday 25. 9 miles, 5 locks.
Another amble along day through some nice bushy areas. Diana lucked in with the locks today. As we went down 5 boats were coming up which meant all locks were full of water, gates open and others to wind the handles. Long may that last. Weather a bit cold this morning. First day of cool temperatures since being on the canals. Sun came out later and warmed up a bit. Parked up at Market Drayton tonight. Think we will stay for a couple of days and do the town tomorrow.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
10 May touring Northern Ireland
now it was let’s see Ireland in the few days left. Back to Greelough to walk around the graveyard again an take some more photos then east we go. Through Ballymena to Carnlough on the coast then north stopping at various beauty and historic spots. You can guess how many photos Diana is taking. First well know tourist spot was Carrick-a-Rede, The rope bridge. Got tickets but was not anticipating Diana needing hers. Walked the mile or so to the sight and having seen it Diana wasn’t interested so I went on over the bridge onto the island. Soon after I see a group of tourists give a cheer. The man (Billie) at the gate had convinced her that she would later regret not going so he walk backwards across the bride and talked her over. Had to do the same going back. Next the Giants Causeway. It’s as good as the photos show. Stayed the night at Bushmills, Famous for its distillery.
11 May, back into the Republic.
Followied around the coast visiting Dunluce Castle, ruins. Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demesene. Crossed Lough Foyle by small ferry to Greencastle, County Donegal. From here it was just drive with a few quick scenery stops to Donegal for the night. The B&B sent us off to a little pub that has music. Great night with locals giving impromptu turns. Some really good talent and some drunks.
12 May, Driving.
We needed to get south so it was Main roads to Westport. Sorted into B&B and he suggested we go to Achill Island and drive the Atlantic Road. A couple of hours he said. 5 hours later we got back. The most rugged coastline and isolated location you could imagine but there were cottages everywhere. Fascinating. The nearest thing to what I imagine Eskimo’s live. The B&B owner said we should go to the last beach on the island as the next stop was the Brooklyn Bridge. Beautiful, pristine, cold and they had lifeguards.
13 May, Connemara.
A long day on the road driving south the coastal route to Kylemore Abbey. Nice spot but didn’t get to see much in side the Abbey. Followed on around the Connemara coast to Gallway and through the Burren to Doolin. Had to spend a night at O’Connors Pub. Nice meal and then there was the music. Must have got spoilt at Donegal, as this was a bit bland.
14 May, To Tralee & Dingle.
Started the day with a look at the Aran Islands from the ferry terminal. Not enough time left to make the trip. Spent some time at the Cliffs of Moher. A very well presented tourist attraction. Through to Killimer and the ferry to Tabert and then Tralee for the night. Booked the B&B and off to the Dingle peninsula via Connor pass. Don’t think I would take the 5th wheeler there. Stunning topography. The Atlantic side of the peninsular was very rugged but not to the same extent as Archill. Fascinating ruins of “Beehive Huts”, built of flat stones and clustered into small communities. Wondered around Dingle with bright coloured buildings before back to Tralee for the night.
15 May, Motorway to Dublin
Had been told 3 hours. Locals say that’s right except for on Saturday, need to allow 5 hours. Had an hours stop at Foynes to look through the Flying Boat Museum. Interesting information on the main flying boat base for trans Atlantic flights. Shannon airport is just up river a bit. Then M7/N7/M50/M1 to a hotel on Dublin airport. Return rental, repack, eat, sleep & check the news on ash clouds.