These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016 and 2017, returning to Roanne each winter.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

11th - 12th June 2012. The Barrow Line to Fisherstown. Live music at The Fisherman's Thatched Inn.

Glorious weather today. There are a lot of horses watching us cruise down the Barrow Line.

At staircase lock 24 there is a bridge over part of the lower chamber.

In Monasterevin the old wharves have been opened up again to make very attractive moorings at Bell Harbour.

The lift bridge in Monasterevin is always operated by the lockkeeper.
We have now completed 14 miles of the Barrow line so we are half way to Athy. We had hoped to carry on there to join the River Barrow, but the lockkeeper has told us that it is currently closed to navigation, due to high water levels. We are crossing the Barrow on the aqueduct in Monasterevin, and can see the problem! This aqueduct was built in the 1820s.
Before the lock at Monasterevin the canal turns left as we pass the old entrance to the Mountmellick Branch, which is now derelict. It too was constructed in the 1820s, and originally it was to continue to the Castlecomer coal fields. However it was only ever 11 miles long and finished at Mountmellick. It was officially closed to navigation in 1960.

We met a weed cutter, which is a weird looking, but efficient craft. There is very little weed left on this stretch.

The Barrow Line is generally more attractive than The Grand Canal, but is still a bit too straight at times!

Fisherstown Bridge is being repointed at the moment. This work on the canals is contracted out by Waterways Ireland, though all work around the locks is done by the lockkeepers.

We moored at Fisherstown, just through the bridge. It is a delightful place, with a few charming houses along the road, on the other side of the bridge.

After seven years of hard work, the front fender was in need of repair, so Sally again used the coir rope found earlier this summer.

Once it has been painted with blacking, then its renovation is complete.It can go back once it is dry!
We walked down to see the River Barrow, which is about three quarters of a mile from Fisherstown bridge. On Monday evening it was nearly up to the old road. There used to be a bridge over the river here, which is shown in the 1999 edition of the Ireland's Inland Waterways canal guide for the Barrow Line. However, we are told by the pub landlord that it was taken down in about 1540. The local shop and garage shown have also gone, but comparatively recently. They were there until only about ten years ago. He said that there's out of date, and also out of date!

Next day John and Brigitte arrived, and we went down to the river again in the evening, to see how much water there was. This picture was taken from the same spot! The level had gone down quite a lot so we are hoping it will soon be open to navigation.

That night we went up to the pub, the Fisherman's Thatched Inn for music, which began at ten-ish. It was actually 10.40 when it started.
There is music here every Tuesday night and we can certainly recommend a visit. As well as the musicians, two other men sang Irish songs. They each dedicated the songs to their new friends from Norfolk, which made us feel very welcome.
We have never visited a more interesting pub, with so much memorabilia to see. It was Old Sean, the landlord's, 71st birthday, so at midnight the chocolate cake was brought out for everyone to share, and drinks were on the house! It was a great evening!

Andy and John particularly enjoyed the Guiness, while Brigitte and Sally  just had a good time.

1 comment:

  1. The Barrow Line looks lovely. Sounds as though you had a great evening at the Fisherman's Thatched Inn, it looks a very interesting pub. It was nice to be so welcomed.