Thursday 22/04/10 Limerick
Motto of the day: In the middle of the city
I'm up early and enjoy the morning mood of the city which is still asleep. The sky is cloudy but later it's sunny. It's the fifth day without any rain. The rocks of the Curragour Falls (Cora Dhoghair or Cora an Ghabhair or the weir of the goat) are easily visible at low tide.
We spend this day visiting the city and shopping. In a small bookshop I'm lucky and manage to grab a copy of the rare book "The Abbey Fishermen" by William Lysaght, Pat's father. Kevin has searched for a copy for me the whole winter without any success. Now I'm coming to Limerick, I go into a bookshop and the bookseller has a copy there.
We walk along the Abbey River to the first lock of the Park Canal which was build for bypassing the rapids at Corbally. The Lock Quay Bridge is a single-arch hump-back red brick and limestone canal bridge, erected in 1757, crossing the canal at Lock Quay canal harbour. At the petrol station beside the lock somebody shouts "Hi Willi!" We surprisingly meet Andy.
Back on board we watch Pat clearing the weir barrier of washed up trees and bushes. Later in the afternoon he comes along for a coffee and signs the book of his father.
After that we take a taxi to the medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle. The singers are very professional and we enjoy their art but the show is for American tourists. Sorry Mr. Crowe, next time please give us a voucher for the nice pub 'Durty Nelly's' opposite the castle or just a diesel voucher.
Back on the boat we enjoy the evening mood.
Friday 23/04/10 Limerick - Ballina - Garrykennedy
Length of boat trip: 6 hours
Motto of the day: Calm waters below Ardnacrusha and back on Lough Derg
The morning is bright and a bit fresh when we start. Pat leads us through the Abbey bridges and accompanies us to Ardnacrusha.
Only a bit more of the power of one turbine is running and the lovely Abbey and the great Shannon are gently flowing in a peaceful mood. In the distance Thomond Park, the new rugby stadium can be seen on the western shore of the Shannon.
In the upstream direction of the Shannon are a lot of swans below the Corbally rapids at the old derelict salmon (salix) weir and Caslaunnacorran, the 'Castle of the Weir'.
Then it goes further through the rocky cut of the Tailrace and we reach Ardnacrusha.