ROYAL CANAL: Enfield to Killucan 5th April


A disappointingly cloudy start to a disappointingly cloudy day and by the time we had faffed around packing up etc it was 10,30 before we got going. 

There were more people out and about running and walking down the tow path. Easter Sunday strolling. 

Before long we got to the Meath/Kildare county boundary and the river Blackwater aqueduct. 

The aqueducts are very hard to photograph Lord knows how hard to construct. My admiration for the engineers and labourers of the time grows with every passing km. 

After Kilmore bridge

the canal went through a lovely wooded stretch awns the towpath became narrow and lined with primroses. 

The next bridge Moyvalley, had a nicelooking canal side pub/restaurant but unfortunately we were too early, or maybe it was just as well. There was a big fishing competition going on with a long line of guys and a mass of gear strung out down the towpath. 

The line ended at the Ribbontail lifting bridge, built to facilitate people going to the nearby church but ironically a favorite hang out of the Ribbon Men, naughty men who back in the day would make holes in the canal bank to cause big breaches which would create loads of work to repair. 

Good rich land surrounded us. Big fields. Big trees. Soon we crossed high above the river Boyne on another aqueduct.  

A very cheery lady called Sadie passed us going the other way and a few kms later caught up with us from behind. I fell into step with her for a chat for awhile but her 76 year old pace was a bit too much for my track buddy who has been suffering badly from cold/flu and it was as a relief to e able to slow down again when she peeled off. 

An inspiration. That gives us another 15 years anyway. 

A nice length of wilder path got us to the pub at the Hill of Down where we had been hoping for lunch. 

No luck beyond Guiness ,lager and crisps which kept us going another 8 kms to the great pub restaurant Nanny Quinns at Thomastown harbour where we had a slap up. 

Near here were moored up the last two working barges on the canal but it must have been awhile ago. 

We camped up on a lovely spot not long after and a new barge came through the lock. 

A nice lad had just got himself a 20 grand bargain. New Diesel engine,7 year old steel hull. Him and some mates were taking it down to Dublin to live on. Their first boat trip. It had already involved a trip to hospital for a load of stitches after the lock key had  spun on the rachet and cracked yer mans head open. Good luck to them. 

So time for gathering firewood and settling in to admire a nice sunset as the clouds had finally gone. 

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