May 19th, 2016
Today we set off to explore the ‘Upper Lough’ – this is much narrower and twistier than where we have been up to now – and there are many small wooded islands. These all look very like each other – so thank goodness for View Ranger.
At one point going through a channel that was clearly marked to be ok – we definitely heard the boat scrape the bottom, and although we didn’t get stuck, this raised R’s stress levels no end. We’d planned to eat at the Watermill Lodge restaurant – but looking at the chart – it was marked as being in an area of water too shallow to enter. N and J both recalled, however, that the man at the hire company had said that a new channel had been cut and it was now ok. An argument ensued and tempers got very frayed on both sides…
So I went off to walk round Crom (a National Trust Reserve) minus R who stayed on the boat. Crom was very pretty with a ruined castle, a romantic summer house, and a huge abandoned walled garden. It is also the seat of Lord Erne who has a nice house, but doesn’t let plebs round to see it.
It was a rather ‘Goily’ day from a weather perspective, alternately boiling hot and pouring with rain. We saw some amazing wild flowers including more garlic that you could shake a chef at…
Anyway, when we got back to the boat a few beers calmed everything down and we did go to the Watermill Lodge. The new channel was there alright, but when we got to the mooring, it was quite windy. The meal in the restaurant was really good, although it was a bit too ‘pretentious French’ for my taste. I had smoked salmon, slow cooked beef and then (unusually for me) a selection of mini-deserts.
Unfortunately, when we got back to the boat our troubles began, as it was rocking about against its moorings making a loud and annoying squeak every few seconds. J had described the night he spent moored near Great Yarmouth under similar conditions as ‘like trying to sleep in a washing machine’ – this was the same only worse, rather like trying to sleep in during a latex fetishists’ convention. With the aid of my new noise cancellation headphones I managed to get a little sleep – poor R didn’t even manage that.