As mentioned in Tuesdays post… I walked the next section west of Thomastown last Sunday. The whole idea was rather spur of the moment… senior son asked me to drop him off at true love’s place… about halfway toward the starting point… so, what better excuse than to keep going and have a look over some new ground… well, canal water 😉
The further I drove the more the weather seemed to close in… eventually raining quite hard. I arrived at the parking spot and sat for some minutes… staring at the pouring rain. It eased a little… ah, what the hell… I have the umbrella… let’s be brave! I crossed the bridge, passed Lock 18, which I believe may be the smallest lock on the system. (Again, I supply the link to the IWAI maps… they’re not 100% up to date but are still good to use as a guide.)
The lads, well… a father and son were setting up a tea station for the sponsored walk they were soon to undertake. We chatted briefly. (I have subsequently been privileged to welcome DF to the FB page… good to gain new friends!)
Wet, soggy mizzle occasionally turning into steady rain. So what? This made for the odd interesting photo… umbrella being used as a prop! I carry the umbrella as protection for the camera… not only shelter for myself!
This was what we used to call ‘clampers… on the deck‘ weather in my days of flying… in another lifetime that was! Clampers! I was walking in the clouds… grey, wet… the odd drop finding its way down the back of my neck… as they always seem to do! Lock 19… then 20… on to 21… the locks being spaced quite close to each other.
I eventually passed Lock 25 and Footy’s Bridge… this is where I spotted the ducks heading for shelter… even they were rather peeved with the constant rain! Heading west from Lock 25 is the next section of level… Summit Level… the top stretch of meander going for about 24 kilometers before reaching Lock 26 some way passed Mullingar.
I made it to where the N4 motorway crosses the canal at Neads Bridge. After a short look around I started the return leg. Not long after making my U-turn I was met by the first party of walkers… the ladies out on their own… racing away from the men.
I strolled along… the weather now lifting as I went along. This allowed me to notice things not seen while hiding under the umbrella… like the totally overgrown cottage at Lock 21. I think I’m going to lay claim to the spot… why, note the date on the top jam of the door… someone clearly knew it would catch my eye! Yep, I was born on that day… just not that year! 😉
Maybe I’ll return next year… maybe the writer will meet me there for a wee celebration… or, even better… to hand over the deeds!
OK… OK… enough waffle… let’s get into the slide show.
So… there you have it… what started off as a wet trek eventually ended in bright sunshine… the good old Irish summer for you!
And… in passing, the ladies overtook me near Lock 22 on the return journey… I wondered (aloud) if the men may have been a little shrewd… letting them off… so that they could get the tea brewing for when the men finally arrived at their destination… 😉
Ed’s note: This slideshow is added to the others… the link to all the completed walks can be found on the ‘Royal Canal Life’ page.