01 June saw me along the Royal Canal again. Since reaching the Shannon some time in October 2011 much has happened. I’d walked the Grand Canal in 2012 in aid of Midlands SIMON so it seemed quite natural to do the Royal this year even though I have an ulterior motive or two for walking the Royal again.
The Royal Canal is now part of the greater Dublin to Galway cycle/ walking route. With that in mind, the idea is to accurately document the Royal Canal. I also want to include snippets about watering holes along the way. If one plans to walk the whole route one must know where to stop off for something to eat or to enjoy a long cold drink to sooth aching feet.
I chose the 1st of June to get moving. Two reasons. Our late spring meant there wasn’t much green around earlier. Who would want to look at photo after photo of features in bleak winter landscapes with bare trees all along the towpath?
Also, the rail lifting bridge now colloquially known as Effin Bridge was going to be up. Yep, I’d seen it up and passed beneath on a barge but not previously managed close up photos of said Effin Bridge in an elevated state. The bridge is the major restriction to movement to and from the Liffey as it only lifts on planned dates in the year so, when one gets the offer of getting close by one must take it. I’m not sure what’s going to happen when the cycle/ walking route is officially opened as access to this first section of the Royal Canal is restricted.
(Click on the top left photo to see the gallery in full… or mouse-over the photos to read the captions…)
Anyway, to begin with, I took a walk from Connolly station along the south quays to get a few pictures of the surrounding city. The weather could have been a tad kinder. Before I was even at the Sea Lock I’d had to hide the camera from the mizzle. At the Sea Lock I asked a passer-by to get a picture of me looking westward. From there on it was all go, go, go. The Shannon was calling so I needed to get my feet moving, sore knee and all!
I’ll again include links to the IWAI Royal Canal Guide. If you feel to walk/ cycle/ canoe the whole route it would be advisable to buy the paper version as it’s a more up-to-date edition. Click here to visit the index of the guide, once there you can navigate between the different sections. I’m also hoping that at the end of my walks I’ll have sufficient good material to compile a guide to supplement other publications as it should be specifically aimed a being a visual aid.
I’ve chosen to divide the account of this first walk into 3 sections. Hopefully this will prevent folk getting lost along the way before they’ve even started. As I mentioned earlier, there were boats on the system so I was fortunate to get a number of good photos. I stopped and chatted along the way. It was a great day out… eventually ending with me reaching the end of the Deep Sinking.
There you have it… the first bit. From the Liffey to the 6th Lock… meeting friends new and old… a fun walk, even if I took twice as long as I should have. OK, let’s hope the next installment won’t take as long… until then, I hope you enjoy seeing this first one…
Lastly, don’t forget the main reason for this challenge… please click on the link to support my efforts to raise awareness and much needed funds for the folk of Midlands SIMON! Thanks…