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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

We go back in time to the iron age

Wednesday 11th July
Leaving County Kerry as we crossed the River Shannon by Ferry from Tarbert to Killmer (a crossing of about 20 minutes )we landed in County Clare. 

Resuming our route along the Wild Atlantic Way first stop was at the  Vandeleur Walled Garden. What a disappointment. The maze couldn't be accessed because of a wasp nest, the giant chess pieces to play chess well, where were they??? Planting was nice and part of the garden had some colourful bedding plants. At least we didn't have to pay to get in. One thing I will say though is how helpful and friendly the staff were.  Outstanding as is all the Irish folk. Lovely people who always have a cheery smile and who like nothing better than to pass the time of day.

40 km drive was ahead of us as we drove south to Loop Head Lighthouse. Parking was easy....getting out after the visit was not! Anyway, first things first we had a guide take us to the top. Views were pretty decent and as we were almost to the top, the lens, as well as the 1000 watt bulbs, could easily be seen.

On arriving back at the Beast there was a car next to us, one in front with a motorhome next to that, a motorhome to the rear and two large metal posts to the side of us. Car park being very small, surely someone will come back soon so we could move. Nop...we ended up having lunch and still no sign of any vehicle movement.  In the end, all Ian could do was reverse as far back as he could and drive forward to turn the Beast over a grassy area.
By the time we returned not a space was to be had.
At the gardens we visited we picked up several leaflets on places to visit. Two such places were inland near to a place called Ennis. So we drove 70km to Quin and Craggaunowen to experience the Living Past. It's a recreation of Celtic Ireland exploring the roots of people, homesteads and animals from 1000 years ago.  Marvellous place and very well put together. 

Inside the castle
Different ways of weaving

The Crannog a reconstruction of a lake dwelling during the Iron Age

Wild boars were hunted for food.

And these Soay Sheep. Their wool was plucked and used to weave their blankets and clothes.
Had some difficulty finding a stopping place for the night. Lay-by's non-existent, and very few car parks that allow overnight parking. Good old 'camp for the night' app showed to be one in Bunratty behind the shops which was fortunate as Bunratty Castle Folk Park was on the doorstep. Guess where we will be going tomorrow.

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