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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, 9 August 2018

T'was a bank holiday, hmmm wish we had remembered!

Sunday 5th August

Hearty breakfast for us this morning, well there was nothing for us to rush off too. It's only about 90km from Rosslare where we board the ferry in two days time. So with a bit of head scratching as to where we should head off to today, Enniscorthy came out the winner.

It was the castle that beckoned but we had forgotten it was a bank holiday.

Parking was almost impossible as not only was a fair in town but stalls of a food fest had closed most of the roads in the town centre.  Ian eagled eyed as he is, spotted motorhomes parked by the river and took a road to one side of the fair. One way in but how to get out? Anyway, that worry was for later. No spaces big enough for us and we were resigned to having to leave. Then a lovely Irish gentleman parked next to the river said he would move his car to one of the parking bays so we could take the larger space. What a lovely man. We have found all the Irish to be more than helpful and like nothing better than to pass the time of day.

The Beast is parked behind the house
 We walked to the castle, was met by the staff in medieval costume. paid our €4 and fully expected to enjoy seeing a proper castle. But, and in this we were very disappointed, the castle had been turned into a glorified mansion type house with none of the medieval artefact one expects to see. Even the roof was out of bounds....'elf and safety' reared its ugly head. A member of staff had to be with you if you wanted to walk around the top. I ask you...has this world has gone mad? We did get shown to the dungeons where I took a photo and seeing a bicycle made for three, had to take a photo of that. As for the rest, I didn't bother.

As it was lunch time and the food fest was going on it seemed right to go and find something to eat. With the many foods to chose from, Asian, Chinese, Italian, Irish cuisine and the usual Burgers, stalls, we plumped for a steak burger cooked in a steam train. Honest to God it was a train!

And best burgers we have ever had.

Also down one of the side streets, a farmer unloading his livestock for the public to pet and admire. We found this all so highly entertaining especially the young calf showing it's frisky side.

Back to the Beast and wondered how we would get out. But although barriers were across the road, on inspection a gap had been left for cars to exit. Excellent and we set about finding a park for the night. One was found in Graiguenamanagh right by the River Barrow. Pictures of narrowboats had been posted on the app and we thought it to be a great spot to stop. But, and here again, we forgot about the bank holiday, a Regatta was going on and not a space to be had.

See where that white van is parked? That's where we wanted to stop.

Beautiful display of hanging baskets

So another site was found at St Mullen's, also by the river which we thought would do just as well. Wrong!!! Well, I'm sure you can guess what I'm about to write. Some sort of Irish folk band had been playing and the only place we may have been able to park was over a very narrow bridge. We did try....and we failed miserably. In fact, one of the locals had to help us reverse which caused utter chaos when more cars started to arrive. We blamed our wrong direction to our sat nav!

 Okay....one more choice about 20km away at a place called Inistioge. also by the river. But...oh no...what was those Garda (Police) signs doing in the middle of the road. Here a vintage car show was the attraction and again not a single parking space to be had.

 So the only place we have found to stop is in a layby right on the R700 between New Ross and Thomastown. A well-used layby, not just by cars but farm vehicles as well. Noisy at the moment but have high hopes of it quietening down later.

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