|Forum Home > Travel > River Barrow trip report Day 1.|
You Tube has a lot to answer for! After watching the 3 part doco on the Lake Geneva Crossing, I felt so inspired that I had to find a similar SUP trip here in Ireland.
The River Barrow, that’s the one. So many memories from childhood fishing trips!
Fran and I head from Dublin in his camper to meet Ed who has travelled over from Clare from a wedding. We meet in Carlow, study maps, have some lunch and decide on Milford, Co Carlow as our start point. 24 degrees, lots of sun cream on and off Ed and I go, heading for Leighlinbridge. As we paddle through Loughlin we stop to talk to two lovely ladies who serve us coffee from their riverside apartment. Thank you ladies! Then it’s on to Bagenalstown, where half the town seems to have taken to the river to cool off. Here I switch over with Fran who keeps Ed Company on to our BBQ evening meal at Goresbridge. By now we have covered more that we expected and had fun climbing down the weirs and riding a small bit of whitewater below.
After dinner Fran and I hit the water again with the intention of paddling another hour or two to Borris, not knowing that we would get only around the corner before having our first hiccup, Eds board Gunter sprung a leak while shooting some rapids, problem being that Ed was driving the camper on to our first overnight stop outside Borris. After a long walk out from the river valley to the road we met up with Ed who took us to our superb river side camping location. We sat around the campfire until late sipping and sharing highlights from the day, before heading to our beds.
Stay tuned for Day 2 report real soon!!
Day 2 report, all the way from Aruba. Thanks Ed!
Woke up on the east bank of the river to a punctured matress.
A secluded location not far from Borris under Ballytiglea Bridge, in a
very wooded attractive stretch of the river.
Within minutes the porridge was on the gas and the we were busy
planning the days paddle.
Fran and Paul would be on the morning paddle, with a lunch break
hopefully at Graiguenamanagh.
Leaving the woods of the Borris demesne behind them, Fran and Paul
would have the river wind once again in front of them through
cultivated land, its course becoming more tortuous as they approach
Porridge, coffee and fruit biscuits set us up for the day, just a
quick shave for Fran and the boys were back on the river.
Tidy the camp site, packing the tent and leaving the area like we had
never been there, I set off in the Camper. Back up that narrow lane,
swinging right, I was on the road. Bike on the back rack, Gooter
drying on the roof, fingers crossed my Drive 10'5 would soon be mended
and involved in the trip before long.
Quick stop in Borris. BBQ pork, Chicken & Beef along with some bread
rolls looked like the makings of a great BBQ for later that evening.
Tinnahinch was the sign that greeted me crossing the river, with
parking area and plenty of sleeping boats in the water.
No sooner had I arrived, when from round the corner Fran & Paul
appeared. Wave of their hands confirmed all was well but eager for a
well deserved break and spot of lunch.
Frans knee told its own story, shooting weirs on an SUP is not for the
faint hearted. Fran is not faint hearted.
Quick bite to eat, back to the water and myself and Paul were soon
leaving Fran behind as we quickly approached some of the largest weirs
on the river.
Taking Frans Quicksilver foam board was ideal for this stretch of
water. Great for taking over weirs and safe in shallow fast water.
Better than the epoxy in my opinion for this type of trip.
The wind really picked up, hitting us dead in the face as we paddled
through what felt like a wind tunnel for 2 hours. No one said it would
be easy, but this was almost soul destroying. Paul carrying a hip
injury from day 1 battled hard. It was our toughest test to date.
A well deserved snack stop at St Mullin's lock was interrupted by text
from Fran. "Cold Beer waiting for you boys, I am round the corner from
Fueled with that news, we popped our boards back in the water and
paddled the 20 minutes to meet Fran. In the distance, no word of a
lie, at that moment Frans camper was like 'Mana from heaven'.
The river enters a whole new league at this point. The river is tidal
"Do we continue in this wind and filling tide?"
Our decision made, boards strapped to the roof, New Ross was the
destination. Maybe with a new day and the tide in our favour, we would
be back here in St Mullin's again. Only time would tell.
"Have you any Carlow Strawberry's?" A budding young entrenpeur stared
at us in confusion. "We have Wexford Strawberry's!!"
Full of the fruits of Wexford, New Ross beckened. Coffee and a stop at
"The Dunbrody Famine Ship" before we left the town, Ballyhack and a
place to camp still not secured.
Passage East on the ferry brought us to the river estuary, and the
thoughts of a breeze at our backs and a filling tide for tomorrows
paddle kept the spirits up.
Dillon's field was no where to be found so by Hook or by Crook we were
camping on the estuary bank in the centre of Cheekpoint.
Tent erected, BBQ eaten, McAlpin's Suir Inn was calling.
It was never like this at home!