Four ways to use a boat on the River Barrow

The River Barrow is the second longest river in Ireland, so why not discover the beauty of it by boat?

Especially in the South of County Carlow, on the border to County Kilkenny the river Barrow offers its entire beauty. Cashganny is one of the most picturesque locks in Ireland. This short stretch of the Barrow between Clashganny and Graiguenamanagh has something for everybody: adventure, tranqulity, peace and action.

February doesn’t really spring to mind to go out canoeing but we did just that. On a gorgeous crispy morning I met Charlie Horan fromGo With the at Clashganny Lock.

1. Canoeing like the Native Americans

After being kitted out with a life west and a short instruction about paddling and health and safety we got into the canoe. The water was freezing but I had no intentions for a swim. I thought it will be a nice tranquil paddle – well, it wasn’t quite that tranquil. We pulled in on the bank where Charlie told me how to hold on and balance our vessel while going over rapids. Rapids? Hang on – what happened to the nice quite trip?

It turned out it was great fun and I wanted to do it again straight away.

2. Carry your vessel like the Vikings

We turned towards the canal to go back to Clashganny. So that meant: get out of the canoe – easier said than done, carry the boat upstream past the lock and paddle upstream to Clashganny. That was the plan… we had to change it because the canal was frozen solid.

3. Conquer the canal with an ice breaker

We even tried to get on top of the ice sheet with the front of the canoe and let the weight break the ice. Much to our suprise the ice was too thick, so what to do now?

“No problem”, Charlie said, “sure – Graiguenamanagh is only half an hour from here” – great!

Out of the canoe and carry it back – again – it’s heavy when you carry a vessel that is built for 4 and there’s only the two of us.

Eventually we got back on the river to continue our adventure.

We paddled along and Charlie pointed out a few interesting views: Ryans Castle which was abandoned and destroyed. I’m fascinated by ruins and always imagine what might have happened in it’s hayday.

And I got my wish granted as we went over another set of rapids. This time a bit faster and it was even better than the first time!!

But then again, I was absolutely stunned by the natural beauty and peacefulness along the river.

Slowly but surely I got tired from the paddling when I realised, you can use a canoe in another way:

4. Using the Canoe as a gym

I was so glad to see Graiguenamanagh appearing behind a bend. What a view!! This trip was even better than I ever expected.

We left the boat at the mooring and started looking for a lift back to Clashganny. Graiguenamanagh is such a beautiful picturesque village with really friendly and warm people. Eventually a gentleman who felt sorry for us gave us a lift back to Clashganny.

I was tired but happy after this trip and never felt cold as the time just flew. We spent the best part of 2 hours on the river. It was a great adventure – Thank you very much Charlie!

If you want to know more about river adventures, you can contact Charlie directly here: Go With The Flow or if you want to incorporate it into one of your trips, please feel free to contact us here: Book now or call Bianka on 0876509880

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