A shopping spree to Enniskillen in County Fermanagh had me surveying the Erne … and, yup, as expected … the boaters are out in full force now. Bank holiday weekend and all.
And judging from the confused shoppers in Asda, the Germans are at the front once again. Shopping cart comprising of four eggs, one batch of sliced white (and I have to say Asda actually has good bread, not just the industrial pap), butter, milk, a bottle of whiskey (cheap stuff, because they should have bought “duty free”, a common mistake) and two six-packs of beer.
Anyway, the Erne – the quiet times are over for now, expect a lot of traffic until September.
What always amazes me … the boats I really prefer, the roomy, old-fashioned ones, they are rare. Yes, they are not as easily manoeuvrable as the sleek plastic ones. They are not as “hire-friendly”. They need more space. And they might not have all the modern conveniences. But if you actually wanted to spend a lot of time on the inland waterways of Ireland (or anywhere else, for that matter), you’d be better off with those lumbering grand dames.
And they are far roomier too.
Should I ever go into the boating thing, an oldie it would be. But then again it’ll be far more likely that I’ll convert and old horsebox lorry into a camper. That is … if I ever find one cheap (they are usually soldiering on until they expire or fall apart, Ireland is much too much of a horsey country).
For the visitor, though, the tourist … the smaller, faster, convenient boats are best. They are also almost fool-proof (unless you drive them onto rocks or similar). And they come in a lot of convenient sizes.