I parked in “Moore Hall” car park, as the main beach / launching area was crowded with families enjoying the good weather. It was not difficult to get access to the water from here, if you did not mind going through a bit of reeds !!!
Once I launched I followed the coastline to the left .There were a number of small islands, one of them was supposed to have a castle on it a long time ago. Unfortunately I had forgotten my map in the car, but I could see no raised presence at all. I am not surprised, as there was very little left of the other “Castle island”. I could see why the castles would be effective here, as the water is very shallow in places, there are also large boulders underwater which would force you down certain channels.
I stopped to take a photo of some cows at the waterside. There seemed to be the remains of a small ruined structure in a field behind them. I think it might be the remains of the convent of “Annies”. There was also an unusual island with what looked like a ring of reeds around it. I think this might be “Hag” island. It comes from ancient Irish word for nun. The Prioress of “Annies”, would have retired there after her service. She would also find it difficult to meddle from here in the day to day affairs of the convent.
I took a photo of some unusual circular patterns of vegetation in the water. The “Partry” mountain range can be seen in the in the distance. There was a real sense of the pri-mordial, as it could not have changed much for thousands of years. You could imagine that 40 foot oak canoe being paddled in the swell !!!
I soon came to “Brownstown bay”, a large circular inlet with a number of boats moored there. Its easily identified by a couple of “red buoys” at its entrance There were a number of locals with their children on the beach enjoying the warm weather. It`s serviced by a local road and would be my start point tomorrow.
I decided to turn around and with no detours I was back in “Moore Hall” in about an hour. There were only a couple of stragglers on the small beach when I got in. It was disappointing that they had left their rubbish strewn on the ground. If you can bring it why can you not take it home too ???
I decided after seeing this, that this lack of access may be a blessing for “Lough Carra”, helping to prevent it from the ravages of inconsiderate people. The profusion of limestone rocks in the water and general shallowness, had probably also stopped speedboats, water skiers and the inevitable jet ski`s that would have created a blight on the landscape.
Down this side of the lake, I have noticed a lot of “white foam” and green “colouration” in the water. There has been”foam” in other places but this was the first time,that I saw both together. I am guessing from phosphates leaching into the lake. Lough “Carra” recieves most of its water from local drainage. It is more open and flatter down here and with more farming, I wonder if that has facilitated run off. It does not seem to be critical yet, so hopefully this amazing eco-system can recover fully !!!
It would be a great disaster to lose this habitat. I can see it has been damaged, but never on any of my travels, have I ever seen 30-40 dragon fly buzzing around or been surrounded by such a variety of broad leafed trees. This is truly a special place !!!