River Tours :: The Riverside Paradise Eco friendly Experience.
At Riverside Paradise we have introduced a 20 ft broad beam rowing boat with a 5hp outboard engine. The boat will have life jackets for all on board. This boat will allow our guest, to travel by river and experience country life at a pace that is pleasant, relaxing and in many cases a new experience to them. They will capture the bird life, wildlife and farm animal life from the riverside.
The River Tours (an example of our boat trips)
When leaving Riverside Paradise from the jetty, we will go right (downriver). On our left is the Island of Inishee, this island is below water in the winter months. The water levels in this area can rise by two meters in the winter months, when compared to summer months.Birdwatch Ireland have carried out major work on Inishee Island over the last four years. Thanks to BirdWatch Ireland this Island is now home to four endangered species of birds that have been disappearing from the Shannon Callow and our shores. The Lapwing, the Snipe ,the Curlew and the Redshank, nest in the grass areas among the grassing cattle and are protected from predators ( mink, fox and magpies) by the electric fence BirdWatch erected around the entire island. The results to date are very successful, I believe the results in numbers of surviving chicks are two years ahead, of where they expected to be in 2011. This island is private and permission to enter, must given by the owner.
As we make our way down river on our right hand side is Shamrock Marina. When passing moored boats we must slow down, as the wash from our boat might rock their boats. Did you wave hello to the boaters, all boats wave to each other, as they pass.
This area where we are now is home to some fine species of fish called Pike; they can grow up to 35LB and more. The waters are deep here, this area is called Esker and as we know from our history from the Ice Age some of the valleys formed were very deep. Did you see the Kingfisher fly on your right hand side of the boat? This stretch of the river is very popular also with the large grey Heron, a beautiful and gracious bird when in flight. He is also an excellent bird at fishing like the Kingfisher. As we leave Shamrock marina and head for the main stretch of the River Shannon you cannot help but notice this magnificent large home and boat house. Up to three years ago it was home to a World famous singer / songwriter, his name is Roger Whittaker. Roger was an excellent songwriter and singer but he was well known as a whistler too. I think he practiced while listening to the birds at his boat house.
Leaving Rogers house, we now are on the other side of Inishee Island and heading into the main route for boating on the Shannon. Today is a calm day on the river; it would be nice to head to Victoria Lock it is about a 20 minute boat ride from here. On our way there we can stop off at Melick pier and maybe we can have our picnic on the river bank, they have some large picnic tables and benches. On our way to Melick we must keep between the steel girders, these are markers in the river to guide us away, from shallow waters and into deeper waters. Some parts of the river are very shallow and you could go aground on rock, so we have to be careful at all times. On our left is the entrance to the River Brosna, we will save this trip for another day. Are you enjoying the breeze in your face and hair, there is something special about a boat journey. You are close to nature on the river, with the sound of the birds and the water. Did you see the farm animals on the bank of the river and fields watching us as we make our way down river? If we are lucky you might see an Otter, Mink or the curious Fox. As we approach Melick pier on our right you will see a single story building, this was known as the chicken run. I remember up to four years ago, when this farmer had many hens and chickens, this was their home, and you would see them dig the soil on the river bank looking for food and worms. Our children always looked forward to seeing them.
View Riverside Paradise Boat Trips in a larger map
This section of river is also a good area for fishing; there are Bream, Roach and Hybrid fish here. This is also our stop off, for our picnic up here on the right hand side. Melick is a very tranquil village; it has a place in Irish history. It is home to the oldest Catholic church in Ireland, where mass continues to be said each day, it is here since 1420. When we are finished our picnic we can walk up to see this church, it is only a 15 minute walk along a small windy country road.
Well that walk was well worth while, the exercise and the peaceful experienced within the church is something to remember. Now we will set off for our final destination today, Victoria Lock.
As we leave Melick pier we can hear the sound of rushing water, it is coming from the weir on our right hand side. We must be careful not to get too close to it, or we will end up in trouble. This weir is used to control the level of the River Shannon in our area and it is a very important piece of engineering. On the other side of this weir, I am told is an excellent location for many species of fish including Salmon. It is one of the few areas in these waters where you will find some Salmon and Trout. Well we are now finally past the weir and on our way towards Victoria Lock; you can see it ahead of us. This lock is one of only four locks along the Shannon, when you consider the distance this beautiful river travels. It shows you how flat our lands are in Ireland, as locks are used to help boats manoeuvre through the water from one land level to another. You will see this when you see the different levels of the water on both lock gates.
As we approach the mooring on our left, we will tie up the boat outside the lock. The lock keeper Michael is busy taking a number of people on cruisers, going into the lock as we arrive here, at Victoria Lock. Michael’s family have been operating this lock for generations; the stone house is the lockkeeper’s house that his family have lived in for many years. Today Michael no longer lives in this house, he lives in Melick village. That large tree in the middle of the water, where the River Shannon and the River Brosna meet, is said to be in 3 counties, Offaly, Galway and Tipperary. This is the point where their borders meet. Victoria Lough can be a busy some days, today we have seen two groups of boats pass through the lock, while we were here.
It is time to head back to our boat, point it in the direction of Riverside Paradise and head to our home away from home. When we are back at Riverside Paradise and all tied up we must put our waste in the different waste containers that Peter has provided for us.
If this sounds like the ideal break to you contact Peter to book your idyllic boat trip from Riverside Paradise.