Blue Way of County Tipperary I

Today we are off to the River Suir again, ready to start a glorious 21 km (14 mile) walk which I have completed in the past, not in a single go, though. I also recommend Treacy’s Blueway Bike Hire for those who prefer cycling…

Suir Blueway is a 53 km kayaking trail from Carrick-on-Suir to Cahir and a 21km walking and cycling trail from Carrick-on-Suir to Clonmel along the river Suir.

A few words about the history of the trail. The Greenways are built on the former railway lines. The Blueways are built on the former towpath for horse-drawn boats.

Carrick-on-Suir has a long history of river transport. From the mid-eighteenth century until the early 1900-s horse-drawn boats were a familiar sight. The boats were often towed in pairs with a team of twelve horses yoked together, four men in charge. An old photograph below is linked to the blog post you might enjoy reading. The photograph was taken from the Gashouse Bridge, Clonmel.

You will see a good few remarkable buildings and ruins along the walk. Davin’s tower in the opening picture is a folly built by Lord Waterford in 1820-s. It is overlooking the Davin’s salmon weir – the science of constructing such weirs was brought to Ireland by the Franciscans. 

I have arranged my pictures by location and season. In today’s blog we start out in Carrick-on-Suir, and the season is Summer.

River otter is a common resident. A family of otters live at Carrick-on-Suir marina which is quite a busy place. River otters usually enter water only to hunt or travel. These three otters looked like they were traveling with a purpose.

I hope these cute ducklings escaped the sharp teeth…

We might sit down and rest our feet. Some of the benches have plaques – “In memory” or “Donated by”.

Birds are always present – robins, wrens, stonechats, thrushes and finches. Highly territorial Kingfishers can be seen once in a while. I have never got a photograph.

Heron is hunting in the shallow water. I always smile at his prehistoric looks and unnecessary panic with which he takes off: he is in the middle of the river and we humans don’t fly. Tainted conscience of a predator? Guilty of eating little ducklings, may be? 😉

Swans don’t panic. They have a vegetarian diet and clean conscience. They move with dignity and mind their own business.

We are almost halfway to Kilsheelan at this point. Hope you enjoyed the walk.

The Carrick-on-Suir Clancy Brothers Art Festival takes place on the June bank holiday weekend each year. Here is an hour long concert for you to listen while you are getting ready for the next leg of our adventure.

See you soon!

 

Have a happy week!

90 comments

  1. What a wonderful walk, with so much to see and photograph. The River Suir is magnificent, the views are so beautiful and your commentary regarding the otters and the activities of the heron with the guilty conscience made me smile.:D I also appreciated the history of the horse-drawn boats. How different river transport is today.
    We visited a salmon ladder / salmon leap in Pitlochry, Scotland. It was a long series of ‘steps’ to help the salmon get up a slope. I imagine the weir was just one step – or perhaps not? Is the man in your photo salmon fishing? I know fishermen wade out when fishing for a few species, but with you mentioning salmon, I just wondered. I’m looking forward to reading the second part of your post, Inese, which I’m about to do now. 😀

    1. Thank you for your comment, Millie. I can only guess, but there are two most valuable fish species in the river Suir – salmon and brown trout.
      The weir was a salmon fishing place, possibly guarded from the tower. There is another weir in Carrick-on-Suir, a couple of miles east.

  2. I’m impressed with how you captured so many different birds in your shot. Swans look very majestic. Beautiful nature, not tainted by human presence. I guess I’m not mistaken …

  3. Inese, a beautiful and relaxing walk! I love learning a bit about the history of the Greenways and Blueways – it’s lovely that the general public can enjoy them. Oh, the otter is so cute but I feel the fear of the duck with its ducklings! We see many memorial benches on our walks and I always wonder about the lives on those mentioned on them? A great video finale! 😀

    1. Thank you, Annika. I think it is so nice that people donate benches for others to sit and rest. It also gives us an opportunity to feel grateful. This walk was paved in 2018. Until then, some stretches were overgrown and barely accessible. I enjoyed walking on the grass though 🙂

        1. So agree with you. The Blueway is for the cyclists. First of all, it is about business, and also about keeping them away from the roads 🙂 We walkers would be much happier with unpaved paths.

  4. A walk in a lush and soothing landscape always is enjoyable. Thank you, Inese for it. The historic part was fantastic too, to imagine the horses drawing boats with their power. Of course is nice that technology has free them of that labor : )

    1. Thank you, Francis! To be honest, it is difficult to imagine the horse-drawn boats on this shallow river. I think there was a huge amount of work involved to make it possible. Those were hard times. Ah, every times are hard in their own way 🙂

  5. I am nearly speechless. I sat and looked through these photos several times. Each time, I would let out a noticeable sigh of relief. Picturing myself right there was a treat for this busy Monday afternoon! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Wow, it is truly a magical place! 💚

      1. Oh wow, what a blessing that is, Inese! I’m so grateful you have such a place. It’s a healing balm for a weary soul, isn’t it? Nature is simply spectacular. I adored your continuation of this post as well. My stress levels drop 100* just viewing your amazing photography. Thank you! 🤗

    1. Glad you enjoyed the walk. I have been lucky to see otters quite close. This summer I had a camera with me when an otter was trying to catch a duckling with no success. It was a different river, so I keep the pictures for later use 🙂

  6. That was a fascinating walk. The bunch of cyclists seem intent to complete the trek, perhaps like the otters. Your images have this unique quality of being alive and pulsating. They have a certain depth to them that pulls the viewers in. The brief descriptions accompanying the images of heron and swans seem to sum up the very existence of those birds on the planet.

    1. Thank you, Uma! We have only scratched the surface – another 16 km are awaiting us. I love this river. The cyclists are ok. I’d rather meet them here than on the road when driving… The birds are a pleasure to watch. Hope you enjoy our next walk.

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