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2023 LCC Celtic Sea Kayaking Trip Day 02 Sunday – Lough Oughter to Inishmore Island by Frankie A

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2023 LCC Celtic Sea Kayaking Trip Day 02 Sunday – Lough Oughter, Row Campsite – Lough Oughter Castle Island – camp opposite Inishmore Island by Frankie A.

The plan made the night before (by Andy as he was in charge) was for an inland overnight trip on Lough Oughter.  The lough is a complex of lakes in County Cavan covering 22,000 acres, which have been described as the “best inland example of a flooded drumlin landscape” in Ireland. The system links to River Erne and Upper Lough Erne. Within the lough Clough Oughter Castle stands on a tiny island and dates back to the 13th century. This would be a destination providing more sheltered paddling compared to heading immediately to Galway. 

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The decision was made to leave the Dublin campsite about 9am to go to the nearest supermarket to stock up on essential food items. The rules about bringing food into Ireland meant a lack of cheese, corned beef, chorizo and other essential items amongst the group. Google informed us there was a Tesco a few minutes away so we headed there and the LCC equivalent of supermarket sweep then took place, sadly for some members of the group there was no corned beef to be found. Shopping done, our destination point was shared by Keith (Row campsite) via google maps and off we went.

Team blue Mercedes departed from the car park first, turn left said Google maps, Keith turned right and drove around back into the car park, much to my amusement. The other 2 cars followed. Minor driving directions mishap over we journeyed through beautiful countryside to Row Campsite, where Sean, the campsite owner, had no problem about us leaving our cars parked overnight and us making use of his campsite facilities.

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A one-night trip meant plenty of space in the boats, which were packed in the rain. Our plan was to head first to the castle on the tiny island and then onto a campsite opposite Innishmore island. It was windy, we paddled into the wind, the scenery was possibly not appreciated as much as it could have been due to the effort of paddling into the wind. Navigation through the lough and river system was done purely by google maps. At the castle we jumped out of our boast to explore the ruined castle tower and consult the phones for the maps for the route to the likely camping spot Keith had identified.

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We paddled on through the lake and river system, there was some moving water and yet more wind. The identified campsite was reached and examined but due to the proximity of houses it was decided we had passed a better spot a few 100m back. The grassy bank had just enough area for 8 tents, and Debbie (the expert on all things cows) and Catriona went for a short walk to check we wouldn’t be invaded by local livestock. The all clear was given and we settled in for the evening. We all managed to cook and eat before the evening rain shower sent us all seeking the shelter of our tents. As the rain stopped, the more hardy lovers of a drop of a malt gathered for the first evening dram of the trip. 

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