(I have started this thing where I sing ‘Cora, Cora Cora the explorer’ to Cora,to the annoying theme tune of Dora the explorer. Sad but true.
This post is about Lough Boora in County Offaly, pronounced in the same way as Bora Bora – French Polynesia, and after spending a day at Lough Boora and an evening researching Bora Bora I’ve decided that while the former is lovely, I would much rather go to Bora Bora next time.)
One of our Summer bucket list items was ‘bike ride at Lough Boora’. Well the kids and I kind of half checked this off the list during the last week of the holidays when I took them to ride their bikes there, but we wanted to cycle en familie. It was pretty overcast the day we went, as you can see in the photos (all iPhone, whoops, ah who am I kidding? iPhone photos FTW).
We only did a short walk up near the lake and up to the sky train and back, but I promised I would come back with them again and we would hire bikes from the really really nice guys at the bike hire place. Seriously, they are so kind and really helpful too and even give out sweets. They actually put air in our own bike tyres while we were there and fixed Luis’ brakes, that is how awesome they are.
So, when Auntie Kakey arrived in September we said if we had a sunny (or just a non rainy) day that we would go back to Boora and get cycling. Mr Clev recently had some surgery so bike riding is off limits for a little while making Aun Kakey the perfect companion. Lough Boora is near Birr/Ferbane, so only about 20 minutes away from here. It is a park made from reclaimed bog land. Aun Kakey is a little bit of an environmentalist so was a bit shocked at the peat/turf usage and how bad it is for the planet. I’m pretty sure that our tuft consumption coupled with our gas guzzling car plus the fact we go through about 100 nappies a week if not more means there is a gigantic Clev shaped whole in the O-Zone layer right above our house.
We hired a bike with trailer and then a bike with a seat on the back. I had the girls in the trailer and Amelie was on the back of Katie’s bike. She was loving it. I defs drew the short straw with the trailer bike though because the saddle was incredibly low which meant for very cramped legs after a while!
We cycled some of the Mesolithic route and saw the Mesolithic site (a very basic rock formation), while Katie and I quite enjoyed cycling through the woodlands it quickly got a bit boring for the kids. Especially Luis and Maxi who were on their own bikes. They just wanted to race each other and didn’t really get the whole ‘its a marathon not a sprint’ element.
We somehow managed to pick up the sculpture route and really enjoyed talking about some of the mega art works on display. This was completely less boring for the boys as they were able to race ahead and then stop and explore a bit. The bridge made out of the animal feed store was especially good and provoked lots of interesting conversation. The idea is you look out of one section so that you are not completely blown away by the vastness of the skies at Boora. I have always said one of the things I most love about Ireland is how big the sky is!! When we were driving back from the ferry this summer there is a particular part on the N6 when you come through the toll and down the hill on the other side where there are just fields and fields as far as the eye can see and sky that goes on for miles.
Anyway – back to Lough Boora. We cycled for what seemed like miles and miles, im sure it was only about 6k but not bad going. Lough Boora is a great family day out, as I said, we loved it. We cycled back to the cycle hire place, such good value, our bike hire cost us €8 for just over an hour.
After our exploring we stopped at the little cafe for a coffee and some home made cake. They were really accommodating to our many small children too. I always love finding a real winner of a day out over here. I store them in my mental ‘stuff to do with kids’ folder in my brain. I’m sure we will visit Lough Boora again and again in the years to come, in fact I’m already planning a few autumnal photo shoot ideas there for half term (pray for sun!!!). I recommend to anyone visiting the Midlands.