Nathan Kingerlee is a man on a mission. The 28-year old outdoors enthusiast has set off on a 304km trek from Tipperary to Dublin all in the hope of discovering whether Ireland is still a ‘land of a thousand welcomes’. Oh – and he’s taken along his dog Cara and goat Lucy for moral support. Let’s be honest, this could ONLY happen in Ireland…
Anyway, on day six of their quest, Nathan, Cara and Lucy kindly took some time out from hiking, barking and bleating to answer some questions about their unusual challenge:
Q1. Hi Nathan, back in January, you embarked on a similar hike from Kerry to Tipperary with your dog and goat. How did your family and friends react when you first told them your choice of travel buddies?
They weren’t hugely surprised for some reason!
Q2. Some commentators have described your challenge as ‘Father Ted-esque.’ What’s been your most surreal moment so far?
On Day 2, walking from Newcastle to Clonmel, we passed a church in thick mist at a crossroads with the morning’s sermon echoing out across the fields from loudspeakers on the church walls
Q3. If your blog is anything to go by, it looks like you’ve managed to find some lovely guesthouses (and breakfasts) for yourself, but where do Cara and Lucy sleep at night? How do owners react to your unusual travel companions?
It usually takes a couple of attempts for me to convince them that I do actually have a goat with me. Then they don’t usually believe me until we arrive at their front door.
Q4 You set out with out on your challenge with the aim of re-discovering the famous Irish welcome. How is it going so far?
It’s going really well. Meeting some really friendly and interested people along the way.
Q5. What kind of preparation went into your trip(s)?
Not much apart from a couple of short training hikes with Lucy the goat.
Q6. How well do Lucy and Cara get along?
Brilliant apart from at feeding time, when Lucy battles with Cara for Cara’s dog biscuits.
Q7. Apart from Cara and Lucy, what other travel essentials have you packed?
Laptop, modem and camera for keeping a record and blogging
Q8. How does this trip compare with your experiences in January?
I think I would have met more characters in January when I completed the first part of our journey, however we’re just into hiking again, with ten or twelve days left so I’m sure we’ll meet them!
Q9. You cite “McCarthy’s Bar and “Around Ireland with a Fridge” as inspiration for your trip. Any plans to write a book of your own or indeed a sit-com based on your experiences?!
No plans, just blogging. We’ll see what happens though.
Q10. Finally, where can people learn more about your challenge and keep up to date with you, Lucy and Cara’s progress?
On my Outdoors Ireland website.