7 March 2011

Day 5: Mullinavat - Inistioge

Best Day So Far!

Today wasn't shaping up to be the best of days...
We got a lift from Mullinavat part-way along the busier roads that we would have been walking, but still had a long road section to complete that day.

I had tried for B&B in Inistioge but everwhere was closed, so we were facing into a major detour off our trail for a night's sleep, followed by a major detour back onto the trail the next day.

After a sunny descent through mature woods towards the Barrow River, which glinted through the trees at us, we came into the little village of Inistioge. Spotting O Donnell's Pub with the front door ajar, I made a quick decision to tie the guys to a tree in the village green and have a pint, before continuing...

Johnny, one of the two brothers who owns the pub, didn't initially believe me as I asked for a pint bottle of Bulmers, and a bucket of water for the goat, however after some convincing I received both!

The day suddenly took a turn for the better as Cara burst in through the front door and swrawled across the floor. Someone called Michael bought me a drink, so I bought him one back, then he bought me another. Suddenly I'd had four pints, all before 2pm in the afternoon, which I don't think I've ever done before - lovely feeling!

The pub was a busy place on a Monday afternoon, with a steady trickle of locals, mainly farmers, dropping in for a drink, on their way to and from their jobs, including Martin who dropped in on his way back from the vet, with a phuenomonic bull calf lying in his car...

Every pint of Guiness that Johnny, or Jimmy his brother, served had the persons name written in the white head...

Photo: Pat Moore

A little unsure as to my plans, but moving Lucy to the riverside park while I decided my next movements, I was approached by Richard, who offered to open his B&B - Woodstock Arms - for me that evening, despite the fact they were closed for the season.

Delighted with the turn of events, which relieved us of all pressure, I returned into O Donnell's to celebrate with Sean and Seamus, with whom I'd made good friends at this stage.

Later that day, as afternoon slipped into evening, we drifted (along with dog and goat) from O Donnell's into the bar of Woodstock Arms. Here Annette, Richard's wife, made me a mountain of toasted sandwiches and Sean and I had ourselves whipped at pool.

Photo: Pat Moore


  1. Sounds like a great day Nathan, sometimes it pays off to just let things happen...and it's nice to have the time to do so.

  2. Sounds like a great day; will blame the slip-up of Inistioge being on the Barrow rather than the Nore on the rake of pints being exchanged between the farmers and yourself ;) Glad you enjoyed yourself in lovely County Kilkenny!!

  3. Hi Susan, You're right - don't know what happened there!

  4. hi nathan
    this is the first time i seen this post, while i was researching something for school. its very amusing, the men you met in the pub were my father and my two uncles, i remember they had told me about meeting you. im glad you and the goat had a good time in inistioge and that the o' neill men were good and welcoming to you on the day

  5. Hi Kim, Thanks for your comment! What a small world! That was the best day of our entire trip and I'm hoping to call back there over this coming spring. Say hi to them from me and my goat and dog please!