26 January 2010


Tues morning began with an early walk back into Millstreet, to buy some barley and dog biscuits. I decided to leave my animals tied up to a gate, on a quiet back road leading into town. Returning an hour later I found a slightly worried woman getting ready to take my team to the local animal centre - thinking they were poor abandoned creatures. The local woman, Sinead, had bought a bucket of warm water and a tin of dog biscuits for Bob and Cara, which they tucked into happily.

Having assured Sinead that the animals were being well cared for, we took off along back roads.

Later that morning two cars pulled up beside me and I suddenly found myself facing into a video camera, from the local TV channel, which is broadcast every Thurs - I think they said. After trying to explain my journey to the camera; one of the men, a local farmer called Dan Joe, invited us all to his farm where we spent the rest of the morning drinking pot upon pot of hot sweet tea and eating thick ham sandwiches. It transpired Dan Joe's daughter is currently teaching one of my sisters in secondary school - small world!

After some jiggling of animals, vehicles and horse boxes Dan Joe and I set off across country in his van heading for Nad. Better than any tour guide; I was taken to St. John's Well, a natural cure for warts! Seeing as cups were provided I couldn't pass this by without taking the opportunity to drink some of the holy water.

We drove steeply uphill, looking over rolling hazy countryside and wind turbines peeking over dense pine forests. We swerved down an unexpected detour into the wind farm, which was in final stages of construction, bouncing along wet rutted tracks, through galvanised gates and 'No Entry' signs.

Standing beneath the monstrous turbines was incredible, towering forever upwards, squinting into the sun to see their tops. One of the doors in the base of a turbine was open and inviting, but better judgment prevailed and we made a hasty getaway down forest tracks to emerge eventually somewhere - just don't ask me where; even Dan Joe was lost!

The little pub in Nad offered us a couple of welcome pints of Bulmers along with toasted sandwiches, while Bob grazed outside. Before I'd a chance to get too settled Shelia Crowley and her red pick-up arrived to whisk us to her B&B a few miles down the road.

The welcome I received from Sheila and Ted at Arn Na Coille B&B was superb. I was introduced to their family, including Shelia's father in law; Bob and Cara were given a shed to themselves, with fresh hay; I was shown to a comfortable room with an excellent powerful shower. A home cooked dinner was prepared, which we all ate together, with red wine. The following morning, after a delicious Irish breakfast, I was given a bag of sandwiches and then dropped back to my route again.


  1. We're all rooting for you at Ooh.com and love what you're doing with Cara and Bob!

    Good luck Nathan, and keep the great photos coming!


  2. Hellos and many best wishes to Bob and Cara....and Nathan...from everyone at Mountaineering Ireland.

    Loving the blog - keep it up!!!

  3. Hellos and best wishes to Bob and Cara....and Nathan...to everyone at Mountaineering Ireland. We're loving the blog and are sending all good wishes to the furry threesome as they tramp across Ireland.

    Best foot/hoof/paw forward!!!