herald

Thursday 23 October 2014

Nathan takes pet goat and dog for 400km challenge

MEET IRELAND's fittest pets -- a dog and a goat -- are walking the 400km (286 miles) from Kerry to Dublin.

Lucy the goat and her canine pal Cara, both two years old, are currently making their way to the capital with walker Nathan Kingerlee.

Outdoors enthusiast Nathan will begin the second 300km leg of the trip today armed with a camera and a hiking bag filled with dog and goat biscuits.

"I actually started it about a year ago, I heard a report that the Irish welcome was dwindling to some extent," the 28-year-old told the Herald.

"And I suppose at the back of my mind, I read books like McCarthy's Bar and Around Ireland With A Fridge (where the author attempts to hitchhike around the country with a fridge to win a bar bet), so I thought it would be a fun thing to do.

"But then you can have a lot more craic with a dog and goat, at least you can have a chat with them, as opposed to some object like a fridge that you're dragging behind you.

"To be honest, it was just a couple of pints I think and just talking to my friends that said to me that would be a great thing to do

"We did Kerry to Tipperary about a year ago, it was about 160km, so now we have to finish the journey which is from Tipperary to Dublin."

The Kenmare, Co Kerry, native believes they will complete their journey in two weeks, provided Lucy the goat and Cara (2) the dog can keep up the pace.

"We're hoping to do 20 to 25km a day, probably from bed-and-breakfast to bed-and-breakfast.

"Lucy wouldn't be the fastest of walkers, and I'll be carrying a week or two weeks supply of biscuits and my laptop because we'll blogging along the way so it will be a slow progress, especially at the start."

"We'll be looking for advice of places to visit, I love to put myself in the shoes of tourists, and rediscover the Ireland that we sell to tourist really."

While it may seem like a quirky decision, Nathan has a rational explanation for bringing along the two pets.

"The events company that I run, Outdoors Ireland, is actually in Killarney, which isn't far from Killorglin where Puck Fair takes place, so that was one of the reasons of involving the goat.

Characters

"The dog had to come because it was my dog, and the other option at the start was to bring a sheep, but it wouldn't have been able for it and sheep are a bit stupid, whereas goats are real personalities."

Nathan will report the characters he encounters, and his mishaps, on the Mid Leinster Way and the Wicklow Way -- the walking routes he'll be using -- on www.outdoorsireland.com

hnews@herald.ie

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