Across Ireland with a dog and a goat

Kerry-based outdoor instructor Nathan Kingerlee is currently walking from his home county to Dublin, but it's his choice of company that's raising eyebrows. His two companions are Cara the dog and Lucy the goat. So what's the punchline?

Nathan, Cara and Lucy, 215 kb
Nathan, Cara and Lucy
© Nathan Kingerlee

Nathan, who as head of adventure company Outdoors Ireland is more often found guiding on Macgillycuddy's Reeks, is linking four long distance paths, the Blackwater Way, the Munster Way, the Leinster Way and the Wicklow Way, in a 472km route that he expects to take a total of 20 days.

Goat heaven, 175 kb
Goat heaven
© Nathan Kingerlee

'I completed the first week of it several months ago and re-started the final weeks on 2nd March' he says.

Nathan on Kerry's mega classic rock climb Howling Ridge, 94 kb
Nathan on Kerry's mega classic rock climb Howling Ridge
© Dan Bailey

A dog might be expected, but why the ruminant?

'Talking with friends one evening it just seemed like a good idea. A goat has a real personality and they're much better walkers than sheep.' he assures us. 'Lucy follows Cara's every step; they're usually just ahead of me. So long as I control my dog the goat falls in behind her. Also I'm living near Killorglin, which has the famous Puck Fair Festival where a wild mountain goat is caught and worshipped for three days each year, so there's a goat connection there!'

'It's just the three of us. I get some very strange looks and a lot of laughter. There's great interest from the farmers I meet. The B&Bs I stay at seem unsure how to react, but take it in their stride.'

Have there been any highlights so far?

'Seeing otters in the River Suir. On a frosty and misty morning we came across mass being said at a tiny church with speakers on the outside walls broadcasting the priest's sermon out through the mist which was quite surreal. The incredible green grassy roads and trails through thick pine forests I've been following...'

As well as being a bit of fun the trip is intended to raise money for Kerry Mountain Rescue.

To follow Nathan, Cara and Lucy's progress check out their blog

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