Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Clonbur to Westport: Keeping a close eye on things

Indiana June - real life pick a path adventurerIndiana June - real life pick a path adventurer
Winning Vote


Which legendary Irish woman should Indiana June follow in the footsteps of:

Go to Sligo and climb Knocknarea where legendary Celtic Queen Maeve is buried. (1st century BC warrior Queen of Connacht, best known for the Cattle Raid of Cooley.)

Winning Vote


Go to Westport to see the live show that brings to life the story of legendary Irish Pirate Queen, Grainne Mhaol. (Feared pirate, lover and mother of 16th century Ireland.)


Distance cycled: 57km

Number of touring cyclists I passed: 9

Number of scones eaten: 3

Number of old women who congratulated me: 7

Highlight: Cuddling a sheepdog puppy

Lowlight: Realising I have a scone addiction

After two nights in Clonbur it was time to move towards Westport for the Grainne Mhaol musical. On the way I stopped at Kinny to see Joe Joyce's Sheepdog demonstrations on the tranquil shores of Lough Na Fooey. I learnt enough to know I never want to be a hill sheep farmer but I was blown away by how the dogs were able to make the wild sheep behave like pet lambs, just through eye contact. I seem to get into little themes of thinking when I'm cycling and today I was all about the eyes.

Meeting new people each day is part of the journey I'm on but a quick look into their eyes always reveals a lot about their character. Take for example, Roisin, owner of the Old Rectory Retreat in Westport. She welcomed me with kind, open eyes and instantly I sensed she was a wonderful woman who lived life to the full and was brimming with hope for the future. (Plus, she got brownie points for serving me hot scones straight out of the oven!) 

I got freshened up and made my way to Hotel Westport and met two of the O'Reilly brothers. This is their third year putting on a musical that brings to life tales of Ireland's wild west and one of its most famous chieftains, Grainne Mhaol - Ireland's Pirate Queen. Plus some brilliant Sean Nos dancing from Atlantic Steps. The lead actress, Roisin Timoney, didn't speak a word during the show but her body language conveyed Grainne Mhaol's strength of character and her eyes showed a sadness and vulnerability that explored a different side of her character. I met up with Roisin after the show and was surprised to be greeted by a bubbly young woman without a hint of the complex and troubled persona she had just played.

It reminded me that while our eyes might be a window to our soul, we still get to choose what's hanging in the window. There's an old Irish saying, "An rud a líonas an tsúil líonann sé an croí", which means "What fills the eye, fills the heart." If someone looked into your eyes right now, what would it tell them about your heart?

Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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