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, 10 August 2011

Granagh to Abbeyfeale: This little piggy went to a piggery

Indiana June - real life pick a path adventurerIndiana June - real life pick a path adventurer
On the way to Puck fair should Indiana stay on a pig farm in Granagh, Co. Limerick.
Winning Vote


On the way to Puck fair should Indiana June sleep and work on a pig farm in Granagh, County Limerick.

Winning Vote


Step back in time and enjoy a pint of Guinness at Morrissey's Pub in Abbeyleix, county Laois, Ireland.


Distance covered: 46km

Births witnessed: 1

Jelly snakes consumed: 8

Highlight: Bonding with bacon

Lowlight: The realisation that a cycle tan is from the knee to the mid thigh. Sexy!


If you're a little squeamish or still finishing your bowl of cornflakes you may want to look away now.

I'm about to detail my trip to the piggery at Hanrahran Farms. I wasn't quite sure what to expect since the night before Norma had told me that the pigs were being readied for A.I.  Maybe I watched too many episodes of X Files in the 90s but I was expecting an extra-terrestrial experience, not the artificial insemination of dozens of pigs.

Before arriving at the unit I changed into an old tracksuit and gumboots as the pig aroma is one that doesn't wash off easily. Seamus even suggested I remove my necklace as the cord might take on the smell.  Over my clothes I wore a white jump suit with a hood, another smell precaution. We started in the 'love pen' where boars were strutting their stuff as the sows were pumped full of semen that comes in neatly packaged plastic bags. Seamus demonstrated the light box that warms the packets and to my horror he held one to my cheek to feel the difference in temperature. I'm sure it's just another day in the office to him but being cheek to cheek with a pig's business was a bit of a shock to say the least.

There's new legislation coming in 2013 that bans sow stalls and half of Hanrahan farm has already been converted. The pigs have more space to move around and it's a much more natural environment with natural light and lots of socialising.

The piglets were adorable but it was hard to watch the smaller, weaker runt of the litter struggling for space to suckle their mother. One of the sows had laid on top of one of her young, suffocating the poor little piglet. As we were leaving one of the sows went into labour and I have to say pigs have the whole birth business sussed. Pregnancy lasts exactly 3 months,  3 weeks and 3 days.

Instead of trying to squeeze a watermelon through a drainpipe like us humans, pigs can pop out up to 18 piglets with no more bother than passing wind.

I was present when one little piggy popped out, headfirst into the world and watched him confused and dazed take his first steps. Between this and the dozens of road kill corpses, I'm confronted with life and death on a daily basis. Even more reason to get busy living I say.

After a decontamination shower and hair wash x2, Norma took me and the pumpkins to Adare village  for a coffee and a nosy around Adare Manor. Life was getting a bit too comfortable for this cycle tourist so I jumped back on my trusty bike, Snowy and wound my way to Abbeyfeale. Tomorrow I'm headed to Killorglin for Puck Fair, so, so, so exciting. The coronation of King Puck is scheduled for 3pm and I plan on being front row and centre.


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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