Hot Footing around the Emerald Isle (Paperback)
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Ian was more than a little apprehensive when his turn came to kiss the Blarney Stone. Not only had they just met, but it seemed this stone wasn't at all fussy as to who it allowed to kiss it. Kissing the Blarney Stone is Ireland's third most popular tourist attraction, so as well as the moral implications there were the hygienic implications too. Yet kissing the Blarney Stone is reputed to bestow upon you the Irish gift of the gab, a talent Ian would need if he was to seduce the Sisters of Murphy's; assuming he ever finds them. This was just the first obstacle Ian had to cross during his two-month journey around the Emerald Isle. With just a backpack as a home, a guidebook in one hand, a bizarre travelogue in the other and very little money in his bank account, he leaves his home and sets off to this little country that has always been his neighbour, yet overlooked by him for many years as he pursued dreams to travel to far and exotic countries. But to Ian's surprise he was to find that he didn't need to travel thousands of miles across the world to discover something new and exciting. As he busses, hitches and walks his way from Cork to Donegal via the West Coast Ian discovers the wonderful spirit and friendliness of the Irish people. During this time he conceives a plan to be a real backpacker for a day by hiking from one town to another with the full weight of his backpack, but finds things aren't as straightforward as they might have seemed. Although travelling alone, he is rarely on his own as he meets up with various interesting and amusing characters along the way, until finally reaching the quiet and unspoilt shores of northern Donegal. Here he must cross a tumultuous ocean on a small boat in order to meet the King of Ireland, on the barren and windswept Tory Island.
About the Author
Ian Middleton is a freelance travel writer and photographer from the UK. He is the author of three travel narrative books and one travel guide to ancient Ireland, Mysterious World: Ireland. Ian has also written for several magazines, including Mysterious World, backpacker Ireland, Walking World Ireland, Take your car UK, the Slovenia Times newspaper and Ljubljana Life Magazine. Ian's photography has been published in several books and magazines, including Lonely Planet, Bradt Travel Guides, Mysterious World: Ireland, and the Guardian newspaper. Ian first discovered his passion for travel at the age of 26 when he quit his day job as an electronics technician and headed off on a 6-month trip around Australia. During his flight home he was already planning his next trip, a four month journey around Mexico. Since then he has travelled around the US, Canada, South America, New Zealand and much of Europe. From his first trip to Ireland in 1999, he discovered a real passion for this country ended up living and travelling there from 1999 to 2004, which resulted in his in-depth knowledge of the country and his most recent book, co-written with Douglas Elwell, Mysterious World: Ireland, a detailed look into Ireland's ancient history, folklore and legends, coupled with a travel narrative and guide packed full of travel information.