A Connemara Journey
by Hilary Bradt
Travel writer Hilary Bradt’s journey on horseback through western Ireland – County Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Tipperary and Limerick – combining Connemara Mollie and Dingle Peggy in a single volume.
About this book
Hilary Bradt’s classic account of a journey through Ireland on horseback in the 1980s published for the first time in a single volume.
In 1984, Hilary Bradt achieved an ambition from her pony-mad childhood to undertake a long-distance ride. This warm, funny and heart-wrenching account centres on the growing bond between the author and her Connemara ponies, Mollie and Peggy. Using her experience of horsepacking in Peru with saddlebags imported from America, she and Mollie set forth with no decent maps, and only a vague idea of the route. The many challenges and obstacles they face include impassable rivers, bogs, stone walls, and the author’s own shyness. The book is also a portrait of a vanished rural Ireland before the Celtic Tiger era, built up from descriptions and conversations with local people.
The journey takes Bradt and her ponies a thousand miles south from county Mayo, around the peninsulas of Kerry and Cork, and inland towards Waterford. ‘I’ve never tried hitchhiking with a horse before,’ comments the author, faced with the challenge of getting across the River Shannon. ‘It’s not easy!’
Originally published in two separate volumes, Connemara Mollie and Dingle Peggy, this brand new edition brings the whole story together for the first time, with additional, previously unpublished photographs.
About the Author
Hilary Bradt is well known as the founder of Bradt Travel Guides and a writer of articles and guidebooks.
‘…reading Connemara Mollie was a real treat… The book is testament to the wonderful journey she enjoyed, bonding with her horse and reliving the people she met and the adventures she enjoyed. It’s a lovely, light and easy going book, which will get you booking the riding lessons, the minute you put it down!’
‘Hilary Bradt recalls her journey across rural Ireland among the people of Galway, Mayo, Clare and Kerry in the 1980s in this sweet – and surreptitiously affecting – memoir.’
Longitude Books USA
‘Hilary’s descriptions take us with her every hoofprint of the way as she brings the landscapes to life. She’s good on people too, with life in rural Ireland prior to the “Celtic Tiger” boom.’
‘With adventure, characters, and lessons learned the hard way, Connemara Mollie has many of the elements of the writer’s beloved pony books – but this true-life adventure has a charm all of its own.’
The Connemara Journal
‘Hilary brings the real Ireland to life and you can’t fail to get attached to the equine character.’
‘What sets this delightful book apart is the rider’s relationship with this fabulous pony’.
Good Book Guide
‘It is an entertaining and inspiring account of a solo journey through a wild and beautiful landscape. you will want to pack your bags to explore the area yourself.’
‘This memoir is an inspiring adventure that is beautifully interwoven with fascinating cultural history.’