Given all his historic achievements on the rugby field, the experience that Willie John McBride describes as the most "outstanding and incredible" of his 80 years is one that would perhaps surprise people.
The most capped British and Irish Lion of all time, captain of their most fabled tour in 1974, a CBE as of last year and, as of tomorrow, an octogenarian, one of the most rewarding days afforded him by the sport of rugby was spent watching the migration of the wildebeest in Kenya.
Having spent many an hour at home in Co Antrim fascinated by nature programmes on television, the chance to camp along the banks of the Mara River for four days to witness a herd numbering in the thousands trampling across the water is one he'll always cherish. If he closes his eyes, he says, he can still hear the sound today.
Returning to a country he had visited as a 21-year-old on the first of his five Lions tours, he was there as a guest of the Kenyan union, a once in a lifetime experience promised in lieu of payment for a speech he was to give on their behalf.
Such an exchange felt natural to McBride whose rugby life was spent in the amateur era, a time when your status as one of the most renowned players of your generation was rewarded not in pounds but in the broadening of your horizons and the opening of doors.
You went as a 21-year-old and you came back more of a man, a great deal more mature than you'd left only four months before. You just don't get that today.
When he looks at today's top end players, for whom the advent of professionalism in 1995 has been lucrative, he feels no envy.
"People ask about that, playing today, but I was very fortunate to play when I did," he said from his home in Ballyclare.
"We had proper competitions, we had proper games, we had proper Lions tours, we had proper Barbarians games and a lot of these things have been pulled apart over the years. Sometimes I think, and this maybe seems a bit stupid coming from me, but sometimes I think we've forgotten why we play in the first place.
"It was certainly for different reasons in those days. You look at the situation now and all anyone is talking about is contracts and television deals, sponsorship and crowd numbers. It's all alien to me, all money.
"It certainly wasn't for money in my day because we weren't getting any. We played for the enjoyment of it. You played to win but you played to develop an understanding of people too.
"Even the game itself, they've done so much tweaking of rules, it's destroyed. It's nearly rugby league already nowadays and when you look at how they hope to overcome this virus, we might end up with touch rugby."
For all the storied exploits with Ballymena, Ulster and Ireland, it will always be the red jersey with which he is most readily associated and it is the altered nature of the Lions experience for the modern pro that causes him the most consternation.
His first tour, coming just four years after taking part in his first organised game of any kind, was a four-month odyssey, taking in 25 games across South Africa and neighbouring countries. Four years later, the trip to Australia and New Zealand was longer still, a 35-game itinerary even making room for a pair of contests in Canada on the way home.
Should next year's tour of South Africa go ahead as planned, the travelling party will undertake only eight games, three of them Tests, over the course of six weeks with a sizeable number of the contingent expected to have to rush their way there after the Premiership play-offs.
"It'll not be a proper tour, not a Lions tour," McBride sighed having previously dismissed the idea of a warm-up 'Test' in the UK before travelling as "a nonsense".
"It's hopeless. There's no way you can get 30 men together and build a proper Test team in eight games, there's no question of that in my mind.
"I went to South Africa as a young man of 21, halfway across the world and as a little man from Moneyglass, to have that experience, you can imagine how much you learn about yourself.
"Yes, it's the 30 best players from four countries but more importantly it's 30 guys from 30 different walks of life. Everyone is different and everyone sees the world differently. To live within that, cheek by jowl, for four long months, it takes a lot of tolerance at times, a lot of patience and a lot of new understandings about the world and that's just within your own team-mates. That's a great lesson in life. Then you're in a different place, meeting other people, seeing how they live and getting a real sense of what another country is like.
"You went as a 21-year-old and you came back more of a man, a great deal more mature than you'd left only four months before. That's an incredibly valuable thing and it's something that rugby gave me. You just don't get that today."
In McBride's mind, there's little doubt that the game is poorer for its absence.