Archive for September, 2011


Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Tues 27th. In Tecun Uman, Guatemala!  Today from Metapa de Dominguez, Mexico to Tecun Uman 21.8km run. Total for 269 road days = 11,903.3km

I made it and I am alive!! Having said that as I sit here in this internet cafe I just heard the loudest thunder crack in my life! It sounded like a bomb exploding!!

By the time I got over the border it was too late to run more as I got delayed as they tried to ” Extract ” another visa fee out of me = $25 because I didn’t have my receipt! I told them this was shit and go read my blog from June 21 when I made a joke of it as I got lost on the way back from the bank after paying it in Tecate and besides how could I have a visa if I didn’t pay, receipt or no receipt. They delayed me for well over an hour saying they would email Tecate…. I told them I wanted to run out of Mexico and continue my world run ¡MUY RAPIDO! and then let me go without paying the ” extraction fee “

By the way I had a huge blog update that I lost last night as I accidently deleated my USB stick :( So I will have to start over again, sorry and thanks so much for your patience. I will try to get the Mexico blog finished before I  run a couple of quick countries :)

Also >>>>  I have just gone back another hour and am now -5 hours gmt! I entered Mexico at Pacific time and exit it at New York time! This just goes to show how comprehensive this run is as I am ultimately heading west and south but the geographical shape of  Central America has taken me back all this distance to go forward…. And you know what that means? Yes I will have to run back! I am about 14 degrees above the equator now.

Monday 26th Sept.

The big news today is that from tomorrow, Tuesday 27th, I will start running with just a small backpack and a bottle bag. I have gotten my baggage down to a few kilos and am working hard on reducing it even further :)

I will also be running the last 17km here in Mexico and entering Guatemala. Many people told me during my research and my time in Canada and the USA that running through Mexico was a sure ” death wish! ” Well that has not been the case. Many thanks to the Angeles Verdes, Policia Municipal, Policia Federal, the various Secretario de Turismo, Civil Protection, local governments, mayors, hotels, restaurants and the Mexican people. Another point of note: Many people, especially Mexican people told me that other than the USA border areas that the state I have been enjoying so much, Chiapas State would be the most dangerous for me in the whole of Mexico….. The reality is that they have probably been the most welcoming and hospitable state in Mexico.

I have sent Nirvana on to Buenos Aires, Argentina and would like to thank John Boyle for offering to take her in till I get there, around July. I would also like to thank the Irish community and embassy there for their enthusiastic support.

Here in Tapachula, Chiapas. I would especially like to thank Everesto and Ray of Angeles Verdes for their patience in helping me wade through the nightmare of customs and freight forwarding for my two packages which they wrapped and unwrapped several times and took from office to office. I could not have done this without their wonderful help. Everesto, was also good enough to sacrifice his day off on my behalf. Thanks lads. You are a credit to your state and country :)

My figuring is that I will more than likely, but not necessarily need Nirvana even for Patagonia. I am not naive and know there are 200-300km between settlements down there but I have many plans to get around these minor issues, should I encounter them in the rest of Latin America. Much of this area has villages and towns  just 10-15km apart.

But there are other areas where they are not so conveniently placed. C’est la vie! Where there is a will to run around the world there is a way!

It will be winter there in Patagonia, so I will need a few extra comforts as my pocket sized summer sleeping bag wont go far there!

There are many reasons for this drastic decision.

1. The tight, narrow roads with endless dangerous bends and loco drivers in Central America.

2. The other obvious danger of pushing a cart through these countries.

3. This is the way I initially dreamt of running around the world. I have been experimenting these last 2 weeks, It has been a great success.

4. Lets be honest, Its not much fun pushing Nirvana up many hills and does reduce the purity of my run.

The experiment was only possible thanks to the great help of the Angeles Verdes in Oaxaca and Chiapas states who transported Nirvana about 700km from Oaxaca to Tapachula.

There is one conclusion that I eventually came to… I cannot run with my laptop. I have sent that and other unnecessary (for the summer) items to Ireland.

My updates will have to be from Ciber Shops, as internet cafes are called here.

I really need an ipad and if there is a company out there that would be willing to sponsor me this I would be very grateful :)

I will give more details of my ” experiment “ in a future blog.

My South America route will soon be modified to: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and then just as Butch Cassidy did, I will drop into Bolivia, who the hell are those guys!

Skipping Chile into Northern Argentina, which I know so well, and is my favourite country in the world having spent 5 months travelling there in 1983.

I will then run to Buenos Aires, pick up Nirvana for Patagonia.

So lets see how it goes! Tomorrow for me will be the start of a new adventure. After running through Ireland and then 3 massive countries, Canada, USA and Mexico in 11 months.

I can now start making more progress with a country every week or two now for the next 2-3 months.

My prediction is that I will spend Christmas in Colombia.

Thanks for your ever loyal support and I promise I will get the blog up-to-date soon!


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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Total to date:                        11,924km =  7,410.2  miles run =  in  268 road days.

Sun 25th. Sept 2011. From km 268 in Huehuetan to km 8.5 in Metapa de Dominguez. Note km markers reset 8.5km before this town at a major junction. Still on route 200. I am now only 17km away from the Mexican/Guatemala border town of Ciudad Hidalgo. Thanks to Victor for his help with my re’routing around the problem below. Today 42.5km run. Heavy monsoon rain last two hours. I have some business to do Monday in Tapachula so not sure yet if it wilñl be too late by the time I get finished to start running. and cross into Guatemala., {

Sept 26th Rest day, sent Nirvana to Buenos Aires,  Argentina, Thanks to Angeles Verdes Ray and Everesto for your great help. Other equipment sent to Ireland.

Sept 25 2011. From km 268 on route 200, Huehuepan to Matal de Dominguez. 42.5km run Heavy rain last 2 hours and now 17km from Guatemala





Map, route and details to Guatemala border press >>   HERE


23rd Sept. 2011. From km 233 at Oxxo convenience store to km 268 at Oxxo convenience store in Huehuetan = 35km today.

22nd Sept. 2011.From Oxxo at km 188.5 Mapastepec to km 233 = 44.5km.

21th Sept. 2011. From km 145.5 in Pijijiapan to km 188.5 in  Mapastepec (OXXO convenience store) on route 200.

43 km run today, very hot, humid. I was tired as I was on the road about 9 hours after last nights very tough and late finish with 52km. I had only 3 hours sleep as much ‘ office work ‘ to do…. But it was great!

20th Sept. 2011. From km 93 to km 145.5 in Pijijijapan, ( I have to deal with headwrecking names like this everyday!)  route 200/Central ave junction.

52.5km run today. Very late start… So a very late finish. Rained a lot. The running was a joy but it was tough dealing with the traffic with no shoulder in the dark.

19th Sept. 2011 From km 41 on route 200, Arriaga to km 93, EJ. Jose Castillo Tielman on route 200. 52km run today. A good mornings work as I ran very early.. Roads dark, busy

17th/18th Sept. 2011. From km 179 on route 200 to km 41 on route 200. NOTE Km markers reset at Tapanatepec.. Finish in  Arriaga, Hotel Colon. Note ran at night, very dark, heavy traffic, lots of dogs. 3 long stops for 1 hour each. I noticed at the start I was a bit dehydrated and had no option to continue so today was a rare walk as I needed to be careful. 40km today.


16th Sept. 2011. from km 127.3 on route 200 to km 179 on route 200. = 51.7km run today. Very Hot. Commutted back to Nitetepec.

15th Sept. 2011. From km 87 on route 190 to km 127.3 on route 200. Very hot, hard work Commuted back to Oasis hotel in Nitetepec.. Today 40.3km

14th Sept. 2011. From Km 258 on route 185 to 87 on route 190. Stopped in Venta for the night, had a nice meal and the family let me sleep in the courtyard of their hacienda very cheap as they were full. 29km run on routes 185 and 190, Late start and slow running as running with a backpack for a while and laptop was too heavy. May have to off load.

13th Sept. 2011. Rest day in Juchitan.

12th Sept. 2011. From Km 232 on route 190 to km 283 on route 185 in Tehuantepic, (4 hour stop) and then from km 283 to km 258 route 285 in Juchitan de Zaragoza. Total run today = 45km.

11th Sept. 2011. From km 182 (La Reforma) to km 232, 10km beyond Jalapa and commute back = 50km run today on route 190.

10th Sept. 2011. From km 133 on route 190 to La Reforma km 182 = 49km run

9th Sept 2011. From km 79.3 to El Cameron at km 133. I met the mayor of Juchitan today who kindly paid for my hotel here and has promised to do the same when I get to his city in a few days time Thank you mayor, Presidente de Municipal de Juchitan de Zaragoza, DR. DANIEL GURRION MATIAS. Tough day in the mountains even if I ran 53.7km with just a small backpack. Angeles Verdes kindly transporting Nirvana to Guatemala border area via Tehuantepic as the roads here are very tight, curvy and dangerous.

TOTAL: 11, 322.3 KM  = 7,035 MILES FOR 253 ROAD DAYS.

8th Sept. 2011. From km43 at Mitla Junction to San Pedro Totolapam km 79.3, finish at military checkpoint just before town. 36.3km run today. NOTE: Took a wrong turn today due to both my stupidity and apalling signposting and ran 10km the wrong way only to come back and run the right direction. Lost km not counted!

7th September  2011 From Oaxaca City to kmn 43 on route 190. 43 km run today. Nice run with Jorge and Miguel for half the day.

6th September 2011. Rest day in Oaxaca City but did a few interviews including an interview in Spanish for Aztec Tv to be broadcast at 7am.

5th September. From yesterdays finish at km 198.5 on route 135d to Oaxaca City = 56km run today. Comments. Bridge blown away in last nights flooding (similar to bridge I camped under a couple of days ago) Half of the autopista at km140 fell into the river. I had the autopista to myself this afternoon as it was obviously closed to traffic.

Got a great escort from Pablo from Angeles Verdes last 2 hours. Also photo journalist Eduardo and a couple more photographers on scooters!



Thanks to Eduardo for contacting Monserat who contacted the city who put me up in the Fortin Plaza hotel for two nights, food included :)

4th Sept. 2011. From km 167 on route 135d to km 198.5 = 31.5km ru

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Google Map on blog page did not update/ Route map to Guatemala

Saturday, September 17th, 2011


I see Google Map on this page  did not update.  52km this morning, Monday very early am, 40km Saturday night, 40.3km a couple of days ago to Nitetepec and 51.7 a few days ago to Chahuites which is near the Chiapas state line.  I am using Arriaga, Chiapas as a base for a couple of days. I plan to run later this evening as it has started to become uncomfortable in the day time.


Will update later. 11,733 km and about 245km  left in Mexico. So that will be around 4,000km for this country in a little over 3 months.


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Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

  The next day was Monday. I ran out of Puebla in my brand new 17th pair of shoes for the run. I was very tired, not sure if it was the stomach bug but I still managed 47km on the way to a town called Acatzingo. It rained hard about an hour before my finish. Icy cold rain and I couldn’t believe my luck when I ran right up to a corn cob bar-b-q stand by the side of the autopista! First I heated my hands on their grill, pulled out my gloves and had a delicious corn cob with dripping cheese.

Earlier as I ran through a road construction stretch of motorway of all things a guy on a tricycle come cycling up selling ice cream to me and the workers :)

On I ran into this town and on the way in I noticed there was a company called Century Camper. Actually they sold camper shells for pickups in a very big way. There must have been about 500 highly polished silver campers by the roadside. So I went up to what I thought was their office and asked if I could sleep in their dirtiest camper!

It turned out that I was in a different office, an office called DIF Estatal Puebla, Transformando Familias. A family counciling office of sorts.

I hit it off with the staff, especially Ceasar. They told me I could sleep in an open garage they used for staorage around the side of their building. Heaven again! It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

I was too tired to blog, So I just listened to music for a couple of hours. Ceasar told me he would be back to unlock the gate at 9am, so a lovely 10 and a half hour sleep!

Despite that lovely sleep next day I had an energy crisis, stomach bug? Every km was a battle and it didn’t help that I was running up a very gradual hill almost the entire day.

This day was well up there with my toughest days, all 38km of it.

From time to time one thing I have noticed is that when running in hilly areas you should expect to be more fatigued but instead I keep asking myself why am I so tired, what’s wrong with me. Though the answer is obvious, I am running in a mountainous area and pushing Nirvana up it, it still doesn’t register, fools me everytime.

Also another phenonom the journey runner,walker or cyclist will tell you that sometimes after such a long time on the road your eyes start playing tricks with you. You can be running up a hill but to you it can sometimes look like you are running downhill. So you ask, why is this so hard when I am running downhill? What’s wrong with me, is this an energy crisis? This fools me everytime… Till I think of pushing Nirvana a bit forward and when she barely moves, I say yes, I am running uphill!

Barmy stuff I know…. If you don’t believe me… I say… Don’t knock it till you try it!

After running through some major roadworks which had one lane closed for nearly 10km I effectively had my own lane as there was little construction activity on it.

Towards the end of the day I came to a junction and changed from route 15d to route 135d. I noticed the construction site yard just off the highway on the way into Cuacnopalan.


I had hoped to be able to sleep somewhere on the site as I was on a site back in Baja Sur. So after talking to the security guard for about ten minutes and all the while giving me the impression it was no problem he eventually said no that the Boss Man probably wouldn’t like it. I asked him to phone Boss Man but he seemed afraid to. So on I went for nearly half an hour till I got to the town center.

I have to be honest here, I was getting very negative vibes from this town which has been much neglected. Everywhere I looked were barking dogs, I was a bit afraid as I walked towards the center.

The amazing thing about this run is I never know what is in store for me on a given day and rarely know where I will lay my head.

I had asked the site security guard if there was a hotel he said there was but for some reason on the way into the center I started asking people where the police station was to see if I could sleep there.

I was being directed from the scary corners as I wheeled Nirvana through the grubby streets, I was also aware that many pairs of eyes were focused upon me.

Eventually I ended up outside the city offices in a plazza where a basketball game was in full swing. Cheery faces were everywhere. As I turned that corner there was a compleetly different athomsphere. Gone was the scary eyes in the back feeling, now it was a couple of city officials making phone calls to see what could be done for me.

As you walked out of the city office you had to be careful not to step on the basketball court. Young teenagers having a great time enjoying themselves.

After about half an hour in the office one of the officials, Alfreado brought to a disused office around the corner where I got another long nights sleep on a table.

Next morning while I packed up Alfreado brought me a chicken and cheese taco and filled up my thermos for coffee. I went back to the city office to thank my newest friends, including the lady mayor whose’s name I never did get.

So after many more photos and an aborted attempt, due to a poor signal to get on their internet I didn’t get going till after 11am.

A little more than 10km up the road I clocked up 11,000km, this last 1,000 coming in just three and a half weeks.

Once again I was very tired but not as bad as yesterday but it was still uphill all morning.

There was a lot more really serious roadworks today with long delays for the traffic. They seemed to be stopped for a long time. Though this route 135d is still called an autopista it is really an undivided 2 lane highway. Of course the entrepanurial Mexican vendors were out in force selling snacks and ice cold cans of sodas, how could I resist such a thing after a 20km uphill battle!

I sat on a rock and enjoyed it very much.

I had been saying to myself how I hadn’t seen any snakes in about two weeks and then I saw four in two kilometers. They were all dead, almost all I see are dead. Not really sure how the ones that don’t get flattened by traffic, but I am too darn busy for an autopsy!

In the USA I was often asked what was my most frequently encountered ‘ roadkill ‘ I never thought of birds for some reason but that’s what I would say, followed by snakes.


After that it was very much downhill and easy for another 16 or 17km. I got to a junction and saw that Tehuacan was probably a few km down the road. I don’t need to go there as my next destination is Teotitlan en route to Oaxaca city which is the state capital Oaxaca state, my next Mexican state.

Though it was only 36km for the day and I did not fancy a pointless run into Tehuacan only to run back tomorrow morning I decided to call it a day at the junction where I made for a 24 hour restaurant in a truck stop. No point in going on further for the sake of another hours running, which I can make up anytime I want to, and then have to find a place to stay.

No problem settling down here to sleep as they allowed me to lie my sleeping bag behind a couple of tables down the back of the restaurant. I hope this will lead to an early start in the morning as I am starting to drift back into the late zone again!

Next night I stopped just before the toll booth at Miahuatlan. Another short day, 34km. I arrived at a restaurant where German, the owner of a taco stand suggested I stop there for the night. I figured there was nothing much for the next 50km, so why not? I can run those off tomorrow and hopefully find a hotel. I haven’t had a shower in 4 days now or proper internet access,

On the way today I passed a lot of farm workers working the fields picking corn cobs.

Farm workers work very hard, from first light to last, seven days a week, and often it’s the whole family. They are usually picking fruit or veg. They almost always stop and look at me running by in amazement. Then we wave at each other.


I wait for the predictable. ” Donde va? ” Where are you going.

It’s funny I always find this simple question to be the most difficult to answer. Ultimately I am going to Dublin,Ireland. But that uncompressible for most people I meet, so after a hesitation and my mood I usually tell the the name of the next town, Guatemala, south, around the world but it seems my most understood reply is usually ” Patagonia. ”

I also stopped to talk to some construction workers working on cleaning out the roadside gullies. I asked them to top up my water bottles but when I saw they had only a little I didn’t take it, still it was good of them to offer.

I guess it was a day stopping talking to people. A cyclist called Raul stopped for a chat. He is training very hard for an Ironman in Cancun in a couple of weeks time. He asked if there was anything he could do for me, so I just asked him to send a few emails and make a few calls to drum up a bit of support that has been waning this last week or so.

When I eventually arrived at the tool booth restaurant the construction workers I passed were having tacos. I spoke to two of them Christopher and Mathew. They told me the work is easy, they work from 7am till 3pm and get 3,000 pesos every two weeks. Which is about 300 dollars. After tax I think.

After they left, German the taco stand owner that invited me to stay tonight on the porch came over for a chat. He told me his stand is open from 7am till 9pm, seven days a week.

He used to live in Oregon, USA working in restaurants. He was an illegal immigrant and when he lived there 14 years ago it was easy slipping over the border, only 2 hours walk north from Tijuana but Ticate took 3 days and nights.


When I asked did he like living there, German said he did but Americans work all the time with no time off.

” But you work 14 hours a day on your taco stand here for seven days a week! ”

” Yes but I just rent this space outside the store from the owner. I have a couple of people working for me. ”

I don’t think the girl that worked for him sold a dozen tacos in the 5 hours I sat there till closing.

German told me that Mathew, the construction worker I was talking to earlier owns the shop… Well actually, a consortium of 16 own it.

He returned to Mexico because it became increasingly more difficult to cross the border in the wake of 9/11 and besides his family live here. He also works as an Envangalist pastor in Miahuatalan.

As I sit here typing this now I am looking out from under the sheltered shop porch at torrential rain. I think it was a wise decision to stay here tonight as I suspect there was nothing on the road and I would have probably have had to camp.

Yes I enjoyed my tacos and three liters of apricot juice today.

The next day was very, very tough. 41.6km to the village of Escorial. Almost all uphill, except for about 4 downhill and some on the level. I ran the whole day pushing Nirvana up the very steep inclines. It was backbreaking stuff and sometimes my pace was just like walking.

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Wednesday, September 7th, 2011


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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I am starting my Argentina logistics now and need a contact for a big favour!

If possible in B. A. or Rio Gallegos but anywhere considered and please put the word out asap!

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Note at 5am!
 It’s too late for me to update the daily log details for the last 8 days. I will do so in the morning as I need some ‘ shut eye ‘ as I got a 9am breakfast interview!
I hope to add the photos tomorrow.
Running out of Mexico City was very difficult. Now I had to push Nirvana and I was on my own.This morning when I woke up I was shattered and badly needed a rest day. I asked the hotel where I was staying if they would comp me an extra nights stay, and in fairness they tried hard but I had to wait till nearly noon before they came back and said they really couldn’t.

So at that late hour I started running down Viaducto Avenue. I did not get onto the autopista, I just ran down this long busy road till it turned into General Ignacio Zaragoza Avenue.

From what I could gather these roads are service roads to the autopista to Puebla, about 130km away.

It was crazy, all the while I tried to keep the autopista in my sight but every couple of kilometers my road just veered off to the right, in amongst spaghetti junctions and into another maze of streets.

 The locals may have known where they were going, but I certainly didn’t. I preferred to just keep going straight when they turned right, keeping the autopista on my left but I had to go thru parks, under subways with the help of a couple of business men who helped lift Nirvana up the steps.

All the while taxis, buses and VW mini-buses where whizzing about honking me off the road and pulling up in front of me. Pollution everywhere.

By 4.30pm or so I had over 28km up for the day, which surprised me despite the congestion. I still had a ways to get out of the city limits, so when I saw a hotel and noticed a quickly darkening sky I quickly headed for the entrance.

This was the first time I had to pay for accommodation in Mexico. And the first time on the whole run I paid the full price for a room.

Just to keep this record in tact I haggled, but the receptionist who seemed terrified to come out from behind a glass screen wouldn’t budge a cent, still at 17 euro and the alternative was the unsavoury thought of camping on the edge of Mexico City, I was not complaining, especially when the rain hammered the ground for the next three hours.

Next day I stuck to the same road, ran through the suburb of Del Reyes, so I felt I was getting somewhere till I came to another town which was just a dot on my map. I can’t remember the name of this town as that part of my map has long since been discarded, I shred away parts of my maps I don’t need or have run through.

As I said a name on my map, and two hours later I am still running through it all the while the taxis, and battered VW mini-buses are avoiding me and uncovered manhole covers. I counted two open manholes today, one to my right and another in the center of the inside lane. I looked back and noticed a taxi driving carefully over it, but what about the car behind? Surely this must be a big problem?

Then just as I thought I was getting to the end of this town I turned left and there was still another hour of running and hustling my way to the far end. This reminded me of running through Portland, Maine, time-wise I mean as I haven’t run through many big cities on the run, preferring to work my way around them.

I was thinking to myself that each of these countless buses, taxis and mini-buses represents huge problems for Mexico City when this country becomes more affluent, and it’s on the way up.

Thirty or forty years ago many people in Ireland did not possess cars. I remember kicking football in the square I lived in in Dublin and there were no cars. Then came the economic boom of the Celtic Tiger making Ireland one of the richest countries in the world, per capita. With it our sophistication, Irish people bought their own cars, took taxis. The foreign immigrants kept the city bus service in business. To be on an Irish bus was like being in a foreign city. I have had many a girlfriend that had never been on a bus in 10 or 15 years. Now that same square I used to live in is jammed, packed with nice motors.

So what’s going to happen to Mexico City infrastructure when all these people start buying their own cars swelling up the already jammed packed arteries of this city?

That’s not a problem I have as I ran 52km today eventually clearing all the satellite towns and getting into some nice country areas. I continued to run on national route 190 against the traffic. It was crazy as there was no hard-shoulder for me to push Nirvana. My saving grace was a drain which was a meter wide with about a 20 cm drop, so it was hardly comfortable running, but steady till the last 6km which was one long drag uphill.



Not only did I have to watch the cars and trucks from in front but also to my rear when overtaking vehicles paid no regard to solid yellow lines or even when deep into a 200m advance warning of a dangerous bend ahead. I witnessed many a close shave.

I saw some trucks equipped with what looked like Christmas tree lights which are flashed when they are deep into overtaking at one of these dangerous beds. Presumably its a signal to the approaching vehicle to hold back.

A little up the hill I stopped at a small restaurant on a farm. The owner was sitting on a swing, he looked a lonely figure who told me the restaurant was closed and when I asked if I could camp on his land he just pointed me on my way further on up the hill.

So on I climbed till I came to a place called Rancho TinacalLomaAncha. I didn’t quiet know what it was as it didn’t look like a restaurant or hotel but a couple of signs invited people to stop. I pushed Nirvana down the stony driveway, the main building was a further 200m away. To my left was a bit of a shack, that will do nicely I thought, a roof over my head and it looks like its going to rain heavily again.

Three young people, two men and a woman were in the garden down in a dip just behind the shack. They were drinking something from 1 ltr styrofoam cups.

It turned out the woman, named Elizabeth was originally from Birmingham, England. She is married to Alex a Mexican. They live in Singapore. Elizabeth is a very successful software design engineer. They are here on a short holiday and staying with Alex’s brother whose name I have forgotten in Mexico City.

The brother brought them up here to sample a local brew from the pulque plant.

Apparently it’s a simple process, you just slash a pulque plant and the juice seeps out and amazingly ferments overnight, forming the not too potent Pulque Maguey drink which the three of them are drinking.

Elizabeth says because it ferments so fast it also goes off very fast making it unsuitable for export. I started to wonder about preservatives and why they don’t use them.

They told me that the owner of the Rancho is a nice young guy who doesn’t spend his time swinging on swings, so I sent them up to his house to ask his permission to sleep in the shack and to fill my thermos.

Permission granted, I settled down to sleep in the shack which I gathered was used as a weekend bar-b-q cafe.

Next morning just as I was packing up the owners pretty wife passed by on her way to leave their young daughter to a school bus stop. The wife told me to go up to the house for a cup of tea. Then before dropping the child to the bus stop she went back to the house to tell the husband I was on my way up.

So I went up the driveway first asking if I could use the bathroom. He pointed me around the side into some bushes and when I came back filled up my thermos, gave me a sweet bun and a couple of nut bars as I waited outside the gate. As I have said before, and unprompted Elizabeth mentioned this to me, and her married to a Mexican should know, Mexicans don’t invite strangers into their homes as say Americans, Canadians, or for that matter anyone else in the world does.

Out on the road I the next 15 km were mostly all uphill as continued to be driven into my sloped drain. I ran on this for 14 more kilometers till I spotted the autopista which then started running parallel to my route 190. I looked at my map and saw that the distances to Puebla were almost identical on both roads. I also notice that they cross each other about every 10km. Then I got a great idea! Suppose I run on the autopista, on it’s lovely 3m hard shoulder and say I run it the opposite way towards traffic. Suppose a cop comes along and escorts me off, well not too big a deal as he would be bringing me back to a previous exit I had already passed, not like if I was with the flow he would be advancing me and making a problem for me. Seems worth a try.

So I pulled Nirvana down some steep steps behind a derelict restaurant and down onto the autopista.


Well I should have known better and really should have gotten on this on the way out of Mexico City. Several times the Federalis drove by and never bothered me and all the negative talk about them in the USA made me wonder. I was told I had better have a large wad of $20 bills and they will stop me for any reason. That there are road blocks every 30km. Well the roadblocks I experienced by the military in Baja have kept those two states drug free. Here there is a huge Federali presence at the toll booths where they are on the lookout for known criminals.

I was staggered by the amount of business that went on by the side of the autopista.

People have turned the back of their humble shacks into eateries where trucks just pull off onto the shoulder. Even though there are no walking and cycling signs erected, people still continue to walk, cycle and of all the cheek even run :) on the autopista!




I ran into Puebla state. I read somewhere that this is one of the poorer Mexican states and people that can’t make a living in Puebla city, just leave the state.

I remembered on the way out of Mexico City stopping at a small restaurant and I got a bowl of noodle soup, a liter of fruit flavoured water (which is called agua and often has different flavours in different areas, so I sometimes have a bit of a problem trying to order this instead of real agua, water) a steak dinner with salad about 10 tortillas and a second liter of agua, for good measure, all for less than 2 euro, or 30 pesos.

So when I crossed into Puebla I got just a bowl of soup and a few tortillas for 35 pesos.

I have found that food and accommodation are cheap here in Mexico but not luxuries. Pizzas are the same price as in the USA. Coffee is more expensive because you don’t get the free refills here, at least a dollar a cup of instant coffee, they leave a jar of Nescafe on the table and when you order coffee they bring you a cup of hot water. No different to my thermos which has been working overtime lately.

I have not had a decent chocolate or candy splurge since leaving the USA as chocolate is significantly more expensive and in the USA just about every gas station sells 2 bags of candy for a dollar, here its at least $2 for a small packet.

But as I have mentioned, eating out, the basics, accommodation including house or apartment renting is very cheap.

That night I ate in the 24 hour Restaurant Volcan in San Matias. The very friendly staff allowed me to lay my sleeping bag out around midnight.

Eventually I felt comfortable enough at not being kicked off the autopista to run with the traffic to my back. After all I was hoping to get back with the Angeles Verdes, and how could I if I was going the wrong way. Eventually I flagged down one of the Angels, a nice guy called Mathew but out of the Mexico City office. It turned out I wasted an hour and a half as we sat patiently in his truck calling one government office after another, bureaucracy rules here for sure. I can’t help wondering if I ruined myself by changing the route and not taking the coastal route as I felt I broke the link in the chain and had I stayed with my original route I feel I would have had this escort all the way to the Guatemala border.

I hope they get back with me before I reach Chipas state. Many people keep warning me about the dangers in Chipas, no not Americans or Canadians but Mexicans. I have been told they are desperately poor and dangerous, but as I have said I have heard this before and we will see.

By now I was getting closer to Puebla City, actually less than two hours away and took shelter in a roadside cafe as the Heavens opened and it lashed raining for more than an hour. I think I got a stomach bug here as I had a stomach upset for a few days later.

I also figured it would be a handy place if I could stay the night as it was a 24 hourer. I figured as this place is on the autopista I wouldn’t have to exit to go into Pueblo, a city of over a million at this late hour. It would be great as I don’t even have to go to Pueblo I could just keep running on towards Tehuacan my next stage about 3 days down the highway.

However the lady made it clear that as soon as I had eaten up I should move on.

And that’s what I did, four stops that day, two of them very long meant it was almost dark when I was exiting the autopista for Puebla.

On the way into the city there were the usual big name hotels which I ran by. Eventually I came to a place called Motel Coleseo. There was a sign outside saying 250 pesos and I was delighted. At first I thought the place was closed down as it was in darkness. As I wheeled Nirvana into the courtyard, a man came rushing towards me. I thought, they mustn’t do much business here as he is delighted to see me!

Then he tells me there are rooms but the office is not attached to the hotel that I got to go back outside and turn left and left again. So I did that and thought it very strange but in my innocence persisted. I asked a couple of locals where the office was and they laughed and said Hotel Coliseo is a ‘ strange place ‘

So I went back into the opposite end of courtyard and this was the bit I never thought about, was why did he send me out and around the block instead of through the grounds? So the security guard sends me further around the block till I do a full circle and arrive back where I started.

I was understandably frustrated at this stage and asked him what was wrong!

He asked me if I had the 250 pesos for a room! I showed him my Spanish printed business card and told him I was running around the world and yes I did. He read the card and didn’t seem too impressed.

Then he started telling me a room was for 8 hours only! Up till recently that would have been fine but without an escort I can’t go out running in the middle of the night.

Then he told me the hotel was for putas! Prostitutes!

I really didn’t believe him. I think he was just a dick who saw me wheeling a cart in and I guess he didn’t take a liking to me, my high-viz vest or cart, thinking I was a tramp.

I went down the road and after about half an hour searching found the lovely Hotel Hacienda where I also took a rest day, some rest day I was on the computer till 11.30pm getting much of my backlog cleared that day.

Many of these hotels have a garage entrance, which is great if you have a car or a cart!

And what is effectively an upstairs apartment, nice and clean and comfortable for less than 15 euro a night. As mentioned before, they don’t give you the key, you got to go to reception every time you want to get in.

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Quick update… And route from Oaxaca to Guatemala border.

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Bienvenido a mis amigos mexicanos querido! Gracias por cuidar de mí tan grande aquí en México.
Mi sitio web tiene una traducción al español la posibilidad!
Por favor, sólo tiene que desplazarse hacia abajo y seleccione el idioma español en la herramienta de TRANSLATE en el lado derecho de mi página de blog. Espero verte en el camino! Tony


I just arrived in Oaxaca a couple of hours ago after a 56km day. Lots of drama including a flood that washed away a bridge and half of the road at km 240. A couple of nights before I was camping beside a similar bridge at km 167.

 Shattered after 8 days on the road, no possibility  of internet access. Wrongly asuming there would be an atm machine on my route I arrived here with just 25.5 pesos and no shower :(   in 8 days! What a Blast!

The Federal Govt and State Secretario de Turismo support that I enjoyed so much all the way from Tecate, through Baja and central Mexico more or less ended in Mexico City. I have been running more or less unsupported these last two weeks through Puebla and Oaxaca states.

Here is my route from Oaxaca to the Guateamalan border. Press  HERE   and wait for map and details to load.

Will update soon.

Thanks to Angeles Verdes Pablo, especially journalist Eduardo for contacting  a sponsor of high acheiving athletes. Montserrat was about to pay for my hotel and upon talking to the Oaxaca State Governor, Gabino Cue Montcagudo. The Governor picked up the tab.

Thank you Gobernador for putting me up in the Fortin Plaza Hotel for 2 nights. I will take a rest day tomorrow, Tuesday which will include a press conference at the hotel.

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About Tony

I have always considered myself to be an average runner. In school, I was even bullied for I was a sports wimp. Through hard work, dedication, perseverance, self-belief and a strong mind I succeeded in not only running around the world but breaking four ultra running world records during my competitive career. Having previously cycled around the world I didn't start running until I was almost 30. Then I had a dream of running around the world. For many reasons, I waited for over 20 years. One reason was to establish my pedigree as an endurance athlete. I started and finished my world run as the current World Record-Holder for 48 Hours Indoor Track 426 kilometres (265 miles), a record I have held since 2007. I also broke and still hold the World Record for 48 hours on a Treadmill 405 kilometres (251 miles) in 2008. When I retired from competition, more pleasing than any of my world, European or Irish records I had the respect of my fellow athletes from all over the world - in my opinion, sports greatest reward - an achievement I am most proud of. Then I finally put myself out to pasture, to live my ultimate dream to run around the world! This blog was written on the road while I struggled to find places to sleep and to recover from running an average of 43.3 kilometres or 27 miles per day for 1,165 road days. There were many nights I typed this blog on a smart phone, so fatigued my eyes closed. Many journalists and endurance athletes have referred to my world run as the most difficult endurance challenge ever attempted. During my expedition I rarely had any support vehicles, running mostly with a backpack. In the more desolate areas I pushed my gear, food and water in a cart which I called Nirvana, then I sent her on ahead to run with my backpack once again over altitudes of almost 5,000 metres in the Andes. I stayed in remote villages where many people had never seen a white person before. I literally met the most wonderful people of this world in their own backyard and share many of those amazing experiences in this blog. My run around the world took 4 years. There were no short cuts, I ran every single metre on the road while seeking out the most comprehensive route across 41 countries, 5 continents, I used 50 pair of running shoes and my final footstep of the run was exactly 50,000 kilometres, (almost 31,000 miles) I eventually finished this tongue in cheek named world jog where I started, at the finish line of my city marathon. I started my global run with the Dublin Marathon on October 25th 2010 and finished with the Dublin Marathon on October 27th 2014 at 3 05pm! Thank you for your support, I hope you can share my unique way of seeing the world, the ultimate endurance challenge! Read more...


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