Archive for November, 2012

New Asian and European routes. Also my Oceania route.

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Due to visa hassles I have decided to change my Asia route from Kazakhstan and Russia to the Ukraine and Europe to what I consider a more exciting and less hassle free route across central Asia and the so called ‘ Stans. ‘

My full Asia route will be:

East Timor, Indonesia, Singapore,Malaysia,Thailand,Laos,China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan,Iran, Azerbaijan,Georgia, Armenia and Turkey. NB: The last 3 or 4 of these countries some people call European, In my mind they have always been Asian.

Because I will now be entering Europe from Turkey to Bulgaria and further south than planned Ukraine this means my Europe route will also change to: Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Hungary,  Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, England and Wales.

Much more kilometres and more fun! It is looking like the run will take in almost 50 countries. As always my route is subject to change. I am excited by this new route which has taken up an enormous amount of my time over the last two years to research thoroughly. There is only one drawback in so far as there is an 8km ‘ no mans land ‘ between China and Kyrgyzstan where foot travel is not permitted. I will see what happens when I am there but I am too weary from all this and may just have to submit to this tiny infraction of the continuous route. Also in Turkmenistan to obtain anything more than a 5 day transit visa I need to hire a guide. My run through there will be 440km so I will have to hire the guide for 8/10 days. All this is to keep you in the picture.

The route from China back through Europe can be seen > HERE

6,000km China route press HERE 

South East Asian route press HERE

Indonesian route Press HERE

East Timor route HERE

I will try to get the route page sorted as soon as I get some more time!

While I am at it here are my Oceania routes Fiji. HERE

New Zealand HERE

Australia, Tasmania HERE

Australian mainland route. HERE

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Meeting Alexander and the wildlife in Patagonia.

Monday, November 26th, 2012

I was running out of the busy city of Comodore Rivadavia down along the ocean side with the wind blowing in my face and who should I see up ahead of me!

” Alexander! ” I shouted out. It was my Swiss skating friend Alexander he and me have caught up with each other now 3 times. yesterday at the police check point I was told he was 4 days ahead, just goes to show how bad peoples information is.

Time to get your skates on Alexander

He seems to be travelling fast as his aim is to arrive in Ushuaia for Christmas Eve and he is well ahead of that schedule. He is skatinging fast even having taking some rest days including on 2nd November his sixtieth birthday. I had left a couple days before, pity it would have been nice to have celebrated with him.

Having not slept the night before I had only planned a short day myself and readily agreed to finish my day in Rada Tily Municipal campsite upon Alexanders invitation.

So we stopped for some supplies in a supermarket and then travelled on. Alexander a Swiss champion skater waiting for me several times to catch up.  That is till the huge descent into Rada Tilly a sea side town. Alexander was gone, so I had to make my own enquires about where the campsite was.

A nice lady called Veronica gave me directions and told me she would drop over that evening!

Then she drove ahead and told me after turning left that it was 6 more blocks and then a right turn at the end of the road. Veronica never did show up that night, perhaps it was the smell of 8 days on the road, no hotels and the usual showers in gas stations that have saved me in the past were not available this last week. So my no shower record equalled here, also 8 days in a remote part of Baja,Mexico.

Later Alexander on his word of honor told me there was no whiff!

Honestly no whiff.. Only a squint!

 I had been wondering why people were moving away from me in the supermarket checkout line, no need to be paranoid Tony, that line is moving faster. Thank God for deodorant and a campsite shower!

As I don’t run so fast I don’t really perspire that much and never need to dry off. Many times due to the nature of such a run and finishing so late and in such difficult circumstances I just sleep in my clothes that I ran in that day as they are always dry. I wash them whenever I get an opportunity. Only so much I can do with no support vehicle or crew, ah the joys of toughing it out!

So Alexander cooked dinner or rather took over my cooking of my pasta. He is a culinary connoisseur who takes pride in his cooking. Me I have been known to throw my pasta in my thermos in the morning, top it up with boiling water and let it cook itself! What do I end up with… A white stodge! Hey just add a couple of sauces and it’s fine and a fast prepare!

Next day I just hung around the campsite till very late afternoon as the wind was incredible. Alexander also a windsurfer told me it was between 60 and 70 km per hour winds, I think he knows about these things. He took a rest day. I left at around 4pm and only made 19km against the most ferocious winds so far. So two easy days were run totalling  less than my average daily distance, a rest day of sorts or easy period after my massive days in the past two or three weeks.

Before leaving Alexander was asking me why I called my Chariot Nirvana and when I told him that was normal for people making such trips he thought I was mad! Then suddenly he warmed to the idea and asked me to think up a name for his Chariot. I suggested Sandy after the recent Hurricane Sandy in New York and what we got here in Patagonia. He though it was a great name and was delighted with Sandy!

Just before finishing that day I ran into Santa Cruz province, the next one will be the big one… Tierra del Fuego and the end of the world,well in the Americas!

Santa Cruz province.

Next day I am running through Caleta Olivia and get stopped by a man that shouts out obviously in Spanish….

” You must be Tony Mangan? ”

He was a journalist for Diario el Patagonia newspaper, so I do a brief interview before running on for 60km that day.

You must be Tony Mangan?

 On the way there were many places along the coast where I spotted what I thought were whales surfacing and submerging along the coast. I stopped many times watching them surface before going under the water only to resurface..

Not whales but sea lions!

Later I was told that these were sea lions. For more on sea lions press HERE


Then there were some rolling hills, I felt strong running almost non stop as I pushed a heavy loaded Nirvana up the hills, I felt like a cyclist cruising up a mountain, like a mountain goat.

Construction workers interrupted my dream by offering me water from their trailer. I loaded up another 4 litres, they took several photos and was off again.

One of these days I had a bad pain in my neck, so hard to turn around and check traffic. I often had to stop or move my whole upper torso around. That slowed me down that day, I just took it easy.

That day the strong wind actually changed direction and now it was a tailwind :)

I had it behind me all the way to the next water stop a small junction community in a strangely named place called Fitz Roy.

I stopped for a well earned asado in Fitz Roy, Argentina a massively expensive country is made a bit cheaper by the inability to spend much while out in the wilderness for days on end!

I ran some more that evening. It was nice and cool for now the days are hot, even with the wind. With the breaks in the wind it’s even hotter, I notice that instantly. 59km that day followed by a 50 and at km marker 2065 that was the 24,000km of the run :)

24,000km! And a new hairstyle.

About two hours before that a man stopped his truck, hopped out and gave me a bottle of water. Then a little later three construction workers did a u-turn and came back to give me a large bag of pizzas, sandwiches and six oranges. Talk about pizza delivery!

Pizza Delivery.

” Hello! Is that Buenos Aires Rappid Pizza Delivery Company? ”
” Si Senior, Where are you? ”

” Just south of km 2065, yes thats more than 2,000 kilometres from BA. Please go mad on the mayonaise! And 2 bottles of cola too, What time will you get here, sorry I mean what day!  :)

Once again the wind was behind me.

On and on I ran for today was an interesting day as I spotted many ostriches.


 I stopped to take photos but couldn’t get near enough. They are fast runners, faster than me. They ran along the fence that runs along the road about 40 metres away from me. I noticed some small water pools these last couple days, so reckon that’s why they are populating this area. They ran to the hills and looked down at the road.

There are special ostriches in Patagonia. They are very small and have three toes on each foot.

They run fast to look for food.

The hen lays her eggs.The cockerel looks after the eggs.Sometimes, the cockerel looks after the eggs of more than one hen.Sometimes, there are 20 eggs in one nest!

For a  very interesting read on Patagonia if you got the time press here

Many days I also spotted many guanacos. The guanaco is similar to a llama. They stay in large groups. They are very shy animals. Don’t get too close to the guanacos because they spit.Their spit stinks!




Then  two men stopped to top up my water, then a man and his wife stopped to give me a bag of chicken and beef, bread and more water and if that wasn’t enough a construction crew on their way to lunch stopped and gave me a steak dinner, topped up my water and an iced 7-up!

It just keeps happenning!

 That was so delicious and I eyed the other bottles, how I would have loved another one but hadn’t the nerve to ask! Well what to do with all this food. I stopped, had a brew, a substantial snack, followed by a short siesta!

When I returned to the road for my final 16km gallop into Tres Cerros the wind had changed. It was tough going but I actually didn’t notice it too much, just had to go at a much slower pace for I was in one of my day dream moods.

All of my drinks are mixed with High5′s Extreme Ultra electrolyte mix. Especially when water is in short supply, High5 keeps me well hydrated.

Yes, Patagonia may be boring, but it doe s have its moments. This is kinda like the way Newfoundland was, I never thought I would say that. Argentina as I mentioned on the day I arrived here back at the end of July had been my favourite country in the world after a visit almost 30 years ago, well it’s not disappointing, it’s rapidly becoming my favourite country of the run.

Into another gas station respite, places are now about three days apart. It’s hard to carry all the water I need, I will never be able to thank the good people I have met. When I said to one trucker that the Argentines are wonderful people he corrected me telling me no not Argentina, that the world is full of wonderful people.

running around the world is a great way to make friends!

Another all nighter as I type this it’s 8am, I will shower soon and head out for my next three days to Puerto St. Julian.

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In Rio Gallegos

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Hi Everyone. In Rio Gallegos and just about 70km from Chile. Sorry the Spot tracker has been very erratic lately. I mentioned before it only gives 50 tracks and when I have a long day beyond that it’s not tracked. I am told in Patagonia that there are some no coverage zones.

I have emaild Spot many times, not happy with their replies!

I have about 580km of the Americas left to run. Flights were booked well in advance as I got a decent discount. Unfortunately this means being a week ahead of schedule I will have to take some rest or easy days. My flight out of Ushuaia to Buenos Aires and onward from there is booked for 13th December!

Sorry blog is behind again, hope to get more time soon. Just run 320km in last week with no services except for one gas station.

Total as of Saturday 24th: 24,515km for 580 road days.

Talk soon


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Rest day in Puerto San Julian

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Hi everyone.

In Puerto San Julian.I see my Spot didn’t update my 51km here yesterday, very frustrating but it did my 71km on Thursday :) I had a terrible day 17km on Wednesday due to tiredness from not sleeping and strong wind, so wimped it with the plan to make up on Thursday.

Total for 573 road days = 24,188km. Taking a rest/office day today.

Chile, my 16th country of the run is about 9 days away!

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Fiji Has Been Added To The Run.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I am delighted to announce that my 3rd continent,  Oceania will begin with Fiji. I have decided to take advantage of a stopover on my way across the Pacific to run the island. I am probably going to run the south coast as on a Google map it looks more interesting with some  national parks.

Proposed Fiji route please press HERE

After Fiji it will be New Zealand, north island first then south island. Tasmania is next up followed by the Australian mainland Melbourne/Adelaide/Alice Springs/Darwin.

For more information on the island paradise of Fiji press HERE

Some people I have asked only know about beaches! Anyone got any information re: condition of roads and the all important issue of hard-shoulders please feel free to comment.

Fiji also has a proud rugby tradition. So Any rugby heads reading this got any contacts over there?

More details to follow.

For some background information on the continent of Oceania press HERE

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Tuesday 13/11 38km to Tres Cerros. Total = 24,049km for 570 road days.


In Tres Cerros YPF 24 hour gas station on their wi-fi. Think I will be working through the night!Gotta rush will update rest of the pictures next time!



I had a very nice evening in San Antonio Oeste with Natalio and Monica.

 I was told that the radio interview I did there for Natalio’s radio station went down well and they repeated it on another show later the next day! Also did a television interview and never heard anything about that. We sat around the dinner table me on my laptop talking to them. The laptop is great for situations like this as they know I have a serious workload. Had I not got the laptop it would have been anti social out in the next room.

While Monica was washing my huge laundry bag she told me about a Chinese sailor that got hurt. His company just abandoned him in San Antonio Oeste. Monica being a good hearted woman and a nurse housed him in her home, fed the sailor and nursed him back to full fitness. The tragedy of this situation was that the sailor had no family back in China. Eventually the community had a collection to send the poor man back to China. She showed me a letter he sent her thanking her so much and how grateful he was to the community. He had gotten a job in a factory and was delighted with his $100 a month feeling he was getting his life back on track.

That letter was in English and I slipped up in not photographing it for the blog as it was so touching. I mentioned before in the update that I was having a problem with my camera and Danielas brother bought me a new camera, kind man, thank you so much Facundo :)

It goes without saying that I had a serious late nights work, up till after 3am. I was shattered next morning as I promised Daniela, a vice principal in the local school that I would give a ‘ motivation talk ‘ to about 40 ‘ problem children .’ Many of the children were from broken homes drug and alcohol dependency problems.

I was told that many of the children unfortunately had given up on learning and wondered why they needed to learn for example English.

I found them to be a lovely bunch of kids, some of their questions about the run were interesting wondering how I avoided injury, if I ate yogurt and if we drank mate in Ireland! After the talk I had breakfast of milk and bread with dulce de leche  with the children in the schools canteen.

Just like a dog... Always where the food is!

So it was back to Natalio and Monicas house for lunch. Natalio cooked an asado in my honor saying that Sunday was the traditional asado day in Argentina and only during the weekdays for special occasions.   


Monica and Natalio, just one of my Argentine families

So it was a very late afternoon start that afternoon out of town that day. I managed 35km before getting to a gas station where I initially planned to stop for just an hour, that was till I fell asleep at the table and that was that nights accommodation sorted!

It was probably just as well I got that sleep that night as I needed it next day, October 25th 2012 and the second anniversary of the run. I had hoped to make it to Sierra Grande for a celebration meal but it was just too far. Still I gave it a good shot with a 76km and record-breaking distance for a day on the run. the nights are really nice now, and when I can I usually avoid putting up my tent as it makes getting away in the morning so much easier. So my reward for the record run was to sleep under a bridge! No big deal really.

A couple of good distance days before crossing from Rio Negro to Chubut province.

Thank goodness Chubut’s local government believes in hard shoulders as I am now running on a paved 1 meter shoulder, fantastic!

A couple of days later I ran into the nice port town or small city of Puerto Madryn and stayed at the Che Patagonia backpackers hostel. I met Lauren a French vet who was travelling around South America with his wife, also a vet. They quit their jobs to travel for a few months.


” Always plenty of jobs in France for vets that like to work with the ‘ big animals ‘ as he called them.

” The big animals are anti-social and not many vets want to work with them. ”

They worked in the Congo for a while as volunteers.

I took a rest day here in Puerto Madryn and both nights headed for an eat as much as you like buffet which included steaks, Chinese food, salads and deserts! I guess they were my celebration meals for the second anniversary of the run, many thanks to Tom Denniss for sponsoring those great meals :)

I couldn’t believe it when I ran a great 60km from Puerto Madryn to Trelew. A lovely day with a tailwind and a 4 lane divided highway.

Stopping in a service station I got talking to Fabian who was wearing a ‘ Falklands Islands Fire Fighters ‘ tee-shirt. Many Argentines get upset by even the mention of Falkland for what they consider their Malvinas islands which as they say the British stole from Argentina and now govern .


Fabian tells me that he was born there ( yet speaking no English) he now drives a truck for a living out of Buenos Aires. His mother still lives on the islands. Fabian told me that the Falkland islanders want to have absolutely nothing to do with Argentina. Argentina used to contribute much to the islanders welfare but now do nothing.

Halloween and I am back making faces again as I push Nirvana up the seemingly never-ending  hills. Now the wind is against me and it was to be this way for almost a week, except for one hour.

One day I stopped for a piss, yes with the wind behind me and the piss pissed back up onto my face, Ugh!

I keep getting smacked by so hard, like a boxer taking body blows, I duck, turn sideways and still get it. Then a truck comes from behind, giving me a much loved and short-lived jump start, till another comes towards me and knocks me back. I wonder about the g forces I am withstanding.

I put in long, hard, difficult days and plod on day into evening and even the night. I am making great progress but it’s tough, very tough. I fight on. Some evenings there is less wind, but not always, either way I just run on, run as best as I can. pushing Nirvana is very tough on my wrists, I wonder and worry about tendinitis of my wrists, always something. 

At the side of the road a truck driver is stopped for a siesta, I knock on his door and ask for water. He is half naked and just points down to a water tank he has bolted to the chassis. I fill up with 4 litres, nice one!

My left ankle was a bit sore that night. I been averaging almost 60km these last three days. The shorter my days are the longer I am in this Godforsaken place, always looking for more food and water, nothing to do only run, run, run for the scenery is boring, almost the same since Cordoba and still a long way down to the bottom of the world and Ushuaia.

A woman jumped out of her car on the opposite side of the road, just in front of me. She heads over in my direction. Thinking she wants to take my picture I smile, introduce myself to her and tell her what I am doing.

” Really? ” She says and stops just behind me to take a photo of what I just don’t know! I stared out at the semi barren landscape to see what could have prompted her to do this, of all the places in Patagonia, the same as it has been for over a thousand kilometres and nearly two thousand more!

That night I stopped and slept in a concrete culvert under the road. They are a decent size, always large enough for me to wheel Nirvana in.

 I cooked pasta and slept with my feet elevated on some of my gear to improve blood circulation and recovery as I have many times in an ultra race when taking a nap.

Next morning the ankle is fine.

I make it to the next gas station which has a restaurant attached. An unsmiling man is the owner and woman prepares me a terrible sandwich which was supposed to be a warm milanesa sandwich. Its cold, reminded me of Peru and this so far was the only crap food I have eaten here in Argentina, just the meat on bread and mayonesa, no salad or tomato, and worse still I reckon it was the most expensive sandwich I ever ate at almost $10.

Long distances and sometimes just a couple of gas stations or a small town in between.

In rushes a woman, I think she is American. She has a hired car and a slow puncture, she is in a panic and obviously stressed. The man just looks at her and tells her he has no air compressor. I tell her to hang on that I got a bicycle pump! She thinks I am mad and rushes out and drives up the highway. I tried to tell her I did this before as my Service manager, Dennis Hedderman will testify!

You see I was serving my time as a photocopier technician for CTL in Dublin. I used to go in and out of the office on my bicycle and travel around doing service calls with Dennis.

One Friday at rush hour in Dublin’s Christchurch we got a soft tyre. I remembered I had my bicycle pump in my bag on the back seat so I jumped out of the car and pumped it up while a mortified Dennis burried his Afro head in the steering wheel!

The cars honked and honked and I just smiled and waved! We were laughing at this for years after! Dennis fancied himself as a striker for Dearpark United! he also fancied the secretary at Nottingham Forest Football Club.  Another story there!! Anyone know Dennis or would like to give CTL a call and tell him I wrote this I would get a great kick out of it! Not to mention the man that looked the splitting image of a Shamrock Rovers star striker. One day they both met and the striker asked him if anyone ever told him he looks like him!

” Yes all the women I score with, I score more than you! ”

 Yes that was another of Dennis tales I still laugh at on the road from time to time.  

Before leaving I got talking to two documentary makers who more or less agreed with Fabian about Malvinas. I asked them how the islanders got their mail as surely there are no direct flights to Port Stanley from Europe or the USA. Via Punta Arenas in Chile, I was told.

Another big day, all 63km of it even with my many stops. I found a flag pole a few days for my Irish flag a few days ago and put my Irish flag on it that morning. Within about half an hour of starting I got stopped by Stephane and his wife Anne from France in their motor home which they shipped over from France for their two year trip through the Americas.

Stephane and Anne

 They plan on going up as far as Alaska. They are travelling with their two young children as Anne is a teacher and home-schools the children, nice one. They make me coffee and more water and snacks for the road. I couldn’t help wondering if they stopped because of the Irish flag.

Classroom in the motor home

Still smarting at yesterdays sandwich I stop at another gas station/restaurant. The meal I ate was delicious and plentiful. The owners name is Daniel.

Thank you Daniel!

 He gives me 2 sandwiches and a large bottle of water for the road also a smile I will long remember, a smile many Argentines have given me that simply says I just want to help you.

Only 13km further south there was another gas station, so near it hardly counted in this wilderness. Though still satisfied from my delicious meal I stopped for the human inter reaction. More smiles and hot and cold water for the road.

The wind is really bad now and it’s really cold, still I run on and on through this emptyness, this never changing vista, on and on it goes, sorry Argentina is not winning any beauty contests with me now.

As I head deeper and deeper into Patagonia just like in the Arizona and California desert people are stopping me more and more to give me food and drinks. Today a man gave me a small amount, just a little but with a big smile.  I didn’t need it but he was delighted to help and didn’t want to spoil his glow. He got out of his car with the bottle so that was his intention when stopping, not just an after thought, that gesture will live on for me,often it’s the small stuff that makes the most impression.

Then just as I was thinking of a roadside brew another man stops to see how I am. He is concerned as darkness is approaching. No worries, I am well lit up. I ask him for water and he asks me hot or cold. Hot I say, so he fills my thermos from his. Saves me getting out the stove and pot.

Next day and I am not liking Mondays as it’s been the toughest day so far. Four hours gone and less than 15km to show for it wind battered and if there were any snails dumb enough to be out that day we would have an interesting race. I always seem to be going up and those annoying yellow and black signs telling you you are now climbing, like I never would have guessed, they rarely descend.

I stop for some reason and Carlos and Alejandro stop their bus and give me FOUR meals they give out on their bus!

 Carlos and Alejandro.

And a 2 litre bottle of Sprite. So I sit down to scoff two which have two nice steaks each. How to eat steak with a plastic knife and fork in a howling wind? With your fingers!

Finger licking delicious!

Barely 500 metres up the road Laurent from the hostel in Puerto Madryn with his wife Lisa and friends stop in their motor home and give me about 4 litres water.

Thank you Lisa, Laurent, Isabelle and Jean

 Then 4 km further on up the road when I have a restaurant in my sights a man stops to give me a delicious sandwich and another large bottle of Sprite.

So I make it to the restaurant in Pampa Salamanca and am not thirsty or hungry but still stop. Bottles are falling off Nirvana, I got so much and my food bag is crammed! I just order a coffee and sip it. The restaurant is very busy. Everyone is looking at my Irish flag and think I am Italian. They must wonder why I just run 100km from the last rest stop and not eat, just drink a coffee!

Later it rains, not much just drizzle so I stop early after just 49km and dry off some wet clothes which I have hung up on Nirvana in my cozy culvert. I cook some cuppa soup before sleeping.

I tried to have an easier day for my run into Comodoro Rivadavia but when I stopped yesterday it was at the top of a hill and raining so this left me 41km. It was a great day and as the road turned to the south-east I finally got that easterly wind at my back along with a great downhill of about 16km.

About 17km from Comodoro I was really zooming down that hill, faster than anytime here in Argentina and was annoyed that a police officer tried to stop me at a checkpoint.

It turned out to be just a welfare check to see if I needed any water and wanted to rest in his office. Just then a man comes over and he is holding packages.

 I think he is selling cd’s like they do in the poorer countries at such places. I tell him I don’t want any cds and feel like adding especially if you got Bob Seger’s  ’ AGAINST THE WIND ‘ Press > PLAY 

When I was as far north as Canada, I thought I might say that here :)

It turned out he was another busman and was handing me SEVEN trays of meat salads!

With that three of them blew out of his hand and over into a ditch. So I go running after them while they give me a look as if to say… ‘ but you still got four here! ‘

I know and now I got seven.

In I went to the police office  after thanking the driver also and taking a photo. I love the water coolers here as the water from the red tap is hot water, ideal for a thermos of tea! So I scoffed four meat salads as I have a storage issue on Nirvana, problem solved.

Next in line! The red tap is for hot water great for coffee or thermos filling whenever I see one I fill up

On I ran into Comodoro Rivadavia where people continue to be incredibly friendly. That night I spent the whole night working on logistics and my backlog on this service stations wi-fi. No rest for the wicked! Besides surprisingly there was no backpackers hostel here. Hotels were 220 pesos and at 4 to the dollar you can see just how incredibly expensive Argentina is. It would have been a waste of money anyway as I just needed to work.

These men rushed away from their meals and insisted on helping me with an issue I was having. Thanks Lads!

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Hi All,

Am in Comodoro Rivadavia which is a city in Chubut province in Patagonia. It has been a very tough 8 days since leaving Puerto Maderyn and this is my first internet access since. So a huge pile to catch up on. 

In that time I have run and been blown to a standstill by some pretty strong mostly easterly winds. My hourly progress has been crawl like but I have responded by running and crawling! for long days with a lot of night running too. This is a safe area. Traffic is moderate and the hard shoulder has improved.The result of this has been I am sure my best weeks running of the run = 438km for the 8 days.

Total to date: 23,765km for 563 road days = 563.2 marathons! The marathon a road day has been passed :)

Details of the last 8 days will be covered in the blog (Not sure if I can get there tonight but will try as I plan on working through the night)

30/10 From Puerto Maderyn to Trelew = 60km. A great days running on a 4 lane highway! Wind was behind me today, felt strong, slept in YPF service station but no internet.

31/10.  58km From km 1452, Trelew to km 1510, Tough day, wind in my face and hilly.

1/11. 56km today, km 1510 to km 1566. Strong headwind again.

2/11.  59km.  Km 1566 to 1625. Ditto but also very cold today.

3/11.  63km today. Km 1625 to km 1688. Lovely French couple stopped and made me coffee in their motorhome. Demolished a huge dinner in service station restaurant :) where the owner gave me a large milanesa sandwich and bottle water for the road! Wind really bad (both types of wind :(   ) and late finish.

4/11.  52km today. From km 1688 on route 3 to km 1740. Very late start, shattered and late finish. Daily wind battle sometimes leaves me short of breath, like running at altitude. Trucks dont help either jolting me forward and then back! A man stopped and gave me about 100ml of water, just a small amount in his bottle, but I thought this was nice, the thought is what counts.

Then later a man stopped and filled my thermos from his, he seemed concerned for me, I thought perhaps he was a priest! Slept happily in a field under a starry sky.

5/11.  49km. Another wind crawl! Sometimes I am reduced to 4km per hr! From km 1740 to km 1789. Wanted more but it was raining and decided best to stop at top of mountain, makes morning start easier. Bus driver and companion stopped to give me 4 airline type meals that they serve on these long distance buses! Also a bottle of Sprite. 2 of the dinners had 2 delicious steaks each. Demolished on the side of the road! 500 metres later a man called Lauren whom I met in the hostel in Puerto Maderyn stopped with his friends in their camper to give me water. Then 4km later a man stopped to give me a Milanesa sandwich and a bottle of Sprite!

6/11.  An easy 41km day from km 1789 to Comodoro Rivadavia city near km 1830.

As mentioned earlier the wind is easterly and as can be seen from the map the city is south east, so I had it behind me today along with a 16km downhill, Oh for this every day. Today at a police checkpoint a co-bus driver gave me SEVEN meals! He must have heard of yesterdays bus! I was invited into the police checkpoint office where I demolished 4 on the spot and a thermos full of hot sweetened tea. Am in the YPF service station (where I hope to shower later!) Thanks to  Daniel and Maximillion helping out with a small problem I have at the monment!

From here it’s 780km to Rio Gallegos and perhaps one or two or even no internet till then. From there its a good days running to the Chilean border. A few days will be run in that area of Tierra del Fuego which Chile shares with Argentina and then its back to Argentina for the big spash into the ocean at Ushuaia. That is roughly 1,360km away, so a month or so away :)

Talk soon, well signal providing! Tony

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The Nada Nada Nada Highway.

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
A night run out of  Rio Colorado  and carrying an excessive amount of water and food as always. I was told that Alexander had skated down highway about an hour before me. There is only one road to Ushuaia about 2,100km south down through the wilderness that is Patagonia towards the bottom of the world. The traffic that Friday night was heavy, very heavy, so heavy that I couldn’t get out of the lumpy grass shoulder. It was a crawl, on I ran when I could but I had no choice and had to walk much of it. On my back I carried 4 of my 12 litres of water for this 2 and a half day segment to General Conesa, some 146km down the road.

After 29km running west I came to a junction 251 and only ran 1 kilometre, that was enough, only 30, I am tired but will make up for it tomorrow, besides I got a lot of work done on the internet today, the never ending list of tasks to be researched just seems to grow and grow.

I spread out the tarp,mat and sleeping bag in a bush at the side of the road, I have no fear of snakes or tarantulas or the like it seems.

So a bit more nice running down this nada,nada,nada highway with all it’s nothingness as I was led to believe, always told there is nothing available and most times there something.

 I arrive at what looks like a restaurant, though I am well stocked I stop, it’s always nice to stop even for a friendly chat on these long stretches, breaks the day up.

The restaurant is not operating anymore, still the nice people, two men Nano Lui and Eduardo and a woman called Soledad invite me to sit down and have a drink. Just as I am leaving the lady gives me a jar of coffee, milk powder and two packets of biscuits. They tell me that many cyclists stop here and they are always delighted to help.

Eduardo, Nano Lui and Soledad


Later that evening I get to a restaurant, this time it’s operational so I order a beef steak, eggs, tea and bread.

It had been a nice day, I enjoyed all 66 clicks of it, another night under the heavenly stars was my reward.

Another stop on the nada, nada, nada highway.

Just like the last place Alexander stopped for a short while, infact I just missed him here as I saw his red flashing light in the distance as I was running in.

Today I also passed by two security guards that work for a week on then have a week off after minding the road construction companies heavy vehicles. They both invited me into their caravans for water. I stopped at the first to cook a packet soup and a herbal tea before running on.

Then the very next day I did see a snake in the long grass, in the shoulder where I usually run. Not sure if it was alive or dead as it didn’t respond to a couple of my pebbles.

Further on and stopped at the side of the road, sitting on a guard rail, munching some biscuits I get to talk to a man called Natalio and his wife Monica. They did a u-turn just to stop and say hi.

They are both Chileans and invite me to their home in San Antonio Oeste when I get there on Tuesday. They have been living in Argentina for 25 years now. In their opinion Argentina is the most futuristic country in all of Latin America, It’s easy for me to agree with that.

12km before General Conesa Alexander skates up from behind and stops to talk. It’s hard for him pushing his Chariot up some of these short sharp hills, but on the down hill he can get close to 30km per hour, scary stuff for me! We cover roughly the same daily distance but his days are shorter, he leaves late, even worse than me, a notorious late and slow starter!

He seems to have more time for a chat now and before he skates on to the town he tells me about an hotel he stayed in on a previous visit.

I didn’t make it that far, just over a well light narrow bridge on the outskirts of the town, and around the bend to the first restaurant I saw, a place called Gringos Restaurant.  With a name like that I bet it’s expensive.

That will do it,I am famished, so I parked Nirvana outside and went inside for a nice steak dinner.

I have a wash and a shave while I am waiting for the dinner. Half an hour later Alexander comes in. He joins me. We had been getting reports from people we stopped to talk to along the highway about each others whereabouts.

The Nada, Nada,Nada Highway.

The lady that worked there told us that the young people in these small rural towns and villages are bored and as soon as they get qualifications they leave for the big cities. Still I haven’t noticed many places which had an overwhelmly older population. 

The owner is a nice man called Anselmo. he brings us out a second helping of steak and French fries, gave me a bottle of lemon and opened a bottle of whiskey for himself and Alexander. Then second deserts on the house! What a man!

Alexander with Anselmo pouring the drinks into us!

By now it’s 2am, the restaurant is closed. It’s pointless me looking for an hotel now so I ask if I can roll out my sleeping bag on the covered porch for it’s another nice evening, even if it is a bit chilly. Anselmo asks me if I want to go back to the family home but I gently refuse and thank him, a bit pointless and easier to get  going in the morning. Alexander goes off to his hotel while the two dogs take up watch dog duties for me, it’s another wonderful tranquil small town in Argentina.

Another big day, 62km next day and I am full of running. To my left in the darkness I see a glint of a reflective strip and then notice a head flashlight, it’s Alexander camped behind some bushes. I go over and surprise him. Only a rare pedestrian would have noticed him, not a flashing by car.

We have another chat and I cook some supper on his stove. He invites me to camp beside him but I regrettably refuse as I want to get a bit closer to San Antonio Oeste and have an easy run in tomorrow. He is pumping away at his multi fuel stove  for it wont relight when I want a coffee, so I give him my spare gas cylinder as I got a spare. We both agree multi fuel stoves are great and cheap when they work, but you cant beat a fast lighting gas camping cooker for efficiency, even if the replacement cylinders are expensive.

Alexander also tels me he gets the nada, nada, nada answer too! We both agree to take a little more than to be short but less than too much is a good water quantity to carry.

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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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