On the road I met a Colombian cyclist who called himself Ivan, that is his family name I guess he didn’t like his first name which is Marian. He had started cycling in Costa Rica three months ago where he had spent some time with his Argentine girlfriend.


He plans to cycle down through Brazil. I asked Ivan for some water, he didn’t have any. He cycled along at my pace for about half an hour. On the way he told me he sells jewelery to fund his travels. Ten minutes after he cycled on he returned with a full gallon jug he got filled up in a house. He told me at nightime he usually stops and stays with the army in their roadside camps. I wondered how smart this is, what if the FARC guerrillas were to come in and have a shoot up,there is still some sporadic violence going on, though they are not as effective as they once were.

It may surprise many people but Colombia is a democratic republic, one of the most suscessful democracies in all of Latin America. They are also the 4th largest oil producers here, capping a million barrells a day.
Once again Ivan cycled on. I came upon the house where he got the water. Two women were trying on the bead and cloth name bracelets which take about fifteen minutes for him to craft.


 This is how I eat he said! Sure enough the women found their names on his display rolls. He had the bracelets pushed onto two bamboo sticks which he carried in his front carrier basket.
Soon we were eating beans and rice with a slice of hotdog meat and a slice of meat washed down with milky coffee.


He shows me his Colombian identity card. Today is his 39th birthday.
We continue on up the road. He goes off into a ramble for about ten minutes talking about his family and his sister who can’t sleep. He is talking so fast I can barely understand what he is saying. He is almost talking to himself.
He asks me am I hungry again, even though it’s only an hour since we ate. He gives me the impression he wants to ‘ go to work again ‘, I get the impression it’s just greed, so I say no.
We get into Mutata and I buy him a birthday beer before we part. He has already given me two addresses of places I can stay, a friend in Santa Fe de Antioquis and a niece in Medellin. As we sit there outside the roadside cafe a small terrier gets hit by a motorbike. The poor thing just falls down in a heap in the middle of the road. Then it gets up and struggles to the hard shoulder before collapsing once again, smart dog I think, it learnt fast. A family rush over and lift it into their house.
This is where my hotel is, I commuted back up the road this morning. I decide to go out and do a bit more after a short rest and checking out.
I hear about a Canadian walker who has walked all the way from Alaska bound for Tierra del Fuego at the tip of this huge continent.
I was told he walks 25km a day pushing a stroller. I might catch up with him with a bit of luck somewhere around the Ecuadoran border as he walked thru 15 days ago. 
Just outside of town I once again meet Ivan. He is talking to a man at a house. He catches up with me and I suggest that women are the better customers. He smiles and goes off into another ramble. I am feeling uncomfortable now, especially when he takes out a lump of marijuana. That’s when I put my foot down!
” Sorry I don’t do drugs, so called soft or otherwise especially here in Colombia! “
Later I am thinking about this, and he is staying in the army compounds which are trying to stamp this out of Colombia!
I look around and ask myself a question, a question I have been asking for over a year now…
” What channel are we watching today Tony?
” Is it going to be National Geographic,
 The Animal Channel
or even The Travel Channel. “
Yes I got my own personal 360 degree wide screen television and I am as high as a kite living my dream.


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2 Responses to “THE RAMBLIN MAN”

  1. Larry Doherty Says:

    Fabulous travel writing Tony! Am nearly free again to get back into action again. Talk soon.

  2. Ann Says:

    God makes them and you meet them on your travels Tony. Channel Colombia is sure showing some interesting coverage :)

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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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