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FIRST DAYS IN NORTHERN PERU

I crossed from Ecuador into Peru waving goodbye to the friendly Ecuadorian guards who had just taken my exit photo.
When I asked the Peruvian guard to take an  entry photo he declined, can’t do that we provide a service here!
So I asked a gummy man sitting beside him.
” Si 5 dollars Gringo! ”
” No deal ” I replied and also to the bargain deal of one dollar! Eventually a friendly young man took it.
Peru normally issues a 90 day visitors visa. I asked for 120 days and got it no problem.
People often ask me about visas. Well South and Central America are the easiest to obtain after Europe. In Europe by road most of it you just cross from one country to another without any land borders or passport control, just like driving across US state lines.
In Latin America you get the visas at the border, most are free. Australia is not the walkover many people assume, the advice is to apply for a visa before making travel arrangements. Asia is complicated, often you need to get visas from the embassy in a previous country. Other countries have short durations and many restrictions like places you can go, need to apply for the visa in your own home country and then a limited amount of time to activate it. I can make my unbroken lap around the world without going to Africa, just like Asia, problematic, even more so with many borders closed due to neighbouring disputes etc.
I changed some money at the border from a juice seller.
 

A DELICIOUS JUICE, CHANGE MONEY AND A CHAT BEFORE SETTING OUT ACROSS PERU

 It’s always best to know the rate of exchange in advance, preparation is my key word, fail to prepare prepare to fail, same with route and everything else. However I have always found these traders to be honest to the nth degree, I guess they wouldn’t get permits to trade if they weren’t anything but honest or passed on forgeries to unfamiliar travellers.
I am very happy with how things are panning out. 17,000km and so far every single problem has been anticipated and dealt with by the huge amount of planning that went into the run. There may be some issues with the Asian route in two years time, right now I have my friend Greg, a very experienced traveller working on an alternative route just in case.
Australia in a years time is also up for another round of scrutiny very soon. Nothing will be left to chance, no stone unturned.
 
 
I had decided to make Las Lomas my first base in Peru as it was just 50km from the border. It would have been nice to have gotten an early start the next day but I didn’t and by the time I returned to the border to start from where I left off it was too late for my 50km that day, I managed just 37, a wasted opportunity that day. I want to run at least one 50km in every country. Except Singapore.. If anyone thinks I am going to make about 5 laps around that small city country, well they got another thing coming!
April Fools Day I finished in a place called Santa Rosa. All the way people kept calling me Gringo and Loco Gringo.
Just a little too much of hissing the Loco and Gringo as they drove by me or as I ran by their houses.
As I write this ten days later I can say very honestly this most northern part of Peru is not one my favourite part of the world. I am not a great fan of the people in this part. It’s always sad to write something like that because no matter where one is in the world there will always be a lot of smiling, friendly people that greet me as I run by their houses or meet them on the road.

EVEN IN UNFRIENDLY PLACES YOU WILL ALWAYS FIND DECENT PEOPLE

 I feel when I make a statement that I am not a fan of an area that in many ways I am betraying the good peoples friendliness in that same area. There are only a few places in the world that I have said this about.
They say there are good and bad people everywhere. Usually that statement settles most conversations, but what about percentages? Here there are more rude and unfriendly people than anywhere else on the trip. Before this region I had only encountered two rude people. Now I have lost count. I never felt threatened, just sad for them. I ran on keeping my mouth shut. What’s the point getting into a conversation. Sadly many people here just lack ambition. Perhaps it’s despair. It seems all everyone talks about is getting married, having babies and eating chicken.
A little further south, the insults eased off and I warmed to them again.
 
There was one day when suddenly the road ran out, about six or seven times! It was more to do with poorly planned infrastructure as the bridges were barely higher than ground level. In some cases it looked to me that they just concreted across river beds instead of building bridges!
A couple of times some of the crossings were just stones piled high and flattened. The man responsible for ‘ constructing ‘ this bridge of sorts then rightly collected tolls!
Once when there was no other way across I took off my shoes and socks and waded through, only ankle deep.
 Just as I was putting back on my shoes an ice cream man of all things appeared! A second time I just didn’t bother taking my shoes off.
This was the only day I had this problem. I guess swimming will have to be allowed into the mission statement! I had been thinking that if the bridge situation got more serious that I would have to get a reel of rope from a hardware store, then somehow get it across and tied to a tree or something. And then pull myself across.

ALL BECAUSE THE MAN LOVES ICE CREAM!

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2 Responses to “FIRST DAYS IN NORTHERN PERU”

  1. kevin scanlon Says:

    great read tony, it’s good to hear your problems so far have been sorted. the photos are amazing. the potholes in wicklow look small in comparison!!!! keep up the good work. kevin

  2. Ann Says:

    Its obviously your good planning that has got you through so many countries and over 17000kms. Great photos and hope you enjoyed your ice cream :)

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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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