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BACK TO BEFORE

Update Sunday 23rd.  Total to date: 21,809km for 523 road days. Average per day = 41.7km
 
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48km today, Sunday. Felt strong all day
Saturday 51km. That was run in two stages…  Very am! 29km  pm 22km
Tomorrow Monday I will run the about 55km to Cordoba city.
SO BEFORE YOU READ ANYMORE PLEASE PRESS THIS LINK > HERE   < AND PLAY IN ANOTHER WINDOW AS YOU READ ON.

If you have never clicked on any of my suggested song links please, please open this one and have a tissue ready as I try to make up to Nirvana, my trusty Chariot Carriers Cougar 1 jogging stroller in which I will carry my baggage, food and water.

At the end of September last year I sent her on from Southern Mexico to Buenos Aires for safety reasons preferring to run Central America and the Andes with just a backpack.

 

You can hear her singing back to me as we are both clowns of the world, well as the song goes!

 

Back on the road, back at last, back to before….

” But wait Tony before you start chargin’  down the road, before you run from km 711 are you not forgetting something!? ”

“What who said that?”

“It’s me, Tony, It’s Nirvana and I am so broken-hearted that you dumped me in southern Mexico and all because I drank one too many tequilas and looked funny at a cactus and what did you do??

” What? ”

“You sent me onto Buenos Aires to last tango with John Boyle and a Mayo man too!”

” Ah Nirvy why don’t you give my head a rest! So you tracked me down here and now we are on our way to Ushuaia! ”

” Off You go Tony! Off on your own! “   :)

” What I cant do that, I need you to carry my great new tent I got from Great Outdoors, It’s so tall it can even get your big head in at night! ”

” What’s it called? ”
“ Its a Vango 250 Alpha

“I also need you to carry more water.”

” So how come you didn’t need me after Mexico? ”

” Well the roads were too tight, the bends I mean and then there was the Andes, all 7,000km of those massive mountains where it was difficult enough for me to push myself without pushing your big red,grey and white A** over as well! ”

” Well you got to beg me! ”

 

Take me back, Take me back to before!

” I know how to get you running faster Tony! ”

” Spare me, Spare my poor ears, ok lets have it! ”

“You know the way a donkey chases a carrot on a stick and never gets it? Well how about you chase my front wheel as you push me? ”

” You think I’m a donkey! ”

” Donkey Tony! Donkey Tony, Lets run Donkey! ”

” You know it took me an hour to find this km 711 as the bus came back into town a different way to where I left off before my timeout. I could have left from the bus station I guess as that was a mutual point I had been to before but, it just didn’t seem right as this was my declared start finish location, so I slugged you around town and back and forward down route 38 till I found it! ”

 

So I ran out of J.B. Alberdi noting the temperature to be 42c.

I got whacked with a 42c restart!

Yes it’s hot, darn hot! It had been a late afternoon start and I did well to reach El Concha just 22km away. I had done little or no running in the last month, except for my running club MSB annual Glen trophy 10km handicap, my speed long since departed these legs, enough said.

At the junction to Taco I spotted a nice restaurant and thinking it would also be a nice camping spot too I decided to stop for a meal.

Sure enough, the owner was a friendly sort. I had a huge milanesa dinner with more than enough left over for breakfast.

I could tell when I showed my Spanish business card to the owner before asking if I could camp around the side that it wouldn’t be a problem. In fact he even sent out his waiter, a pleasant lad called David to help me put the tent up.

As mentioned this tent has a high roof,so Nirvana rolled in smoothly.

The very next day and back in the swing of things with a 45km day. Just before the Santiago province line I had that much dreamt of moment; looking ahead and not a mountain in sight,

Not a mountain in sight.. The end of the Andes

I may as well be in Nebraska, and then when I looked behind the mountains were all behind me :)

The Andes defeated.

Adios Los Andes! :)

Well I was more or less out of them when I ran into Jujuy, as much of the previous few days were descending.   But the mountains were always looming to my left, right or rear as I ran through that northern Argentine region. It can take several hundred kilometres to see the back of a large mountain range like the Andes. It would be another couple of days before this rear view faded away.

It’s still hot, not sure what the temperature is, around 35c. I am taking lots and lots of  High5  Zero Xtreme electrolytes. Berry is my favourite flavour. I no longer have a need for sodas as this drink mix is even tastier as well as keeping me well hydrated.

I stopped at a finca or small ranch for water and was invited in to rest a while by the owners wife Maria. Her husband had a horse riding accident breaking his ankle in a stirrup. He will be out of work for about four months. On the way in I was told I was lucky as the dogs are ‘ Malo Peros ’ or Bad Dogs.

After 51km that day I had to be content with sleeping behind a hedge at the side of the road. I didnt bother with the tent as the nights are always dry this time of year. The distances between lodgings are growing and growing.

More good days, a 47km, 59 and 53 were to follow due to a couple of overcast days and one tough hot slogger of a day.  Am getting back into the swing of things but it’s still tough. I am a bit overheated as I could be wearing lighter clothing, but I need something rugged under my singlet to carry my passport in. I believe the best way to keep a passport safe is a stitched in pocket with the passport in a zip-loc bag; not the press together type but the zipper one. My passport never leaves my body, only for a shower or when locked in my hotel room. Hotels,  yes they are distant memories!

I also met Clayton a South African cyclist spending a few months cycling around northern Argentina. He intends to cycle up as far as Colombia.

Clayton is an avid birdwatcher, me too here in Argentina :)

I have met many cyclists who combine their hobbies with a cycle besides Clayton I have met artists, mountain climbers with ropes and all.

A great way to travel, combine your hobby.

Clayton gave me the low-down on my upcoming route from Recreo to Quilino which as he said caught him by surprise as he drank an incredible amount of water and was near to suffering from heat stroke. It’s 120km, hot, dry with just about 3 or 4 places to water up. Often water wells are dried up on ranches as I was to find in one of the places he mentioned. Still best to prepare.

Just before Frias I found a small roadside eatery. It was only 5km to Frias but why wait, I had the hottest meal I can ever remember having, yes I was thinking of all those cold Peruvian and Bolivian meals as I was waiting for my meat and rice stew to cool. I had a very nice chat with some people there and was embarrassed when a man insisted on paying for my lunch!

That night I stopped at a farm with a restaurant attached and had another wonderful pasta dinner. After dinner I drank mate, a herbal tea which is drank from a mate bowl via a bombilla.The mate tea is then topped up with hot water from a kettle or thermos. The mate is passed around.

Drinking mate tea

They allowed me to camp at the back of the restaurant.

For the dry spell ahead, I  stocked up earlier than necessary buying more food than necessary, you know me.

I did that in a nice friendly village called San Antonio.

The lady in the store went to great trouble by drawing out a detailed map of my route to Cordoba, telling me my map was useless! So there are many water spots it seems that Clayton didn’t find. Do I really need all this food I thought as I looked at all the stuff I had just paid for. About 8 cans, pasta and lots of biscuits and crackers. I am sure I don’t need this much but hadn’t the heart to put them back on the shelf after the trouble this lady went to!

Thats what I call a map!

These women are assertive, once again I reflect back to Bolivia and Peru. She gave me a bottle of soda and a 1ltr carton of choc milk to pack onto a struggling Nirvana!

The wonderful ladies in San Antonios supermarket added to my supplies for the dry area.

That night I stopped in Recreo where the dry spell begins. I got a delicious pizza in Rossa restaurant and when I tell the owner what I am about my two teas are on the house! I stayed in an hotel and was lucky to get it as the first six I tried were all full.. Construction workers on projects pose me problems like this sometimes. I felt I needed this night to freshen up and prepare for the dry road ahead.

Besides I don’t want to break any shower records, an 8 day  non shower record I set in a barren area of Mexico!

 

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4 Responses to “BACK TO BEFORE”

  1. Fergus Says:

    Good Man tony, The Andes defeated is a monumental achievemant on its own. And back on the road with Nirvana again – yes, yes yes. Great story and well documented. Well done and long may it continue.

  2. Clayton Burne Says:

    Hi Tony,

    It was such a pleasure to meet you during the week, please excuse my ignorance – I had no idea I was in the presence of such a phenomenal athlete! In the three months that I have been on the road, you are the first athlete that I have cross paths with – I have not see another tour cyclist or runner to speak of. I am not sure if you receive emails or updates particularly frequently, but please find below as much information as I wrote down/can accurately remember about the sections I have covered between Cordoba and Frias.

    I am assuming that you must be past Frias by now, perhaps near to Quiros.

    From Quiros south to San Antonio is 17km. On the left hand side of the road is an ACA hotel and petrol station. There is a nice shaded area with benches and tables. The petrol station has decent cold drinks available (Powerade is $8 pesos), but not much in the way of food. I did not go into the town which is to the right.

    From San Antonio to Recreo is about 40km. I recall there being a few farm houses near the road – though most had rather large dogs! I don’t recall much in the way of likely shelters, but I wasn’t looking specifically.
    In Recreo itself, there is accommodation available, but not on the main road. As you turn left into the town, you should peel off to the right onto Juan Domingo Peron and turn right onto Sarmiento. I stayed at Hotel Tula but it was damn expensive for very little. There are two other hosterias on this road before Hotel Tula. There is free wireless at a roadside restaurant on Belgrano – i do not recall the name of the place, but it was the only restaurant with white chairs and tables outside, there is a very cheap bakery next to it.

    From Recreo to Lucio V Mansilla is about 94km and it is pretty barren salt pans. I never made it that far, I started suffering from heatstroke but luckily found some good shelter. I did not see any human inhabitants for most of this sector – there simply isn’t anywhere to live here it is that hostile. The salt pans ease up a bit approximately

    South of Recreo, approximately 31km’s is the turn off for Ruta 60. About 500m beyond this is a large abandoned Petrol station on the left – it is huge, you wont miss it. It is not pretty – most of the building interiors are covered in dog/human crap and the ceiling is filled with bats. There are also some wild dogs roaming about – but they never gave me any hassle. I bedded down there for the night and was able to get water (a free 1.5lt bottle straight out of the fridge even) from the police checkpoint a further 500m away.

    About 10km’s south of this, the salt pans ease up. There is a small village called San Carlos about 4km’s off the road to the left. I never went there, so do not know the status of the village, but it looks tiny. It is another 28km or so to Lucio V Mansilla. There is at least one restaurant on the right hand side, just after the police checkpoint. Food here is good and large.

    From Lucio V Mansilla it is 25km to San Jose de Las Salinas. The village of San Jose de Salinas sit about 3km to the right of the road. There is nothing in the way of accommodation here. I do not recall there being any shops on the junction, but there was a farm building/house – it did not seem as though it was operational, but I did not inspect it closely. If you do go into San Jose de Las Salinas – you will find the central road of the village – it is bricked, the only non-dort road there. About half way down to the left is a shop. Otherwise there are a few shops operating out of houses.

    From San Jose de Las Salinas it is 26km to Quilino – I did not cycle this section though – I went off road and cycled a back road, longer and very sandy, of no point to you or anyone for that matter – very silly idea of mine.
    Quilino probably has accommodation, but I did not look. Certainly plenty of shops and food available.

    From Quilino to Dean Funes is about 29km’s. I recall that there were a number of small farm houses near the road on this route. Dean Funes itself has a few places to stay but little in the way of decent food. I stayed for 2 nights there and battled to find anything decent during the evenings. The only accommodation I could find was the Dean Funes Apart Hotel ($160 pesos a night with breakfast). It is located on Buenos Aires Avenue, number 444.

    From Dean Funes to Jesus Maria is about 75km’s. The first part runs along Ruta 60, no different to the road you would have already covered. When it joins Ruta 9 it is a horrendously busy road – I stopped counting trucks when they were passing me every 30 seconds or less. As I recall, there are a number of small villages dotted along Ruta 60 – just before Avellaneda is a small truckers restaurant. Doesn’t look like much and is served by a rather rotund elderly lady – but the sandwiches are huge and very tasty (quite possibly why she is that large!). Ruta 9 besides being much busier is about the same – small villages every 10-20km’s. I passed through Jesus Maria and stayed in Colonia Caroya. The only hotel there was seriously expensive ($190 a night), but served by a chef who speaks German and some English. His food is very good too. This would take you slightly off track and I wouldn’t suggest detouring down this way. Jesus Maria is bigger and probably has more accommodation and food options in any case. I only went through there to get away from the trucks for a while.

    From Jesus Maria to Cordoba is just on 53km’s. It is more of the same – farms and small villages almost until the very edge of Cordoba itself. Once you reach the outskirt of Cordoba, it is a good 10km’s tp the city centre assuming you continue straight down Ruta 9. I stayed at a very decent hostel in the centre of town called Hostel Babilonia, it is located fairly centrally at Gral. Simon Bolívar 462 ($50 pesos a night with breakfast and very good WiFi).

    Unfortunately, that is probably as far as I can offer in terms of information. I came from Corrientes in the east rather than the south. I hope this make it to you in time to be of any use.

    I wish you the best Tony and shall be keeping a close eye on how you get along. I feel very privileged to have met you and already you have been an inspiration to my cycling. I had only planned on cycling about 70km’s today, but ended up in La Cocha, all of 140km’s instead.

    Stay safe

    Clayton Burne

    Author & Topic Editor for the Encyclopedia of Earth http://www.eoearth.org

    Twitching Solo solomaverick.blogspot.com

  3. theworldjog Says:

    Wow Clayton That was some comment and advice! As you can see I am now in Dean Funes having breakfast in YPF gas station which has wifi. I ran here during the night from Quilino. You are right about the trucks, more trucks here than in the USA or Colombia and thats a lot. Thanks for the great advice and its such a pity we didnt take photos as yours would be on my blog. Happy travels and watch the heat stroke! I got through that section ok with a 3 day slog, I think we met and you had your problemn on an exceptionally hot day!
    Best wishes, Tony

  4. Ann Says:

    Her haw hee haw, glad you and nirvana made up and she’s well stocked. Great read and fair play to Clayton for all the advice. Take care Ann :)

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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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