Back to reality…


Good morning folks

I trust this finds you in mighty fine form and that your weekend redefined the word “absolutelysplendid¬®.

Here is the weekly rambling nonsense that I call the Monday morning blog…

Back to reality!

Or back down to Earth with an almighty clout!

The day after we got back from Blighty I was straight into rehearsals for the recent “Cuentamelo” tour. Caffeine staved off jetlag and despite not knowing what day it was for about a week, it all came off nicely!


Followed by a BIG night out with the lads, up until last weekend everything was on a high.


Now the honeymoon is over and it’s back to normal, it’s been a crash of a comedown.
Have found it superhard to get giddy or motivated about anything this last week.
Everything has been a chore/bind/ballache to be honest and I have not been a good chap to be around. I leave my black cloud outside the gate at work, as it’s not fair to vent my vexation on students/colleagues, but I’ve had a few minor run-ins with folk in the street, with my patience/toleration for stupid people at minus levels and unfortunately I have met quite a few this week!


I sometimes wonder whether I place too much value on finding happiness (here), when it is much, much easier and takes infinitely less effort to be an scowling, angry, radgey bloke!


I think I just need a weekend away in yonder mountains and I’ll be fine…


Well, realistically not these mountains, but any mountains will do :-)

Things that go bump in the night…

(Advance apologies, noise rant, I promised not to, but I must…)

If you never actually slept at all in Lima, ever, you still wouldn’t be the first up nor last to bed!
I may be unlucky in my allocation of neighbours, or maybe not?


Our first neighbour here was the ball bearing nightcrawler fiend.
Every night, around 2am there would be a tumult of slammed doors and then what sounded like a big box of marbles being dropped from a great height, followed by the sound of a heavy wardrobe being moved.


The last neighbours need no introduction, I won’t undo the expensive counselling by going back into that (bloody restaurant band/table draggers!)

Noise _1

This time it is different, but still noisy!

Due to the jerrybuilt construction of the building, any noise apparently from above, could actually be above, below or to the side.


Apart from “Shouting Jose” below (he is stone deaf, so he can’t help it, but he doesn’t actually seem to ever sleep!) The main aural peril is the fanatic erratic above (?) who loves nothing better than to slide the entire collection of “muebles” all day and all night every day every night…


Is there any real need to do this?
The only time I even dream of it is when I move house (which admittedly is every 5mins, but that’s not the point!


Apart from the racket, it must be proper hard graft doing this every single day.


But, like happiness, maybe I value the sound of P&Q too much, in a place where I’ll never ever find it, even if i go deaf myself!


Just my luck when Nobby Solano moved in next door!

No noise rants next week, my promise!


The greatest book ever written?



Austin Vince is a man I met a few years back who changed my life and way of thinking.
This book is unique in its subject matter and stye of writing, in that each passage is written by one of 7 men, as they ride their DR350s around the World, pre-Long Way Round, no backing/support, on their own, with their own bra$$, wits and courage!


It is a truly brilliant read, if you can find a copy, beg/borrow/steal it now :-)

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Nippers day out!

Saturday was the big day out and given the choice, the Nipper chose the usual:

Parque de la Amistad, Facepainting, Pizza, feed crusts to ducks, feed animals in “Microfarm”, ride horse, ice cream, go home!

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We tagged the ice cream on to the pizza (not literally), but bar that the order of events was followed to the letter.


When we got home, the bairn gave me a new hairstyle/makeover, I had to hide the scissors…


p.s. I do feel guilty about this! The Nipper is very, very honest and when I asked who had done this to the two dollies, she said it was her. More of a Phoenix Nights style facepainting :-/

Poles apart!


Next week…


Training has been a mixed bag this week. Mixing school run with a run home but motivation levels have been lower than a dead-dingo’s-ding-a-ling.

El Misti won’t climb itself though and there are only 9 weeks to go :-/


I did have a midweek visit to my Physio/magician, SuperMaro who is the one person here who keeps my running going, I owe the lady a debt I can never repay…

So, despite a late night Friday, the 4:45am Saturday alarm wasn’t snoozed and I was away to the “cerros” by 6am. A cool and murky Lima pre-dawn turned into a cool and murky morning. I sidestepped the wild dogs of Pamplona Alta II, but my Hai Karate aftershave must have caught the wind as I skirted round the other side of the shantytown (where I never really see any people, just wild dogs, maybe they’e eaten all the inhabitants!)

A few badly aimed rocks made them lose interest and although I wasn’t going well, it is always good to be up in the hills for some pondering time.

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As last week, just as I was toiling up the really steep hill past the Serenazgo watchtower, the sky started doing strange things to the light and suddenly I popped out into another world.

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Last week I ran a hilly 10 miles and felt ace. This week my wheels had well and truly fallen off by that point and I was going backwards having scoffed all my food and drink to fend off “the bonk”, which came and stayed right ’til the end.


At the top of the last big climb, I could see the “Huachiman” wasn’t in his guard tower (they can get a bit tetchy) but I hadn’t bargained for the HUGE dog (off his lead) which went berserk as I crawled over the horizon! The only rocks were tiny pebbles in the sand, but luckily it was only guarding a 20 metre radius, so I escaped a mauling and hobbled down the long ridge back down to the road, the bus and home.


Hope there are no dogs on the top of El Misti!



Next week…

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Raiders round-up :-)



A win for the mighty Shipbuilders at the last home game of the season thereby securing Championship status next season (i,e. Avoiding the relegation drop!)

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34:18 against Swinton Lions was potentially the result of the season :-)


Two games to go, onwards and upwards!!!


(Pics courtesy of Raiders FB page).


And finally: “The Hole in the Wall Gang…

I used to travel to Bolivia quite a bit, purely as a way of renewing my Visa before I got my residence here. I like Bolivia, it is like the Wild West. Nothing really works well, there are constant roadblocks and the food is not much cop, but for adventure and mayhem, it is a top spot!


(Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid spoiler – If you have somehow never seen this film, don’t read on).



One of my top 10 films has to be “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.
A classic of classics.
I did a bit of research and discovered that if I took a flight to La Paz then a l-o-n-g bus down south, almost to the Argentine border, to Tarija and then Tupiza, a mere 8hr round trip in a 4×4 would get to San Vicente the last resting place Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Longabough; Butch and the Kid.

(More recent research possibly shows that the pair may not be the pair buried in an unmarked grave and that they escaped and got back to the US of A, but I prefer to think it was worth the homage trip, despite almost dying myself of a nasty bout of dysentry, which started a day before my 3 day epic trip back to Lima, where I was sicker than a sick parrot for 3 weeks!)

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I may have mentioned my little Arequipa dream!


(Not that Arequipa!)

I am pinning all of my short, medium and long-term hopes on a move there next year.
“I just don’t want to get there and find out it stinks!”


This VIDEO is one of the best scenes in a film, ever!

That’s all for now folks.

Have a fantastic week.
Hasta la proxima…

Johnny, Lina and the Nipper



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