Blah, blah, blah…


Good morning folks

I trust this finds you in finest fettle and that your weekend was more than splendid!

Here is the weekly round-up of nonsensical, inexplicable and illogical happenings from Lima.

This week, I shall try not to moan about my neighbours (like the guy who has moved in with a huge Alsatian, which lives on a 3′x2′ balcony and keeps the neighbourhood from getting any beauty kip, but I digress, he is obviously a great bloke!)
Instead, I will focus on the main attraction of the week, a talk to a sell-out crowd of confused punters, who are now hopefully a bit wiser about some very, very important things…

The Great British Spirit of Adventure!

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As part of my job I give a number of “Cultural presentations”, I am given a list of possible topics and I choose two which I can adapt/exploit. My first talk was about British sports (gravy wrestling, cheese rolling, Cumberland Wrestling, Rugby League and Bog Snorkelling). This time it was all about “The Great British Spirit of Adventure” and the venue was the Los Jardines centre. The initial potential problem was the date; the 18th of October the day of “Señor de los Milagros” (The Lord of miracles)…

Every year in October, hundreds of thousands of devotees from all races and economic backgrounds participate in a religious procession honouring the image through the streets of Lima. Its name originated in the 18th century during an earthquake, which destroyed most of the city leaving only that mural standing. This is considered a miraculous occurrence by many living there.

Resultado de imagen para senor de los milagros lima

Anyway, my rambling speech wasn’t connected in any way, but my route there was as it went straight through the centre of Lima, which is the stage of one of the biggest processions in the World and the streets were about to be closed, so it was like being chased by an invisible force through town. If we got caught, we were basically stuffed! Allowing 2hrs to do 10 miles was prudent, but a wise move and getting there was a tad easier than getting back…

Anyroad, I wanted it to be a visual “Son et lumiere specacle” (about all I remember from Triclolore and 5 years of French!) So, for the sake of realia, I put up a tent on stage resplendent with sleeping bag, stove and other camping gubbins. On top of this I was wearing an ancient pair of big boots, climbing harness/hardware, two duvet jackets, helmet and balaclava! (It was a hot day too).

So, punters (who had had the pre-event images of this

were undoubtedly left confused as to just what they had signed up for! Tower Bridge was not in my slides…

Anyroad, they got something along the lines of this      

Amazon (walking the full length by Ed Stafford)


Branson (Richard, linked to my dreams of being an astronaut)


Chris Bonnington (who I first met when our minibus broke down in winter at the foot of Honister Pass, I was 13 years old and when he wound down his car window and asked if we wanted any help, we were all so starstruck, none of us spoke, it was a bit like seeing Pele, Messi, Ronaldo and Cantona pull up in an old Granada!)B3.jpg


Drake (Francis, a pirate, among other things).


Ed (March – The King of Superclunk!)

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Francis (Chichester – If at first you don’t succeed…)


Great Gable (my first ever mountain when I was about 8 years old with my old mate Chris E and his granddad).


Houlding (Leo, Cumbrian superstar)


Irving (and Mallory, did they get their first?)

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Johnny (Me, link to MONGOL RALLY VIDEO)

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Kendal Mint Cake (one of two things the auld grey town is famous for, as well as Katherine Parr, last surviving wife of Henry VIII, who lived in Kendal Castle. Katherine Parr – son of Parr = Parsons, just saying, could be…)Resultado de imagen para kendal mint cake caffeine


Long (Way Round. Although they had a support crew and an infinite budget, they still did it and BMW are happy about that, at the expense of KTM…)


Mark (Beaumont. RTW pushbike record holder-twice, and Alaska to Argentina climbing Denali and Aconcagua, en route!)


Nathan (Millward. Sydney to Blighty on a CT110 Postie Bike, on teh back of 2 days planning!)

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Old (Man of Hoy. Back to Chris Bonnington, first ascent and BBC reality show/live climb in 1960, plus climbing it again for his 80th birthday!)

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Price (Lois. Legendary motorcyclist and writer, wife of AV).

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Resultado de imagen para queen bohemian rhapsody

Ranulph (Fiennes. The World’s greatest living explorer).


Scott (of the Antarctic, a woeful tale of bravery and suffering).scott 4.jpg


Turner Twins (identical twins, tenuously linked to a guinea pig, a local delicacy).


Unicycle (Ed Pratt, who unicycled around the World and who never got enough credit for what is a mental achievement!)

Resultado de imagen para ed pratt unicycle

Vince (Austin. The godfather of Clunk Travel/adventure).


Walter (Raleigh, explorer, bounder, player and pirate. What a guy and what an end. His wife was given his severed head which she carried around in a silk bag for 29 years until she died, then their son, Carew, carried it around for another 19 years until he died and eventually it was returned to Raleigh’s body in his grave).

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X (marks the spot, an interlude into “Geocaching”, couldn’t link my rambling to Xylophones, X-rays nor Xanadu).Resultado de imagen para xanadu


Y (You, turning on the audience to get off their backsides and try something new/daring/different/dramatic/unusual….)


Z (Zzzzzz, by which time most were asleep. Snooze and you lose!)


277 powerpoint slides/one hour later and I was done. Not sure i’ll be getting asked back, but I reckon they all learnt something new :-)

(Getting back to work in time was an epic 2-hour battle through the heaviest Lima trafico I have ever experienced. As the city centre was now closed, diverted traffic was everywhere and we sat stationery for 45mins on one back street in San Martin de Porres. El Señor de los Milagros looked down on us and somehow I got to work just in time. 2hrs to do 10 miles, I ask yer!

A defining run?

4 weeks until the El Misti Race and I am starting to brick it!

Monday to Friday was pavement plodding, but Saturday was the straw that almost broke this donkey’s back…

I was up and out pre-dawn and bussed it to the far side of the La Molina cerros. 3000ft of climbing in the first 2 miles was a wake-up and when I suddenly popped out of the clouds, the lack of sleep was all worthwhile. A loose plan to run until I dropped was the plan and when I was ready to drop, I dragged my sorry ar$e up one more climb, clocking up 8600ft of vertical stuff in about 15 miles, the last two hours were a slog in the Land of Bonk (not sexually related, talking about the sorry state you are in when you use up all your glycogen power and are running on empty) and I got burnt to a crisp, as spring finally seems to have showed up, along with a misleading-at-the-time breeze. I went for a swim on Sunday (first swim in about 14 years, was suffering after 1 length, was never a strength of mine) and a mate said I looked like an action man with the wrong arms put back on. Sexy vest tan, not!) It’s not big and it’s definitely not clever.

So, I have realised a man cannot run on just gels alone and there is a limit to how many bananas I can lug around, so I have to hatch a plan.

A bit of altitude training will be done in 2 weeks ‘oop north in the lofty Andean tops of Yungay :-)

My local saviour, Maro, saw me last week and will be seeing me this week. Only with her magic and a minor miracle will I get up/down El Misti 4 weeks today…Image may contain: sky, cloud, mountain, nature and outdoor

Keep yer fingers crossed!!!

On Wednesday morning around 9:30am, will tell you why next week!


Dubious reading material?

After finishing the sorry tale of Terry Newton “Coming Clean”, I’ve moved on to the revealing story of Tyler Hamilton and blowing the whistle on Lance Armstrong. From HgH to EPO…Resultado de imagen para epo ciclismo

As a lad I always wanted to be a pilot (essentially leading on to be an astronaut), then a deep sea fisherman and more recently (up to about 2003) a Physio/Sports Therapist. I studied Physiology, Sports Massage and part of the Sports Therapy course, but couldn’t finish, falling short of qualifying. The human body fascinates me and in a bizarre way, so do books like “The Secret Race”. I used to be one of Armstrong’s biggest fans, but…Resultado de imagen para the secret race book

Don’t worry, I can’t afford/won’t be procuring any EPO to get me up Misti, but after about 6hrs climbing may be wishing I had done.

Raiders round-up.

Two groundbreaking PNG signings this week!

Stargroth Armean and Wartovo Puara are coming to the mighty Shipbuilders.Image may contain: one or more people and text

Image may contain: 1 person, smilingMeanwhile, prop Joe Bullock moves on to Wigan to become a Pie Eater and hopefully put a bit of bra$$ in the Raiders bank account!

And finally…

On a PNG theme, never, ever underestimate the power of the Underdog!Resultado de imagen para png highlands vs australia rl

The Australian national RL side, who were a very handy unit, ie, the best in the World, at the time, went to play a “friendly” against the PNG Highlands side in 1991.

Basically a national side Vs. a pub team!

However, the Highlands side “put it up them” as they say.

Watch THIS!!!

That’s all for now folks.
Have a superb week :-)

Johnny, Lina and the Nipper

p.s. Rounded off the week with a great day out/escape from the city to the hills of Chosica with some close friends. The Nipper got to ride a new horse, but I failed on the facepainting/pizza/ice cream fronts!


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