Dakar!!!

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Good morning folks
Welcome to the first blog of 2018.
Hope you had a superb festive season!

Here is a wrap-up of the first week of our third year in Limalandia

Dakar

Peru has waited five years for the Dakar rally to return and I’ve waited all my life to see it!

Final

If you asked anybody about it in the week leading up to the off, you’d be surprised at the reactions:

- It destroys the cultural/archaeological sites.
– Peru isn’t ready for it.
– It creates more traffic (is that physically possible?)

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Formerly the Paris-Dakar (Senegal) rally, which was forced to abandon the race in 2008 due to security threats in Mauritania and since 2009 it has been held in South America.
In 2013 serious route mistakes were made (more details HERE), this turned a lot of the public off the event, but it still brings a lot of people (and money) in to the country, which allegedly has to pay $5 million to hold it. Whether this is clawed back is another matter!

Anyway, fast forward to 2018 and how I messed up bigtime…

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Information was sketchy and from what I read, (I thought) there was a kind of prologue on Saturday and the start on Sunday. Getting the Nipper ready and out of the house is never a 2 minute job, we sprinted the 2 miles to the Dakar village drawn ever closer by pounding music and throngs of people but by the time we got there we’d missed the bikes :-(

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I’m not a massive fan of the banana splits buggies nor quads, but each to their own and we saw plenty of monster trucks, with blaring horns, they should fit into the Lima traffic nicely!

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The main man I’ll be following is Lyndon Poskitt, we saw him give a presentation at Squire’s in Sherburn and it opened my eyes completely! He rode his first Dakar as a Privateer, self-financed. From there he has ridden round the World on his RACES TO PLACES project, well worth checking out if you like bikes and travel. This lad seriously knows his onions!

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Ihad got it all wrong about the prologue, Saturday was the start!
However, I will be following the race closely as it snakes through the dunes of Peru, the altiplano of Bolivia and down to the finish line in Cordoba, Argentina…

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Screw loose?

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Running in 2018 started relatively well and I was feeling buoyantly optimistic about the season ahead, always a mistake…

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There is a famous rock climb in the Peak District called “Valkyrie” which has a hold which you need to reach out into a blind void for a hold. Crossing the road here is similar!
On my short trek to work I have to cross 5 busy roads; look both ways (even on a one-way street) and leg it. Two crossings are completely blind, you have to step out into the road to see if anything is coming. My mate Julian coined the perfect phrase “The Lima two-step” which is precisely what punters do here (step out, then look, or don’t look. The Green Cross Code man would have a heart attack). Anyway, cutting a long dull story short, I stepped out into the road (joining Javier Prado and Evitamiento, which clown puts a crossing on the slip road between two of the busiest roads in the city!) On the inside of a blind bend, a ratty Chinese delivery bike came screaming round the corner and I had to stamp on my left foot to pull myself back, to avoid certain death!

My left ankle contains a metal plate and 6 screws, inserted in 1991 after some tippling tomfoolery on the isle of Tenereeffeeee. In 26 years it has never given me any bother at all, but it has been giving me no end of grief since last Friday, grinding my running to a halt and keeping me awake at night.

I went to see my physio, Super Maro, who told me to get it x-rayed ASAP, which I am doing tomorrow morning.

If one of the screws has come loose, it will show on the x-ray. If not, I’ll be ecstatic, but it is still knackered and a mystery. Watch this space…

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My 2018 campaign has been streamlined as it is, providing I get fit again I may just aim for the UT69 (July).It is a gem of a race and this VIDEO by my mate, Luke Blezard (co-organiser of the UT69) sums up perfectly why I don’t want to miss it!!!

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3 years in Peru!

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On the 2nd of January 2015 we left wintry Tadcaster in a flurry of packing and before we knew it were in the thick of traffic on Av. Elmer Faucett and back in Lima with a thousand duffel bags!

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A brave/foolhardy move with a 9mth old bairn…

3 years on and we are all still alive, relatively sane and all still together!

There have been countless challenges on the way, but we somehow get through them all with blind faith and luck. I’ve been lucky to land a great job and make some brilliant mates.
Needless to say however, the three of us are very excited about a Blighty trip in August!

Adios Camacho :-(

I did my last shift at Camacho on Friday, this is the diddy centre where I’ve worked for most of the last 3 years. It is a beautiful old house, which was made into an 8-room centre. Sadly, it is next to a multi-storey monster which is the competition (I can’t say their actual name, but if you rearrange the letters it spells PANIC). In a nutshell, progress dictates that we need to grow, so we’re moving up the road one mile to an all-girl’s university, whilst Camacho is demolished and rebuilt over 18mths. Let’s see how it goes…

A week is a long time in politics…

No (more) major scandals this week, but the political scene must resemble the aftermath of a swinger’s party, where everybody is wondering just what happened.

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Things are not good, they are bad, really bad and I really don’t know how things can improve.
I just hope they do…

Star Wars!

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After avoiding all trailers, reviews and spoliers, I have finally seen the latest Star Wars, at last.

Apart from having to tell a teenager to turn off his phone off (Victor Meldrew), I don’t pay a tenner for two tickets for a film I’ve waited two years to see, to be distracted by a youth’s superbright phone, he got the message!

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I won’t say too much in case you still haven’t seen it, but it was very, very, VERY good!

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Happy Anniversary

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On the 24th June 2004 I met a lass called Lina, ever so briefly, we chatted, but after she realised that I was just using the 10 words of Spanish I knew in varying orders of rotation, the conversation ran dry.

I travelled round the World, but ended up back in Lima and by sheer chance, met her again, and started courting exactly a year to the day. 5 weeks later, I proposed and she said “Si”…

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So, after an untold amount of red tape and hoop jumping, 12 years ago today we got hitched.
The biggest mystery is just how she has put up with me, my moodswings, my caffeine dependence and all my harebrained quirks and daft ideas for all this time.

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I am just glad that she has :-)

And finally…

For all the 12 million horn honkers in Lima, this video is for you!

HONK HONK!!!

Have an outstandingly awesome week.

Cheers
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

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