Good morning folks

I trust you had a magnificent weekend.
Here is the weekly Lima wrap-up/roll-up/round-up/10p-each-way-accumulator!

A bit more thrown together than usual this week, just got back in late (10pm) from yonder montañas.



We went up to Ancash, the “department” (county/state) which holds all the BIG Andean mountains, last July for a 5-day-trip, which apart from being sick-as-a-sickly-dog on a coach trip, on my birthday (things you do at 45), was a cracking trip. I managed to lose, then find, then lose again the chip with all our pics on, hopefully it will appear one day.

The original plan for this weekend was to travel to Arequipa, to see how far on building work is with the new branch, with my own eyes, but I had forgotten about some business on Friday afternoon, so it would have meant a very late flight and a shortened weekend, and for what it was going to cost suddenly became not worth it :-(
So, we started looking closer to home.

Anyroad, a chap at our digs in Huaraz had scribbled down some potential destinations closer to Lima, doable in a weekend. On the list was a place called “Churin”, I knew nothing about it and had never heard of it, so that is where we went!

“World famous” hot springs and “trucha” (trout) being the main (only) attractions I could find in advance.

More details of the World’s hottest and highest bath next week…

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2 weeks to go…

And my legs feel like they are of a heavier than lead-filled-sand.
If I was a machine, I would have warning lights flashing, sirens/bells/hooters sounding and engineers scratching their heads (or hiding in their workshop, pretending not to hear the phone!)

Knee, hamstrings, calf, ankle, foot, hip, quads have all been taking turns at giving me pain and making me limp in a strange fashion, but I am still moving, of a fashion.

So, my supersaviour and incredibly patient Physio, Maro, has been working miracles on my legs.

I am getting the miles (I should say KMs) in, but it has been plodding, the speed is just not there and I need a bit of pace along the way if I want to get a decent time in. I used to be able to “tell” what pace I was moving at, instinctively, but I seem to have lost this ability.

I have run on-&-off since I was about 11 years old, with a few blips/falls/diversions.
I took a break when the bairn arrived but decided to run the 2015 marathon.


The “Czech Locomotive” Zatopek used to famously grind down his rivals with insane chages of pace, a style that was likened to ” a man who has just been stabbed in the heart”; “…as if there was a scorpion in each shoe”;  “…like a man wrestling with an octopus on a conveyor belt”.

I can match him for style, but the only change of pace is from slow to stop!

I am puzzled at how I have lost any pace that I had, but apart from a few months of “proper” training last (UK) summer, the last decade has all been plodding and climbing, neither of which will sharpen speed, so that is the answer. I need to get my skates (spikes) on!

My racing weight is the lowest it has been in 25 years, mainly down to having had bad guts for the last 4 years! (This will not necessarily make me any faster either).

A marathon is not about speed (unless you are looking to win it, which I am not), it’s all about pace and it is a fine line between keeping sane and losing it, as recently/always training has varied between brief moments of hope and sketchy.


Time will tell…

(I do intend to get my sorry ar$e back into the hills when this road sojourn is over!)

“De nada!”

Next week.

“I’m not scared!”

The ubiquitous combi is one of the main transport veins of the city. One every main street, you hear a “cobrador” hanging out of the sliding door squawking the names of destinations en-route, trying to persuade/convince/cajole any punters to go that way.
Pros: Cheap (fares range from 50 centavos (11 of the Queen’s pennies) to around 3 soles (67p) for a l-o-n-g ride, bring your own cushion!
Cons: Uncomfortable, dangerous, crowded, unsafe, terrible music (unless you like pure bass reggaeton or same-old-same-old-salsa), (generally) surly (at best) service, sweaty as a glassblower’s backside in summer.


I take between 4-8 of these little tinkers per day. It is a 2-3 combi ride each way to work. One big problem is that I am too tall for combis. They are diddy minivans designed to carry 8 punters in relative comfort, but the original seats have been ripped out and replaced with half a dozen more.
(For me, at 6’4″ when I stand up straight, there are only about 4 places I can physically sit unless I want to eat my kneecaps!)

The other problem is the driver! It must be a hellish job, plying long routes across the city day-in-day-out, through the limping junkyard that is Lima traffic chaos, but they are transporting members of the public and should stick to the rules of the road…

Recklessness is redefined at nighttime, I don’t know what switch is flicked upstairs in the “chofer’s” head, but nightfall brings another element to the competitiveness of these crazed cowboy clowns. I just stick my headphones on and keep my fingers crossed that I´ll get home, but on Wednesday night a young lass confronted the driver and told him what she thought of his driving, which was way worse than the usual diabolical standard.

His retort “If you’re scared, get out!”
She replied that she wasn’t scared, just that he was driving like a jerk and that he was responsible for a busful of people (17 seated and 5 standing, it was ramjammed).
Coco-the-cowboy-clown-chofer just kept repeating “If you’re scared, get out!”
Customer service at its very best…
It wouldn’t happen on the Coastliner!



Spatial oblivion!

Next week…


Pi$$ing in the wind!

There are some things that I see most days which make me wonder!
Taking a leak in the street is one.

Now there are times when one is caught short and a pristine porcelain potty is nowhere to be seen:
Extended car journeys, nights out when the distance between boozers is further than anticipated or in the wilds, but generally day-to-day stuff, I do manage to last until I get to work/home/a baño. I haven’t needed to resort to the street yet here in Lima.

Every single morning, whilst trotting down the Costa Verde/Circuito de la playa, I always see a guy pull up 10 yards from the portaloo and take a leak, outside!
A portaloo is obvious, does it need instructions?
It is free and not locked.

I saw a bloke splashing his shoes against the wall of a public baño and every day on “the leaky bend” (next to a public baño), taxi drivers  make a pi$$y puddle on the side of the road and barely hide it, why?

There is no look of shame, nor subtle discretion. Put it away chaps.
I am no prude, some of the khazis here would put Trainspotting to shame, so maybe going outside is preferable to some, than going somewhere dirty?


It’s a mystery!

Top 10 (from gigs I have seen)

1- King Kurt – Duchess of York, Leeds 1992

2- Guana Batz – 1-in-10 club, Bradford, 1990

3- Wedding Present – Leeds Colliseum, 1991

4- Black Grape – T&C, Leeds, 1994 (?)

5- Pop Will Eat Itself, St. George’s Hall, Bradford, 1990

6- The Cramps, Leeds Uni, 1991

7- Stray Cats, Leeds Uni, 1988

8- The Ramones, Leeds Uni, 1989

9- Madness, Madstock, London, 1992

10- Whisky Priests, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 1989


Raiders round-up.

After a few weeks of results not quite going in the Shipbuilders’ favour, this week the entertainment was at home to Batley Bulldogs.


Leaving it as late as possible, Ryan Johnston scored his debut try literally on the hooter to make it a 20:18 victory.

Next week sees the Dewsbury Rams at home. Onwards and upwards :-)

Blog of the week!

(Be careful how you type that is).

Even more niche than my ramblings, and very, very funny indeed, especially if you like climbing &/or fellrunning  (“What” you say!)

And finally…

If you ever need a song to fill your head for the day, try THIS :-)

Have an outstandingly awesome week.

Johnny, Lina & the Nipper


p.s. I made myself a rule a while back, I may have to break it this week…


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