Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bushfire!



Updated:

As always departing from people that I meet and befriend continues to be difficult. My latest host Carola even prepared me a chunky ham salad sandwich. And Stephen stocked me up with fruit and energy bars. Somehow on the way out of Goulburn I took a wrong turn and didn't discover it until two kilometres later. I was just about to turn around when an English couple called Bob and Roz pulled up. They have been living here for over forty years. He is a retired IT businessman and she a retired nurse. Soon I was sipping sweetened green tea and talking about my walk and the state of the world. Bob is pretty cynical about Mr. Facebook knowing what everyone in the world is doing. I told him that I was more worried about the 'mass surveillance' technology as developed by a UK company and perfected by its Danish offshoot. Neither knows what the other is doing and the end product is sold to oppressive countries to control their people. Why aren't the gay,green,liberal, vegan, open borders amnesty mob championing issues like this, not to mention women's rights or the lack of it around the world. 
So it was time to move on again, more sandwiches and fruit were offered for the road but this I refused as I have too much food, certainly a first world problem. Instead I took a bottle of sweet juice for it was a hot day, 31C.
Then by 11:30 am I eventually found my way out of town. Beyond where a part of the highway which merged two busy roads I turned left onto Murray Road. I was planning to walk on a quieter road, towards Toerang. I hadn't gone far when I noticed a closed road sign. What to do? There was a farm, so I went in to ask if it was gated further on down. There was nobody about, so I pulled up an armchair under a shady veranda to a workshop and had my lunch. I received a text about a bushfire in the area. It was from New South Wales Rural Fire Service. What a great way to inform people of the danger. I remembered my comments to Bob earlier on but here was a useful use, for the telecommunications companies know who is in the area from the  mobile phone locations. Just as I was going a forklift driver came along and told me that the road was indeed closed due to bushfires close to Merulan where I was headed that night.
So, I walked the 300 metres back onto route M31 and crossed the highway into a strong headwind. I always walk on the right side. towards traffic. West-bound  was heavier than Sydney bound. I though that strange as it was the reverse a couple of hours earlier. Then I noticed that the traffic on the left side, Sydney bound had obviously been stopped. What to do, I didn't see any smoke and just kept walking on with the road to myself. Suddenly an escort vehicle with yellow flashing lights led the previously stoop traffic from behind me. It got so intense that eventually it stopped and for a while I was moving faster. People offered me water. I wanted to cross the highway to the right side again but I couldn't as every time I came to a u-turn gap for me to cross with Karma, my cart, the traffic was too busy. 
My friend Phil Essam who had been watching developments live on Abc news texted me to say that the situation was unclear. So I just kept walking. I wondered if the cops would pull me off the road. One patrol car passed me in the two metre shoulder but didn't stop. I was more concerned about finding sign markings for my return, and I even wondered if they would be burned out! Well lit up I walked on in the dark for another two hours until almost 8 pm. I had walked 29 kms, excluding the extra four when I got lost. The woman in the Merulan Hungry Jack restaurant where I stopped said the fire was just five minutes away. They even got a standby evacuation notice. I camped outside the restaurant with a hint of rain in the air. 

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-23/hume-highway-cut-by-out-of-control-bushfire/8978000?pfmredir=sm

Picked up!

After returning to my route at the Yass Service Cente I camped that night. After two weeks off from the walk I was well rested and felt strong and managed to stride out a solid 31 kilometres. 
Next day 42kms. I was walking along a road that ran parallel to the main highway. Two women called Sandra and Chris were stopped on the other side of the fence. We struck up a conversation after one of them said: 'Poor you!' Then they.  poured me a coffee and handed me a salad sandwich. I thought it was a strange place to meet, perhaps we were meant to meet, perhaps they were meant to hear my cancer awareness message.
Later, I camped in a gap in a hedge in Breadalbane. That is after cooking my dinner at a bus shelter! 
Then a slow day due to many people stopping to talk to me! Eventually, I finished in Goulburn, 25kms walked. I spent that night in luxury as I was the guest of Carola, Stephen and family. Earlier they 'picked me up' at McDonalds and I walked to the family home after such a kind invitation ๐Ÿ˜€
I am looking forward to my fellow world runner friend Tom Denniss who will be crewing for me later in the week. Tom will walk with me as far as Bondi Beach when I eventually touch the ocean on October  1st. 
Michael Gillan who crewed me for most of my Australian crossing will be flying over from Melbourne. You may remember he had to retire from his great crewing duties due to hernia problems. Well the good news is that he will have that operation in a coupe of weeks ๐Ÿ˜€

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Thoughts for the road ahead.



Further Updated plans: Hi everyone ๐Ÿ˜€
I am still enjoying my personal time off from the walk. Thanks to Mary and family for great hospitality and for putting on a party in my honour tonight ๐Ÿ˜€ She was my very first girlfriend and eventually settled here! We had a lot of catch up laughs this past week ๐Ÿ˜…
I expect to return to my route (near Yass) sometime in the middle of next week. 
I have decided that I will be walking towards  Sydney's suburbs on 30th September. I will splash into the Pacific Ocean at Sydney's Bondi Beach on October 1st. That will complete this continent. Anything else walked here is an "extra." 
 Anyone that wants to join me please feel free. I will post more detailed information closer to the time. Tom Denniss, husband of the long suffering Carmel Denniss will escort me ๐Ÿ˜€ Tom not only ran around the world but hasn't missed  a days running in only 13 years ๐Ÿ˜… Yes the man is nuts. I say that all runners are crazy ๐Ÿ˜… Carmel crewed him on his world run and they are still married ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway Tom knows my route and I will get it from him. Can you believe he asked me to take  a route through parks and along some fancy bicycle paths. What's wrong with this.. Well it's an extra 28 kilometres ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ After giving him dogs abuse I finally agreed ๐Ÿ˜€
However, what to do about the extra 28 kilometres. I decided to make this seem negligible by adding on 'a lot more' kilometres in Australia ๐Ÿ˜€ So, after prolonged consideration I came up with my 'master plan' I have also decided that I want to walk 'a lot more๐Ÿ˜…' in Australia as I am enjoying it so much. Yes, I want to walk more ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ in this amazing country and continue to spread my cancer awareness message: Life is precious. Early cancer screening saves lives. I am also considering some daring routes ahead for the next year and a half or so! If I do decide upon this, I am sure it will surprise even my most devoted supporters. ๐Ÿ˜€Anyway I will only mention for now that I am walking north from Bondi and then north of Brisbane on the east coast perhaps until the third week in November. Then I will spend about three months tackling New Zealand, the South Island first. That should 'kill off' most of the hot Australian summer ๐Ÿ˜…
I will return to my Australian route before Feb 21st as that is the final entry day of my multi-entry long term visa. Should I choose I can have another six months here. I will continue my 'extra walking' lol ๐Ÿ˜€ towards at least Mt. Isa and Katherine. Where to finish Australia, ah yes, that's a problem ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ There are three possibilities. Darwin, or a remote place like Derby on the west coast. Or even Perth, where I started in Oz, a full lap of Australia ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
New Zealand thoughts. Due to so many narrow roads and dangerous one way bridges I am considering walking New Zealand with a backpack. I am on the lookout for a place in Brisbane or a place between Brisbane and Mackay  to leave Karma, my cart for three months. Also looking for a loan of a backpack!
Proposed Kiwi route  starting: South Island first: Christchurch and going south through Bluff, Queenstown, Greymouth to Blenheim. But it could easily start in Queenstown and as far as Christchurch! I  don't need to decide now. So, you can see the problem answering the dreaded 'when will you' question ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚North island Wellington to Lake Taupa and finish in Auckland or time permitting Cape Regina. Start midish November. Estimated time for NZ is three months. 

 After Australia it's back to Asia for more 'extra fun walking' Though the continent is already walked I have some crazy route notions to mush around in my head for a few months ๐Ÿ˜œ

Thank to Scott Richards for his design of my new business cards which I plan to get printed in Sydney. 
Thanks to Ilya Uzhegov for the use of the photo he took in Kalingrad, Russia. Thanks also to Benjamin Kniebe for his latest updated map of my Australian route. ๐Ÿ˜€


Sent from my iPhone

Stock cutting loose - Me too, I am off on a break soon

Late one night I stopped at the Illabo hotel and bar as I spotted a nice safe place to pitch my tent. I guess it was a cheeky request and understandably the owner told me to pitch it at the park across the road! "My name is Vean, just like Gene with a V. I wish you could camp here but it's best across the road in the park."
But before I could leave two men called Simon and Angus argued about which one would buy me a drink! And then they each sponsored me my next meal! 
Before I left Vean also cooked me a sausage roll and invited me to return for coffee in the morning. Simon told me that Fran Palmer, his mother in law and her husband Dennis, owners of Palmer Ford dealership in Cootamundra would be willing to host me the following night. 
I had a comfortable night at the park, all be it I was occasionally awakened by passing trucks for I was barely twenty metres from the highway. While having breakfast at the picnic table that I had camped beside an elderly couple stopped to say hello. I asked them if they were on a day trip out. The mans wife seemed to be more concerned than him for she had a sad glint in her beady eyes.
"Well I hope so. I am going for a prostate test and I will know the results in a few days time,"answered the man. I remembered the sign that I saw on the back of the toilet door in Darlington Point junction which said that more men die from prostate cancer than women do of breast cancer and how many people falsely believe that it's a young mans disease. I wished this couple good luck and I would be thinking of them for the results the following Wednesday.
Then I went across the road to the Illabo hotel for the coffee the owner had mentioned the previous night. 
"You must be the boss!" I joked to the woman who opened the door. 
"My names Di. Of course I am, don't you know the wife is always the boss!" 
"So where is your slave?" 
"Vean is out collecting wood as we have a busy night here. We have about eighty meals to cook and the hotel will be full because Richard Webb is in town for a 'cutting loose' seminar. So there will be a lot of grog and tucker (beer and food) consumed here tonight."
I asked what that was all about and it seems he is a famous Aussie stockman (cowboy) who teaches people how to 'cut' a specific sheep or a cow out of a herd without causing a stampede. Apparently, cutting loose is also a sport. 
I remembered the previous week being impressed when I saw a few stockmen control a sheep drove. Well the reality was that the real work was being done by their Kelpie sheep dogs. Transfixed, I watched closely and I didn't believe they were being told what to do, indeed many people have confirmed to me that good Kelpies know their job well. They are acutely aware of livestock behavioural characteristics.
The dogs just jumped on and off the ATV ledge they were being transported on. How times have changed from the wild west movies that I used to watch, for here it seemed to me that while the dogs did the work that the ranch hands were on their mobile phones and probably scrolling Facebook. Two Kelpies jumped off their vehicle and ran to the back of the sheep to move them forward. Then one returned to his shelf, for it was obviously a one dog job at that stage. Then he rejoined the other to escort the sheep from the side while another spotted a breakaway sheep and soon rounded it back into the fold. I finished my coffee and fruit cake and said goodbye to Lady Di as I called the friendly lady in the hotel. Back on the road I continued walking past vast fields of yellow canola plants. At first glance I thought they were flower fields. Large flocks of Galah birds flew along the road and occasionally feasted on dead kangaroos. I also enjoyed seeing but mostly hearing many cockatoo's as they chirped from shady trees that I walked under that 20C warm day.  It was September first, the first day of Spring here but for me it was more like a hot summers day in Ireland. Like the previous day I climbed up some nice and gentle rolling hills which worked me a bit more than normal. It was a nice change from the flat Nullarbor and Hay plains which I have walked across in previous months. I stopped to make myself a lunch of noodles and tomato sandwiches in a nice small town park in Bethungra. So many small towns and villages have such parks which are often maintained by voluntary groups like their local Rotary or Lions Club. Some make ideal unofficial  camping sites. In my opinion, Australia is the best country in the world for camping. Next door to the park a sign on a backyard full of junk warned people to keep out. It read: This fence has been electrified by a 36 volt supply. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk of injury. 
Just before Cootamundra I was met by Simon, the man who the previous night had arranged for me to stay at his in laws. It's a small town of around 2,500 people. Dennis and Fran Palmer are the owners of the Palmer Ford car dealership. I left my cart in the showroom and we drive to their 950 acre farm. There we had a great chat in the company of Ted, Frans 89 year old father. 
He had us laughing all night, so much that I took a rest day. After breakfast Ted then continue with his yarns. As he played with his three great grandchildren he said.
"Children are so innocent, they will believe anything you say. I remember when my son was in school. Well one of the boys there kept boasting that he could do whatever he wants because his father was the school principal. So, I told my young lad that the next time he says that to him to tell him that.... 
"So what if your dads the principal. Mine used to be the pope... And that was after he won Wimbledon!" Thanks so much to the Palmer family for a lovely rest day!


Yesterday I was motivated to get up early and was walking at 7:30am ๐Ÿ˜€ I walked at a steady pace and arrived in Binalong at 8pm with 51 kilometres behind me. Today I had an equally early start and finished at Yass Service Centre. I am waiting for my mate Phil Essam to arrive ๐Ÿ˜€ I am taking a short break from my walk as I have some special 'must see friends' in Canberra and Dubbo which are not on my route. I also need to catch up on my writing and some other commitments. When I am ready to return to the road I will continue from this exact location where I finished today and walk towards Sydney via Bowral. 
Bondi Beach will be my third continent completed on this global  walk, and eight continental crossing in my world run and world walk travels ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ
My great friend and webmaster Scott Richards suggested that I ask my followers to submit questions in a questions and answers format interview. I already have quite a few good ones. Please do not send me messages by Facebook messenger as I have problems with it and it decimates my battery. Please email your questions, how many pairs of shoes etc to: theworldjog@gmail.com

Please remember my walk message: Life is precious and early cancer screening saves lives.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Leaving Wagga Wagga I busted my front axle. Luckily I was literally across the road from a bicycle shop! Thanks to Mark Westerman
in Wagga Cycles who despite a busy workload got me going again. After 26 kms I made it to a farm and thanks to Jock for letting me camp on his land. He wa beaming as Amy his wife had just given birth to a little girl. For Jock it was back to shearing sheep when I departed this morning, so sorry I have no photos of him  



๐Ÿ˜‚

I was only a couple of kms up the road when I was stopped by an Irishman called Tim Carroll. He is from Waterford an amazingly a friend of my friend Sinead Kane ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช He works as an oil and gas sales rep and has worked all over the world, including Iraq! We had a nice chat and before I departed Tim told me about how he was working in Mosul when so-called Islamic State arrived there. I am looking forward to another chat when we get to Sydney as he says he wants to bring me out for a 'fattening up feed' lol ๐Ÿ˜… thanks also to Tim for his generous help towards my world walk fund!
Arriving in a picturesque town called Junee I stopped at the Locomotive bar. The towns population of about 2,500 is set against the backdrop of historic railroad relics and the Southern Hemispheres only rounded operational railroad round room, so I'm told. Every town has to have a unique claim in Australia! It seems that Junee has two, for my friend Phil Essam tells me there is a haunted house here. I guess so, for I can't even open the link he sent me about it ๐Ÿ˜…


I spotted a sign saying fish n chips and salad was on the menu๐Ÿ˜€ However, the kitchen was closed and the wonderful Sarah Landrigan not only cooked it for me; but she generously sponsored me my lunch and a bag of delicious bakery products for the road ๐Ÿ˜€Thanks Sarah! Strangely she said it was this very mornin, the day of my arrival on foot that she chose to walk to work for the first time in living memory  

๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ
 

So, I dedicate this day; Day 445 of my work walk to Sarah!
With luck and extra motivation I might get to Illabo tonight and Cootamundra tomorrow ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ˜€

Tuesday, August 29, 2017



I have just walked my 17,000th kilometre of my world walk ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ My global walk for cancer awareness message: Life is precious and early cancer screening saves lives 
This was the toughest thousand of my entire walk; a tribute to the great job that Michael Gillan did for me before he had to stop with hernia problems. Michael is still a bit sore and awaiting an appointment for an operation. Good luck and get better my dear friend ๐Ÿ˜€
Current location: a kilometre east of Collinguille, New South Wales, Australia
It's a beautiful day and I am walking with a spring in my step as I don't have to push Karma, my cart today. I am about 18km from Darren and Jennifers house. They are my kind hosts ๐Ÿ˜€ It's a bit early for lunch but hey, I am not going to walk past a great roadside picnic site like this one ๐Ÿ˜€
So I am eating the delicious lasagna that Darren cooked last night. I am also listening to Neil Youngs "Heart of Gold" That reminds me of my mate, the Running Diva, Rosie Swale Pope
๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ˜… She is currently running from London to Brighton as a fundraiser for war veterans. Why is she doing this? Well partly for a break from her current run around America! Although it seems more like around Texas as she has been more than a year in the Lone Star state. I think she got lost and got a new gps, lol ๐Ÿ˜‚
Why is she taking a break from her American run? Sorry I meant Texas run! Because she fell and broke her wrist and is resting up, seriously ๐Ÿ˜… Seriously she is pushing a cart with a broken wrist for people who are more injured than her as she says. Yes, heart of gold. Rosie also sleeps in the cart she pushes. Please consider sponsoring her injured veterans charity on her page ๐Ÿ˜€ 
Update: I have just arrived on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga a city of about 60,000 inhabitants. 
Website: www.myworldwalk.com
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Thanks to Darren Connor and his wife Jennifer for wonderful hospitality and spoiling me in Wagga Wagga ๐Ÿ˜€ 
He is originally from Finglas in Dublin and she is from here. They met when Jennifer was a bartender in The Old Dub pub in Dublin. 
Today Darren commuted me from my finish location to their home In the morning Jennifer will drop me back to today's finishing spot and I will walk another 30 kms to their home and stay another night. I need seven kilometres for 17,000 ๐Ÿ˜€
Thank you my friends, I am enjoying a laugh ๐Ÿ˜…
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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tony Mangan added 3 new photos — feeling excited.
2 hrs · 
Thanks to my great friend Phil Essam for coming out to see me today. I was delighted to meet him for the very first time. We have been great mates and have exchange thousands of emails and messages in the twelve years we have known each other. Twelve years ago when Denmark's Jesper Kenn Olsen was nearing the end of his world run I offered to crew him across Ireland. At that time Phil was helping Jesper with some logistics and he subsequently became a close friend. This internet is so strange, as I never met Phil before, but I feel he is a real close mate for he also became an advisor of sorts and an ear when I needed it during much of my competitive career. For which I am so grateful!!! Thanks Phil! As I mentioned in my last post he is also the president of the World RunnersAssociation WRA and he took the opportunity to scrutinise my log book ( for authentication of my world walk reasons) Mates or not we all passionately strive for transparency and integrity. Anyone who attempts a world journey will obviously have the support and enthusiastic comradeship of the WRA, but only those that follow the rules in an honest manner.
Thanks Phil and thanks to our Canberra friend Stephen Dau for sending his support and to his wife for the delicious Vietnamese rice lunch she sent with Phil ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜‡
I still manage 30 kms and finished in a hamlet called Galore; James Bond fans don't laugh ๐Ÿ˜… lol
I stopped at a house to ask permission to camp. A nice man called Ken brought me inside for a few drinks and we had lol ๐Ÿ˜€
On the road today I met a nice lady called Pat. She gave me the phone number of her Irish son-in-law, originally from Dublin. His name is Darren and now he lives in Wagga Wagga, 58 kms away. So we exchanged a few texts. He was so friendly and invited me to stay in his place when I arrive on Tuesday night. Well, with world walker cheek I suggested that he could commute me tomorrow night also. And he was up for it! Thanks Darren ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ So I don't have to push Karma my cart on Tuesday when I walk to his house from my commute point.
Tonight I had a great chat with Ken who told me that two Swedish skateboarders camped at the very same spot I am at tonight outside his house. Strangely they also stopped to ask him. Those lads were going from Perth to Sydney and pulling their gear in a cart as they skated! Next day the lads met a European cyclist and told them to stop at Kens place, and he didn't!
The hamlet of Galore has seven residents. A church was recently sold for just $30,000! Why so cheaply, because who wants to live in a church I was told. I was thinking it would have made a great backpackers hostel, so too did Ken but he was unaware of the sale ๐Ÿ˜‚
Hoping to get some photos soon! Phil can you please post them?!๐Ÿ˜€
I am going to walk on to Yass and take a short break from the walk to spend time with special friends. Them I will walk onto Sydney ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

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