Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March 25th to March 29th, 2016    Please click on the blog tab on

March 29th
 One year ago today my mother, my rock of strength departed this life.
Mom & my Sister
 She was taken cruelly by cancer, long before her time. Now she is reunited with her husband John. May they rest in peace. Today was a tough day for me on the road. I thank my family and friends for their messages of support. I only walked 22km as far as Hohnhorst. Strangely on this night, of all nights my host is Felix Stute and his girlfriend Daria.
Felix also lost his mother to cancer. Next month it will be the first anniversary of her death, may she also rest in peace.  
My world walk is a cancer awareness walk. 
The message for my walk is: Life is precious. Early checking saves lives. 

I have been getting a lot of drizzle lately. Yesterday on the road I passed a very a couple of stark road safety signs which were painted by children, as in the pictures. Later that night after a 33km day I camped in a the town park of Meerbeck. I know wild camping is illegal in Germany, sometimes I just get a good vibe that it will be ok. Just to be sure I was packed up early (for me!) at 8:30.
After I arrived at Felix's house I did an interview for a German national newspaper. Which included photographs in the rain!
675km for 25 road days.
I am doing good. It's early days yet but I am enjoying my world walk more than my world run!


Dinner with Mom
Lunch on the road

March 27th
 This day last year, Easter Sunday I was enroute to the North Pole to do the North Pole Marathon and to have a great adventure. The trip was a very generous ' job well done ' present from the main sponsor of my run around the world, Richard Donovan

Richard is the race director of the multi award winning North Pole Marathon.
Thank you again Richard for your generosity on my world run and also for an amazing experience up North!
I continue my latest adventure walking through Germany in an attempt to walk around the world!  

Pps Easter Sunday 32km/ 20 miles walked, am camped in the woods.

March 26th
I stopped for hot water for my thermos. Press on the translate button. Thanks Markus and Tania! Ps Saturday I walked 42km, a marathon. It was a late finish as walking takes a lot longer than running! I awoke to rain! Happy Easter everyone!

March 25th
546 km walked in 21 road days, I continue with my steady start to my attempt to circumnavigate the world again on foot! This time I am walking.
I just had two lovely days walking with my host Paul. He and his wife Marja Neufeglise Meier who kindly put me up for three nights. They also commuted me for two days to and from my finish locations, so I didn't have to push Karma. I appreciate this very much as they already had their hands full minding their two grandsons for a week. Paul and Marja are both Dutch but like many of their countryfolk they prefer to live in the west of Germany as it's more economical than Holland. Houses are substantially cheaper in Germany and car tax too. For example Paul's Volkswagen Passat station wagon costs just 210 euro to tax for the year, the same cars road tax bill would costs 1,600 euro in the Netherlands.
On our first day we had a wonderful 24km walk from Lingen to his house. We walked mostly on back roads and pedestrian paths. The weather was very nice and we stopped frequently for snacks at bus shelters some of which are nice places to rest and perhaps next week in smaller villages I may even camp in them!
On the way back he pretended to be lost and when we arrived at a house he asked me to wait at the side of the road as he was going to ask the people inside for directions. Joker that he is he had brought me to the backside of his own house. As I arrived at the front of the house the previous night I didn't recognise the house I was staying in! A little later he called me inside, laughing his head off as we went!
Today, Good Friday I walked 15km with Paul and Faith his partial Rottweiler as far as Berge before Marja picked him up as he had an appointment in the afternoon. I walked on for a further ten kilometres on my own as far as Nortup.
Before he left, Paul spoke about his time in the Dutch Special Forces before he retired. Much of his training was done in the Norwegian mountains. Platoons of about thirty marines walked in full combat gear 'hand-railing' the side of the road, about fifty metres in. If they came to a river they swam across as their gear was waterproof, their heavy packs were transformed into floatation devices and even their guns are capable of firing underwater in a combat situation. Usually three reconnaissance marines went on ahead to check for a secure location for food supplies to be dropped at a suitable location. Those co-ordinates were radioed to the aircraft which dropped the shipment within 100 metres of the spot, as their parachutes were guided by gps steering devices. In the olden days many drops went astray. Thanks so much to my hosts for a wonderful time!
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

 March 20th to 23rd, 2016

 March 23,  497 kilometres walked in 19 road days. Today: 32km/ 20 miles to my finish in Lingen at the train station. I crossed into Germany at a small border town, which had a sandy road and just the German flag painted on a post.
It was a beautiful day and I felt ' comfortably tired!' Waiting for my hosts Marja Neufeglise Meier and Paul to arrive. I am going to stay with them two more nights as tomorrow I will have a 25k walk from where I finished to their house, Paul will accompany me. And then on Friday at the end of my day they are going to commute me back, so no pushing Karma for a couple of days.

March 22,  Monday 40 km walked, so far today 39; I may do a few more. I actually had a long drag of a hill almost 1km long just before I arrived in Ootmarsum, I couldn't believe it, a hill in Holland!
Am in Tilligte and less than an hour and a half away from Germany and from crossing Holland, my second country! This morning I was awoken by the cops as someone had seen me and reported me to them! It's illegal in Holland to camp outside of a campsite or place where permission has not
Been obtained. They were nice guys, after showing them my passport and the magic letter they asked if they could follow me on Facebook!!
Tomorrow I will walk to Lingen and be a guest of Marje and Paul. Marja Neufeglise Meier is the sister of Chris Meier who was my kind host in Zeist. They have very generously offered me a couple of nights and will commute me, so no pushing Karma!!
Ps note the last photo with the sign that says.. " Te Koop" Well, on my first day in Holland I saw such a sign and thought Te Koop meant ' tea house' To my embarrassment I discovered it meant ' for sale!'


March 21,  On Sunday I continued my walk from Berneveld to a location in a National Park just North of Apeldorn, 31kms walked. Part of the way I walked with my ultrarunning friend Peter Rietveld who entertained me with stories I his cycle across Australia and how he hit the road very early each day to collect a few kilos of road kill kangaroo steak! Then we both got talking about competition... "What's your 24 hour best distance" he asked. 228.299km I said. All Peter could remember was his 228. So he rushed home to check, we were having so much fun that we forgot to take photos! Later he texted back 228.160, s••t so close! However, Peter stopped with twenty minutes to go when he broke the record he was chasing. He was wondering what to do and just stood there! I'm still scratching my head, well 230km is a big one! Peter is the true champ, an a great guy who does much medical volunteer work including for MSF in the past.
This morning I stopped in McDonald's on the outskirts if Apeldorn for a double breakfast.
It was nice to see a man take his dog inside, as is the culture in so much of Europe and many pubs in the UK have dog bowls! I could never understand why this is not the case in Ireland. frown emoticon

Thanks to Jelle and staff for filling up my thermos for the road!

March 20,  I had a great 32km/ 20 mile walk today in the company of Nitish Zuidema a Sri Chiminoy ultra runner, who was good enough to slow down and join me for the entire day! We walked through a beautiful forest and even came across a pony just one metre tall!
Holland is famous for being a flat country. The highest point in Utrecht province where I am currently walking is just 69 metres above sea level. In my last province, Zuid-Hollands record is only 36m. And Groningen has the lowest altitude at only 14 metres! The highest point in the country is in Vaalserberg with a backbreaking 322 metres. And believe it or not the real record high for Holland is on the Caribbean Island of Saba. Mount Scenery, a Dutch territory is a whopping 877 metres above sea level!
Most of today was on cycle paths as far as Barneveld. Holland and Germany have a fantastic navigation system on these trails. Simply put, the cyclist (or hiker) can plan their route using a list of numbers which correspond to particular junctions. Having printed out the numbered route order it is a simple process to follow ones desires route all the way to the final destination.
At the end of our day, my host Chris, picked us at Barneveld train station. Tomorrow I will return to the same place to walk to Apeldorn. Once again thanks so much to Chris and Brenda van Hunnik for hosting me in Zeist for two nights and also to Nitish for walking with me today, tomorrow I will be joined by my friend Peter Rietveld. 355 kilometres have been walked in 15 road days.


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Friday, March 18, 2016

The Helping Hand reaches out!

The Helping Hand reaches out:
Today, Friday, I walked 27km as far as Zeist  on bicycle and pedestrian paths. I have never seen so much bicycle activity outside of India!! There were piles of bicycles lined up outside many houses, so many I wondered if they were bicycle shops! I guess the authorities don't have much choice but to build the great network of cycle routes as otherwise there would be chaos on the roads. At times even the cycle paths are crowded by riders of all ages. Light motor cycles  are also allowed to ride on them.
It was wonderful to see my old friend Peter Rietveld (left in photo)
who stopped by with Karol, a client of his who wanted to see what all this crazy ultra walking and running is all about!
We had a great chat at the side of the road in Utreich. As luck would have it Peters friend Chris lives near Zeist which was a perfect distance and also on my way. He phoned to invite me to stay tonight with him and his wife Brenda van Hunnik
She cooked a delicious pasta and steak dinner! "Delicious" is phonetically pronounced as "Hair- Lick" in Dutch, easy to remember!
They kindly offered me a rest day on Saturday, but instead I elected to walk the 32 km to Voorthuizen with another friend of Peter, a walker called Nitish Zuidema
It will be a rest day of sorts as I won't be pushing Karma, I will be returning to Chris and Brenda's house on Saturday night. Then on Sunday morning Peter will return me and Karma to my previous finish and then we will both walk the 27km to Apeldoorn. With luck I should reach Germany on Monday and a few days later I will stay with Chris's sister, but first, her husband wants to walk with me to their home! A bit complicated I know; just like on my world run.... "The Helping Hand" reached out to help me. Thank you everyone, I appreciate all your great help and hospitality!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 16th & 17th 2016

Happy St Patrick's Day to Everyone...

Thanks to everyone for your St Patricks Day wishes and the same to you all!

St. Patricks Day on the road in Holland: 32km/ 20 miles. I finished just west of Heeswijk at the Shell petrol station. After a coffee and getting Jan and Paul interested in my walk I asked if could camp around the back of their station. I promised Jan I wouldn't smoke or cook! The lads kindly filled up my two litre thermos, so I have hot water for my nightly cuppa soup, tea, coffee and porridge in the morning. As I was about to set up my tent Paul came out and offered me one of their hire trailers to sleep in. Luxury! Then he came back with some bread. Nice people, thank you. And they even have class chocolate, don't mind the Toblerones or the fancy stuff! Tonight I am about 15km west of Utreich

This was last St Patricks Day with my mother RIP and sister Ann Salmon

I had a bit of trouble finding the tunnel to cross the river in Rotterdam! I passed it several times and went around in a circle! It was inside a building and down a lift shaft! The Dutch really cater for pedestrians and cyclists, our very own tunnel. This morning a bridge just before Gouda was being raised to let some small boats through. Yesterday I continued my walk along canals and dykes and camped in a forest near Hitland. I am walking towards Utreich. If you are a drinker have a Guinness tonight for St Patrick!

March 16th 2016

Today I had a lovely 27km walk from the Dutch port in Europoort. It was pure Heaven strolling along those beautiful bicycle paths away from traffic. There were no narrow roads or fighting with the traffic for a bit of shoulder or having to push my cart into thorns to make progress, what bliss! I wish the whole world was like Holland! And almost as flat as Kansas, which has been scientifically proved to be flatter than a pancake!
I finished my day on the outskirts of Rotterdam and was picked up by Johan Postma the father of my friend Hester Postma I think I made Corrines day when I asked her if she is Hester's sister! "No I'm her mother!"
Thanks to everyone for making me so welcome, a delicious dinner and washing and drying my clothes!
In the morning the family will return me to my route, which is just five kms before Rotterdam. Please see map for my proposed day. I hope it will be as pleasant as today, my first day in continental Europe!
A special thank you to my ultra running friend Peter Rietveld who introduced me to Hester when they were in Dublin last summer.