Wednesday, January 8, 2020

China Blog #83

China Blog #83

China has been walked! I stepped into the Yellow Sea at Kowloon Park and just beside my ferry for South Korea.
Thank you China from the bottom of my heart for a wonderful experience. I geniunely wonder if any other adventurer has had the insight and quality of experiences that I have been blessed to be selected for! 
Thanks to these two men who were wondering what I was doing today at the seafront. They kindly obliged with my finishing photo and then an even bigger favour when I asked them to walk across the sand to take one of me in the water 
Then they shook the sand out of their shoes and waved me goodbye. A dry pair of shoes and socks for me.
Time for a celebratory beer before the overnight ferry to Incheon, South Korea.
Before I boarded I had an hour of hassle at the ticket office and they even called Korean immigration. I have no idea why as a visa or onward ticket is not a requirement. I noticed that my China record seemed to be on the ticket agents computer. I even saw a picture of Karma, my cart on her screen. I wonder who took that as if it was one of the hundreds of millions of surveilance cameras that China has then I should have been in it. 
  Then I discovered that there was no sailing to Incheon that day as it was cancelled. Instead I decided on a port thats about two extra days walking away from Seoul called Pyeongtaek. I just wanted to get going that day instead of waiting for the other ferry and going through the bureaucracy again

China Blog #82

China Blog #82

Regular readers will know that I have a Spot tracking device that tracks me as I walk. Unfortunately, in China, it has been a bit of a mixed bag and hasn't always updated. Last time that I spoke with Spots customer service they mentioned that there is no service in China. So I guess that every one of my location updates is a bonus! Even before I got to China there were large location gaps and I'm not sure if it's because my device is old (about eight years old) or some other issue.
  To be honest I'm not too pushed about it.  It's still doing strange things as it manages to evade the Great Firewall of China and points out Mangans whereabouts somewhere in the humongous pleotea of people in the worlds most populous nation.
 Yes, sometimes Spot has me walking on water.. And I'm sure you would believe me when I say that.. If I could I would!
 I'm walking every road kilometre and that's all that matters. I see it more as entertainment value for my hardcore followers. 
I notice that it updated really well as I reached the end of my China route. To follow me please click on the orange Spot link to the right of the main map on my website

China Blog #81

China Blog #81
I was 140 kilometres away from Weihai Port and was making a big push to catch a ferry to Seoul, South Korea sometime the following week. Thanks to an Irish man called Neil Timmins for his kind invitation for a place to stay in Seoul. He twisted my arm to stay a while.
 I walked with Neils sister Lisa when I was walking in the Port Augusta region of Australia a couple of years ago.

Three big days have left me just 56 kilometres from Weihai Port. I made a massive push to get there for a Wednesday night's sailing to Incheon, South Korea. The next sailing after that Wednesday was on Saturday and I didn't want to wait around. As much as I love China, I'm fatigued and its time to move on to new unrestricted pastures. 
Saturday I lashed out a 47-kilometre day and that was followed by a 49. So many days over the last year when I got close to the half-century distance that I stopped when I found a place to stay, such a soft wimp πŸ˜‚

That second night it was late and as I couldn't be bothered pitching my tent I settled down in a car shelter which was in a state of disrepair. A barking dog got me going at 5 am and that was the foundation of my 53 kilometres from west of Taocun to the west of Muping. 
Once again I had the 'sorry no accommodation for foreigners' hassle here and had four refusals. Regular readers know that this has been an occasional occurrence for me in China and it tends to come in spates and in the same town.  The hotel owners are not to blame as they sometimes say they need to be registered. I'm sorry I know it's not their fault. It's a purely racist law. Can you imagine a hotel in Europe, Australia or the USA saying no foreigners or Chinese allowed? The Chinese would be the first to scream racist as they did recently when a Swedish television show picked up on the disgusting spitting and guttural clearing habits here. This is something I just can't get used to and its everywhere. 
  I mentioned in my last update about so many astonishing stacks of cheap beer outside grocery stores in this region of China and it's only this region. I gave a quick count of one stack which had twelve-packs of 600 ml bottles to be five high, 30 wide by 25 deepπŸ˜‚ I would really know what they are doing with enough alcohol to fuel even a Glastonbury festival. Or even Father Jack, ( from the comedy Fr. Ted) drink drink, drink πŸΊπŸΊπŸΊ
Or Shane McGowan at a stretch, lol there πŸΊπŸΊπŸ»πŸΊ
  I don't see any serious alcohol abuse. I notice teenagers coming into stores and buying bales of milk or even Red Bull. Even at the low cost of 2 Yuans a bottle (roughly 7 Yuans to the $/€) that is a lot of valuable stock to have outside a store and to just pull a tarp over at night. No doubt the owners have the usual Chinese alarm system, a barking one. Still, in a state of shock at this, I was astonished when I noticed at the other side of the store another large stash, almost as large as that one!!! A sign in another store advertised a 12 pack of 600 ml bottles at 14 Yuans = two euro or Dollars! 
That day en route to my 53 kilometres I was pretty weary as I had only about two hours sleep. My pulse had been racing as I settled down to sleep in that garage and it took about two hours to fall away into slumberland and then the barking alarm clock as previously mentioned. It was a hot and humid day and hot on my hands as I pushed Karma along route 204. I now wear gloves to protect my hands from the burning sun. I was weary, almost as though I was slugging it out in one of my ultrarunning races during my competitive career, yes, I'm working off that experience and coping strategists that I garnered all those years ago. Eventually, after the hotel refusals mentioned earlier I found a nice one and at a reasonable rate. It had a two euro buffet breakfast option also.

China Blog #80

China Blog #80

Did someone drop their dentures in the salad bowl? 

Stopping in a small hotel for the night in 
Cuijiajizhen town I got talking to some of the residents there. They were bio-agricultural engineers working on a project and staying in the hotel for a month. It seemed that they were training quality-control and checking procedures for a big import/export contract for the American Wal-Mart company.
Two of the workers spoke pretty decent English. The boss man confirmed what many people have told me during my travels in China. I have heard that properties can be so expensive and the wages are so low that many people take out 99-year mortgages! He mentioned that this is more so in the large cities, and less so over in the rural areas. Obviously, this long-term mortgage is passed on from generation to generation within the same family.
  One of his employees is a 26-year-old woman who also speaks good English. We had a great chat about some social issues in China. Though she is of that tender age and she is still living at home and pretty much has to follow house rules as she said.."Mam won't allow me to drink alcohol when I'm around boys as so many of them are so bad and they try to take advantage of women! Besides I don't drink beer, I drink whiskey and wine but only at home with my parents. However, I know you are not a bad boy and I could drink with you but you would have to be in my house and in the company of my parents!" 

Lol, Yes, of course, I am a good boy πŸ˜‚

Then she went on.. "I'm not married because I haven't met the right man yet. I want to get married and just like so many Chinese parents I get constant pressure from mine to hurry up and get married. They keep warning me that 'life is so hard' when you are an unmarried woman. I don't want to have children either as children are too noisy!" 
I felt that the last part of her statement was up for reconsideration. I was surprised when she also mentioned that despite her parent's protective wall that they would have no objection to her living with a man in an unmarried loving relationship.
Work is also difficult and these workers are typical of so many large corporation employees in so far as they work long hours, typically 9-9 with an hour for lunch at noon and an hour at 5 PM for dinner. Meals are provided by the company and they work six days a week. Apparently, their work is intense and there is a lot of pressure due to so much competition from rival contractors for each other's contracts. 
Just imagine the lack of social and family life that entails. Not being able to go to your children sporting or other activities unless they fall on a Sunday. 

  I took a rest day in that hotel and the nice owner kindly took me out to a delicious dinner with his brother, father, uncle and friends. That was a great fun-filled evening and our communications were totally by our translation apps. They all laughed heartily when I asked if someone dropped their dentures on a plate of vegetables! It was, in fact, a small piece of steamed corn cob!
Smartphones continue to knock communication barriers down.
Next day when I was leaving for my 31-kilometre march to Pingdu the hotel owner and his wife generously insisted on giving me a large food bag for the road. On the good boy walked,πŸ˜‚πŸ‘£πŸšΆ

China Blog #79.

China Blog #79.

The Cultural Revolution.

Just over 50 years ago Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution in China. In his time in the Communist Party, he had cracked many glass ceilings and set about ridding himself of his rivals. 
Chairman Mao called on young people (often as young as 9 or 10 years of age) They formed the "Red Guards" with a mission to take party leaders to task for embracing bourgeois values and for their lack of revolutionary spirit. Pretty soon the Red Guards were out of control and destroyed much of China's social fabric.
Mao also ordered them to destroy the "four olds" - Old ideas, customs, habits and culture. Religion was a prime target. Temples were ransacked and churches were destroyed. Religious leaders, university students and scholars were sent to factories and farms for 're-education' through forced labour. Religion was pretty much wiped out. In recent years, however, there has been a strong religious revival. Many of the temples I have walked past have been rebuilt. Some experts believe that by 2025 there will be more Christians in China than anywhere else in the world, despite the fact that religious freedom is still curtailed. 
It seems that religion is pretty much tolerated, in so far as those religious institutions are required to register. There are five recognised religions: Daoism which is the principal Chinese religion, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.  
Many clerics have a problem with signing paperwork which relegates their God to third place; that is after the Communist party and also Chinese loyalty. The Cultural Revolution all but ended in 1976 with Mao's death. I am sure he has turned in his grave at the sight of western capitalism, for it seems that there are more posters adorning KFC's Colonel Saunders, in Chinese cities than of the man with the red book.

China blog #78

China blog #78 

I have written about China and the OCP before. Here is an excellent article by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on the failed 'One-Child Policy.'

 This has caused a gender imbalance where boys were favoured over girls and many women opted for abortions when pregnant with a girl. Other problems coming down the tracks for the worlds most populous nation is how to cope with an aging population.

After 36 years of enforcing this policy, the Communist government eventually eased it to a two children policy three years ago. They are now actively encouraging families to have more children. However, in modern-day China, it is now an economic issue as generally, couples can't even afford one child, let alone two. As one person pointed out that it's not necessarily an issue about feeding children its more about giving them a good standard of living and to be able to provide for them when they eventually get married.
The irony of the OCP is that when it was first implemented that the countries birth rate was already in decline.

China blog #77

China blog #77 

One day, I made so many stops, lots of chats and fun, no wonder I only walked 24 kilometres. It was smiles before miles πŸ˜‚
I arrived in quiet villages and left them pumping but alas made a baby cry! 

Another three days and nights on the road. That first night I was just finishing off my dinner and I was thanking my lucky stars that I was well placed. Looking out of the restaurant window, the drizzle had turned to torrential rain. A little later thunder, followed by several flashes of frightening lightening illuminated the night-time sky. The establishment also doubled as a basic accommodation, not bad, my dinner and a bed for about eleven Euro equivalent. The owner was thoughtful enough that he brought me a basin of warm water for a refreshing foot soak. With some more warm water, I had a body wash as sometimes that's the better option to risque shower conditions. Still, I was grateful. The bed was clean, that's the main thing. If it hadn't been I would have slept in my sleeping bag. I laughed when the owner told me I could pee into an upstairs sink rather than to go downstairs to the outside toilet.
When you are walking alone and without a support vehicle one has to work with the cards you are dealt with. Even if I was a millionaire I would most likely have slept in that same bed that night.

Next day, Saturday I walked another 36 kilometres and skirted a city called Anqiu. A large proportion of that day was along the banks of the Wenhe River. Elderly couples were out walking and shared some quiet bicycle paths with me while young families enjoyed their day trips as they socialised in shaded tree-lined areas. 
The days are becoming increasingly hot and humid. Just like checking for the time of the day I rarely check temperatures but I'm sure it was over thirty °C. 
A little further on I had an enjoyable stop at a roadside vendor for a mid-morning snack. It was outside a construction site and many of the workers washed their meal down with beer! 
I drank milk and ate stale bread and onion. I notice a lot more alcohol consumption in this part of China than in any other part. There are a couple of cheap crappy brands, one called Immaculate Beer. Three 500 ml bottles set you back about a euro. There are large stacks of this and the other cheap brands outside many grocery stores and inside restaurants.
I had my usual amount of interactions with the locals including a woman who was busy picking up a few large handfuls of giant scallions. An overloaded truck had just passed our spot and after hitting a bump it jettisoned them onto the road. As she loaded them onto her electric scooter, we just waved and I refused her offer of a handful.
A couple of days earlier I decided to end my circa 6,000-kilometre double trek of China at Weihai Port. I was just 260 kilometres away from the port. From there I plan to get a ferry to South Korea. 
Pyongyang, the North Korean capital is just across the Yellow Sea from Weihai, my ultimate Chinese destination. I wondered if that was the reason that I saw some emergency shelter signage. Believe it or not, I did have my friend (Benjamin in Berlin) check out the possibility of me walking in North Korea but alas Kim Jong-Un was probably too busy for a coffee nuke or a chat over a cup of ginseng tea πŸ˜…
 I have it on good authority that there is an Irish bar in their capital! All be it only North Koreans are allowed to visit!

  At the end of that day, I camped in a playground area behind a restaurant in a quiet village. 
First light is now around 4 AM and it would be prudent for me to start swinging my feet a little earlier in the day.
 Sunday, May 12, I walked another 29 kilometres. Much of that was on minor roads and past such a diversity of strawberry, scallion and wheat fields. Also, cotton flurries, almost like snowflakes blew onto my sweaty face causing constant irritation. 
With a good effort, I made it to a Cuijiajizhen town where I am taking a rest day today. On the way, I made just one stop when I briefly rested under a shaded bridge. It was an elevated rail line. As I finished my rest break a high-speed train rattled past and above the strong smelling onion fields.

China blog #76

China blog #76

Ju County in the Chinese province of Shandong is home to the ginkgo tree which is thought to be over 3,000 years old. The area is also home to 1.1 million residents. 
One day as I walked towards a small city called Juxian I first had to reroute myself across the Shuhe River as a chunk of a bridge on a backroad was missing (see photo). Thankfully that was only a minor issue as a few hundred metres in the distance  I could see another bridge on route S335 and when I zoomed in on my smartphone Google Map.
 I decided to change direction. How did travellers manage to find their way before smartphones came on the market many people have often asked me? 
Well, we managed but we probably were stuck to the main roads more so than now; that is unless we were armed with paper maps. Such things are difficult to find nowadays. I can barely remember the last time I saw one or an atlas on sale. With a smartphone map, we can go deeper and more remote. Maps can be downloaded when we are online and then used when on the trail in the offline mode or when we have no signal. All we need to do is keep the phone charged up. 
That morning while walking on a pedestrian path I was astonished to see a man lying down on the path. First I wondered if he was injured but when I went to check on him he didn't want to respond to me. I got the impression that he just wanted to rest in a shaded area and was unconcerned about zooming scooters, thankfully there were none. I suspected this man had some unfortunate mental health issues but what could I do? I tried summoning help but I was ignored by one man. Eventually, a man stopped to help him. 
Some paths are difficult for me to walk on as they are not designed for pram pushers or wheelchair users. It's not uncommon to find lamp posts or trees blocking the way. That day there was a stupid drain design which took up almost the entire width of the path and these were spaced every fifty metres. 

The next day was a 28-kilometre stroll to Anzhuangzhen a small spread out town which seemed to consist of one long main street. On the way, I stopped for.a snack in a grocery store and got chatting to a man called Lee. He spoke good English as he previously lived in South Africa where he studied business. As always when I ask such people why they returned to their country instead of staying abroad the answers is almost always because home is where the heart and family is. 
Further on down the highway, a man in an electric three-wheeler taxi stopped for a Google Translate chat. He had a child behind the wheel as he drove and even offered to buy me lunch but I tactfully refused and walked on. A little later he returned with what can only be described as a large 'disc of bread' which weighed over a kilo. It was so enormous that I had to use a bungee cord to strap it onto Karma.
Arriving in Anzhuangzhen I decided to buy a small external speaker to listen to my music and podcasts in a bit more comfort. Inside the phone shop, I decided to test it. I scrolled through my You-Tube music list and fittingly stopped at David Bowie's Little China Girl. There were hysterics from the staff and customers when I did a bit a jig on the shop floor. Sportingly one of the women came out from behind the counter to dance with me!
There was only one basic accom in that town, above a hairdressers shop and the owner didn't want to have me as a guest! 
On the way out of town, I stopped at a restaurant and the kind owners strongly resisted my payment for my dinner. 
 Eventually, I got going again but I was also on the lookout for a place to camp. As luck would have it at the end of the then there was a small forest beside a petrol station. As I didn't want to pitch my tent in daylight I decided to pop into the petrol station for a cup of coffee. Once again I had another delightful Google Translate chat with the lovely young family who worked there. The man asked me if my wife objected to my long hike!  
For a joke I told him that I said that I was initially going for a 30-kilometre hike and she replied: "Good in three years time you will be 30,000 kilometres away from me!"
  Then I went back next door to my forest and pitched my tent. In the morning the man came over to me and woke me up... With, I kid you not... Four loaves of bread! That's more bread than I would eat in a month back home. Along with that, a packet of salami and a huge tub of tomato sauce. Between the disc of bread and the four loaves I was looking like a mobile breadman. It took all my powers of persuation to tactfully refuse this kind offer! 
On I walked and met more people and had some more nice chats. I walked past the strangely named Wang Cum Park When I got to Gaoqiaozhen I found a basic accommodation which cost about seven euro. Then a knock at my door and I discovered that I had to go down to the police station to register. The hotel owner drove me down and waited about half an hour and I wondered had he regretted taking me in that evening as his reward was this hassle. But he didn't seem to mind. The officers were friendly. They just took a photocopy of the information page of my passport and asked me for my phone number. I noted that they didn't look for my visa, obviously they are not used to dealing with foreigners. 
Then to welcome me back to the hotel the nice owners brought me a big bowl of noodles, vegetables and eggs to my room for my dinner.

China bllg #75

China bllg #75 
It was not a war zone.. But it sure sounded and looked like one. I was just west of Ganyu City. Fireworks exploded outside my hotel window after a bride and groom arrived for their wedding. Yes the Chinese love their fireworks. 

I continued walking north through Chinas Jiangsu province. It had been a hot week about 30 C and I even changed into shorts and a tee-shirt and splashed on my sunblock. Many Chinese people still wore their overcoats and even when the wind was motionless they donned blankets that are designed for covering themselves up on their scooters (see last photo).
One day I came to roadworks where the traffic was diverted. I continued on as I could see the area I had to get around was only a couple of kilometres and led to a village. But before long it turned into a sandy trail with a couple of pools of stagnant water that I walked through. I smacked the front wheel against a rock and a little later the aluminium L-shaped bracket that holds Karmas front wheel to the forks snapped. I managed to keep the wheel on by using cable ties and duct tape to hold the axle up onto the fork. These items should be every cart pushers friend. That did the trick for it rolled on well that day.
 Next day I stopped at a roadside metal fabrication shop and for the equivalent of a few euro, I had one of the workers make me two new brackets. This time with sturdy steel and it only took him a few minutes to lash them out.
I camped for a couple of nights; once at a roadside rest area called Xie Hu Great Cherry Garden rest area and another night in a small town park. 
I read an article on the BBC website about a driver who was stopped by the police on suspicion of drink-driving in the province I am currently in (Jiangsu). Apparently, he overdosed on durian fruit. He failed his breathalyser test, but was filmed by police protesting: "I've just eaten durian fruit!"
In a follow-up police testing experiment an officer was breathalysed after eating some of the stinky fruit and it was confirmed that his alcohol level directly after eating durian was 36mg per 100ml. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in China is 0.02% - roughly 20mg per 100ml. 
Durians are infamous for being the worlds smelliest fruit. Much loved in parts of China and especially South-East Asia. They stink so much that occasionally bus companies warn their passengers against consuming them, or receive a hefty fine.
  On the road, just as I crossed into Shandong province I met a couple of Chinese touring cyclists. They stopped for photos. Photos can take a long time as everyone wants their own photo and then there are the selfies. That's four rounds for each person!, One of me alone, one with that person and me, and as I said the selfie and the one with everyone in it! Then the person that takes that last photo wants to get in another so the camera is handed over again!
I laughed heartily when after the selfies these lads wanted the full photo so they stopped a couple of pedestrians to take a picture of the three of us. Then the pedestrians all wanted their photos, selfies, full photos et al! 
Women still want to give me their babies but I resist it strongly and hand them back after a photo πŸ˜‚
I made it to a small town called Changling and found cheap basic accom above a grocery store. No television, so it's a middle of the night it was a radio job for Liverpool's match v Newcastle United. Come on the Reds, you can win the Premiership πŸ€
 Down the road, I went for some street food and enjoyed the Google Translate chat with some locals and the owners of the open air restaurant. As always I showed my cancer awareness message and minutes later I refused cigarettes, Ah! The irony of it!

China blog #74

China blog #74

Next day I clocked up kilometre 29,000 - about 18,000 miles have been walked.
 It was a warm day, about 32°C. Time to top up my sunscreen. 

One Saturday night after my 46-kilometre day. I camped in a small town park. Services were pretty sparse. After twenty kilometres i found a grocery store that was open. I bought some noodles and the nice family insisted on giving me lunch. 
Then I marched on. It was another really hot day.

A few months previously an American walker called Anna contacted me. She wanted me to walk for some months with her in Africa. At first, I refused. One reason was that I had safety fears about the continent. I was also a bit hesitant when she told me she can sometimes be bad and moody company. However, I suggested and helped her research a route from Rwanda to Kenya with no intention of going myself.  Pretty soon I got excited for her about her trip. Before I knew it she had me roped in. I was going to walk a little extra walking in Africa. For weeks my instincts and sixth sense told me that this was a bad idea and I should reconsider. 
Once I changed my mind and told her I didn't want to go but when she sent me a pleading reply with a heartbreaking plea I just melted and reluctantly agreed. We eventually set a tentative date for the third week in June to hook up in Kigali, the Rwandan capital.

China Blog #73

China Blog #73

I arrived back in Wuxi, China on Thursday and the next day, Good Friday I was partying with my mate Don Kenny. 
What a night we had in the Red Lion.  Easter Saturday was my birthday but I celebrated it in some style that Good Friday.
Ten minutes before midnight Don dragged me off to a nightclub and at midnight a fantastic all women's band called me up on stage for a Happy Birthday rendition, lol!
Then a pretty lady came over and asked me to dance. Being the gentleman that I am I had to oblige but I made a bold dance movement that Don actually snapped! We danced to a funky song and then I went down on the floor and crawled under her legs!
Back in Ireland, I got some medical check-ups and all is thankfully clear. 
However, my doctor had some news for me... Good news for you Tony... Birthdays are good for your health. The more you have the longer you live

Dublin timeout

Dublin timeout  

Iy was wonderful to get back to Ireland for this break. Its been more than two years since my last visit. That was when my brother Brian died from a sudden heart attack and I travelled back for his funeral.
This time I enjoyed hanging out with my best mate Adair Cowan, and I even did a ten-kilometre canal walk!
Then a journo asked me what did I discover on my world walk and the state of the world. One of. my replies was that:
 There are so many problems out there but please remember to keep smiling and having fun. Let's keep life simple. Its just as easy to have a good attitude as a bad one. And to always dream big. If we can imagine what we want then just find a way to make it happen.

There were some other nights when I just sang along to great live music. Especially on Saturday and Sunday nights in the Brazen Head - Irelands oldest bar, circa 825 years old. 
My favourite nights are Sundays with the Brazen Hussies. The band are great friends of mine and we must know each other for about 5℅ of the time that the Brazen has been in business. 

Another day my sister Ann asked me what I did that day. "Nothing!" I said 
"But you did that the day before!" She replied.
"I wasn't finished!" I said. 
So, the world walker was given Lucky the family dog to walk πŸ˜‚

Later I went out with Ann and my brother in law, John for another great music night in the Brazen Head. Thanks a million to Eamon Thompson, John O'Callaghan and the rest of the Brazen Hussies for a superb performance. They kindly gave me signed a copy of their latest CD called The Brazen Hussies Remixed Up.

Anotjer night along with my brother-in-law John We attended a fundraising event in the Aviva Stadium for Sean Cox an Irishman who is also a Liverpool supporter. He was injured last year by an Italian hooligan while attending a game at Anfield. Sean has been embraced by the Irish public and all at Liverpool football club and beyond. So it was lovely when a Reds legends team packed with stars from over the last couple of decades came to Dublin and played a fundraiser match with an Irish legends team. Many of the Irish players played for Liverpool in the past and as per true exhibition style, some of them changed sides from time to time during this game. 
As may readers will know, Liverpool is also my team and this night they made yet another comeback escape, lol.
 Keith Andrews put Ireland ahead and this was equalised by a John Aldridge penalty, a typical Aldo shuffle before he planted the ball in the back of the net. Late in the second half  Vladimir Smicer scored the winner for the mighty Reds.
Wishing Sean Cox all the best in his long battle with recovery and strength to him and his family.
Then before I returned to China I had a couple of nigjts out with my family and we celebrated my birthday early. 
I had a great timeout, just what I needed

China blog #72

China blog #72

 A 33-kilometre day to Huangqiaozhen. Followed by a 37 km day when I slept under a motorway flyover πŸ˜‚ So many friendly people stopped to greet me as I walked on some backroads. 
At one rest stop I smiled over at a young woman who was a customer in a petrol station and next moment she came over to my table and squeezed me into a corner and wanted my contact details lol πŸ˜‚πŸ€
I escaped with my noodles intact πŸ˜‚πŸ‘£πŸšΆ

Three more days along route S229 when I walked 44, 29 and 19 kilometres to reach Yancheng. Much of it was walked on stretches which were being widened. As mentioned before I'm taking a break from the road for three weeks when I return to Ireland on Wednesday 27th March (2019) I fly from nearby Shanghai.   I reached Yancheng on Sunday afternoon and took a bus back to Wuxi where once again I am staying with my great friend and super generous host Don Kenny. We enjoyed two great nights out on the town! 
Don, originally from Ohio, USA has been living here for twelve years. He is a marathon runner and likes to fit marathons in on his business trips. He has his own steel export company and mainly concentrates on the scaffolding sector. Donald Trump's steel tariff has become an issue for him.

China blog #71

China blog #71

I continued walking north at a pretty decent clip. As always cars and trucks overtook each other at an alarmingly dangerous rate. They take so many risks even when there is an approaching vehicle. Many drivers drive with a bully mentality, knowing well that they can force drivers out of their path and sometimes into the hard shoulder I walk on. Rarely do I see a courteous driver. I see so much stupidity and even with some slow moving vehicles with drivers driving in the overtaking lane while on a mobile phone. As always this is greeted by impatience and more risk-taking maneuvers. Cultural impatience and non-inforsement of traffic rules is behind it all.

That morning for a few kilometres I walked on a tree-lined grassy stretch which was a couple of metres off the road. I was able to walk there and off the road as I was walking with a backpack. One advantage of backpacking as opposed to pushing a cart is that I can sometimes walk off-road or hop over a crash barrier and walk along it and away from the maddening road for short stretches. It was a warm day and I welcomed the shade which the trees afforded me. 

After twenty kilometres I arrived at the south bank of the Yangtze River. This is Asia's longest river and is 6,380 kilometres long (almost 4,000 miles) It is the third-longest river in the world but the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to walk across. There is a ferry service for pedestrians and bikes but it about twenty-five kilometres to the west and off my route. Had I gone there then I would have had to walk a similar distance back to my route. As I have already walked this continent and my current walking in east China is all 'extra' walking I felt that I was entitled to take a bus across the bridge and this would not be considered cheating. Especially when it is illegal to walk across. 

I would of course restart immediately at the riverbank. Even Guinness World Records have a rule that all road regulations have to be obeyed. I have always operated to a higher standard than that of the self-appointed so-called authority of extreme sports. To me, GWR is merely an entertainment manual. They are not a governing body of any sport. 

I'm following (and even exceeding) the minimum requirements of the World Runners Association  (WRA) who are the recognised governing body for around the world runners. They also encourage world walkers to follow these guidelines. If you are interested in checking out these rules please Google WRA/constitution 

Had this been on my original route across for sure I would have gone out of my way to avoid the bridge gap but as I mentioned this is extra walking and I genuinely believe my decision was credible. 

The bus drove over the Yangtze River which is about 2.5 kilometres across. I didn't get much of view out of the crowded bus. Then I wanted to get out but I couldn't as it was a motorway. 

I had my restart location on the north bank of the river bookmarked on my map and stayed on the bus for a further seven kilometres to the next town called Jingjiang. Once I got there I dropped my backpack in a hotel and got a taxi back to the north bank. Then I walked a further kilometre until I was satisfied it was a good match with the point I left on the south side. Whatever about an unavoidable bridge gap there will be no road gap that I can help on this global walk. I was tired that night and the last thing I wanted to do was to go out there that night and walk the eight kilometres along route 229, but I did because it was the right thing to do.. Had I not have walked them nobody would have known. Only the most important person, me. I couldn't do that and just gloss over it. A lifetime to regret it and a two-hour effort to be proud of. πŸ˜€πŸšΆπŸ‘£

China blog #70

China blog #70 

Before that timeout mentioned in update #69 I had a few days walking to do before my flight to Dublin. I decided that it was best for me to leave Karma with Don, that way I could get back unburdened for my flight.

After a great St Patricks night in the Red Lion bar in Wuxi, I walked out of the city the following afternoon. My destination for this week is Yangcheng, 222 kilometres to the north. This past week the weather has improved. After three weeks of rain, it's now back to warm days. That's yet another winter I escaped without any adverse weather. Last winter I was in Australia and for a European, that doesn't count as cold! My previous winter was in Mongolia and China where I had only about a dozen really cold days. So, not too bad! 
I left Karma, my cart with my friend Don Kenny  in Wuxi as I'm going to return there on Sunday. As mentioned in a previous post, I'm going back to Ireland for a short break and to take care of some personal business. So with a backpack, it will be easier to return on a bus for my flight. I didn't take much in the backpack, just a minimal amount of clothes, a summer sleeping bag, waterproof bivvy, a phone charger and my log book. Stupidly I also took a pair of heavy waterproof boots that I bought in Wuxi.
I walked for a long time that day and after exiting the city I didn't pass any shops. Just as my belly was about to fall out I came to a roadside vendor who was selling delicious fried bread. I had my fill while chatting to the friendly woman. 
I was saddened to see the cruel sight of several cages of chicks that were squashed too closely together into small cages. They were then stacked into the underneath luggage compartment of a bus.
It was around ten pm when I reached Qingyang town. Stuck for a place to sleep and starry night that it was I slept on a bench outside the Transport Police office on the outskirts of the town. Due to my late start, I did well to clock out with 30 kilometres. The following morning I left early and before they arrived.

China blog # 69

Just to remind readers:
China blog # 69 

Visa Run to Ireland..

As I'm travelling on a multi-entry Chinese visa I have decided that I want to see more of this amazing country. However, there is only a little more than three weeks left on my current entry. So, it was time to figure out my next visa run! Those of you who are not long-term backpackers, you may wonder what a visa run is. Simply it's leaving a country with the sole intention of only leaving so as to return again. In doing so the traveller has a fresh visa stamp in their passport and the day counter is reset. 
I remember back in 2013 when I was in Indonesia on my world run that I needed another month. So I did a visa run and flew on a budget airline to Singapore. I had a burger in the airport and a couple of hours later I returned to Indonesia with a fresh visa on arrival. 
This time I looked hard and couldn't find a cheap return flight back to any of the cities near my route. It seemed to be a lot of money also. I even considered walking Cambodia as an extra and doing my Chinese visa run that way. At least that would be a bit more value than my other options. At this stage, I got the idea that it's only a little more expensive to return to Ireland. I could take care of some personal business and also pay a visit to my dentist as there is a possibility I may need some dental work done on my big gob soon. Better to have that done with the dentist I know rather than taking my chances over here. 
At this stage, I realised that perhaps a visa run to Hong Kong could have been a cheaper option to some others.. But to hell with it, once I got the idea of doing the visa run to Ireland it was hard to get it out of my mind πŸ˜‚

Then trying to book the flight with crashing website pages and slow VPNs it was a pain! In the end, I handed it over to my fabulous sister Ann to book me my flight and she even helped me find a cheaper one too! Thanks a zillion, sis πŸ˜ I luv ya! I would be so lost without you even with a GPS Xx 
I can't wait to see everyone back in the Emerald Isle πŸ€πŸ’š
March 27th I fly Shanghai to Dublin. April 17 its Dublin to Shanghai and back to my route for my walk towards Beijing, the capital and beyond πŸ˜‚
Thanks to Don Kenny for minding Karma in his office. I will walk about a week with a backpack before I head to Shanghai. It would be so difficult for me to do this without Dons kind offer to mind my cart until I return.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

ALL 39 of the Blog Posts published by Conor Hogan at "The Eye"

ALL 39 of the Blog Posts published by Conor Hogan at "The Eye"

( Warning: This is a LONG Read!! )

Find the articles posted here:

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #1
Around the world in 80 Days</em> was a 1873 novel by the French writer Jules Verne.  In the novel the main character Phileas Fogg decided that he wanted to attempt to travel the globe in 80 days. Many doubted that he would actually be capable of circling the globe in that time frame – such was the complexity of travel in those days. In fact, another inventor decided to wage a bet that Fogg would be proven unsuccessful.
Although there are many more modern advancements in travel in the present day, to travel around the world is still quite an achievement and certainly not one that everyone has the pleasure of doing in their life time.
But this is exactly what Irish man Tony Mangan is doing!
Tony hails from Dublin and is an athlete and adventurer of  high regard. In the past, Tony has raised money for charity and seen lots of places of interest as his itchy feet flung on a pair of runners and succeeded in running around the world!
At present he is attempting to <strong>walk</strong> around the world.
Tony says:
“The hardest decision is to make the decision to do it, Don’t be limited in your mind!”
Tony has given exclusive access to me to chronicle his adventures as he approaches his 2nd year putting one foot in front of another – walking around the world.
Although Phileas Fogg attempted the feat in 80 days, it will take Tony a lot longer. As he progresses he will be giving his take on global tourism and informing The Galway Eye readers about all the places of interest and the best people to meet, things to do and ways to go about it when getting there.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #2
For almost two years now Tony Mangan has been walking around the world.  On his journey he has met many people from all walks of life. He has traveled to many places and experienced many different things, that most of us will never experience.
In the future we will be covering Tony’s travel and getting his feedback on all the wonderful spots that he stays in. Whilst he goes from place to place one thing that Tony is keen to mention is that:
<pre>No matter where you go in the world, there are mostly good people around the world!
He travels alone and lives a simple existence on his world trail pushing a cart that he has named Karma.
In 2016 Tony rambled along an unusual world route. Although he found himself in Europe, he was in a place that few Europeans realise exist, at least, not under the nationality that it does.
With his trusted cart loaded and his rubber soled runners strapped on, Tony got curious and entered Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania right on the Baltic Sea. As it is located by the sea and close to the western world,  it is also an important naval port for Russia.
During that Summer, Tony pushed his cart which was full to the brim with food, camping gear and all of his worldly belongings – well, at least all his necessities that he draws from for the years that he lives this nomadic existence away from his native Liberties in Dublin.
For all his world travelling, you would be forgiven in thinking that Tony is a multicultural man. In visiting such an unknown place as Kaliningrad, it`s obvious how it tweeked Tony’s curiosity as it is said that it’s inhabitants see themselves as citizens of Kaliningrad before being identified as European or even Russian citizens.
As Tony walks, he is spreading the great message of hope for the people of the world. Rather than seeking money or sponsorship along his way, his main prerogative is to make everyone he meets along his path aware of the ravages of cancer and to educate them that, despite it’s ugly existence in modern day life, there is hope. Tony insists that:
“Early screening of cancer can detect cancer”
It seems amazing in modern living that a person can live so humbly yet attempt to do so much for all walks of people in the world that we live in. Perhaps Tony deserves rewards for his insistent message and his noble cause of walking around the world.
Maybe, as Tony travels and represents Ireland internationally with his easy manner and soft Dublin brogue, he attracts better people than most, but then again, that really would be Karma.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #3
Have you ever asked yourself <em> ‘Am I afraid of the dark?’ well, this is a thing that Tony Mangan can never be accused of. After reaching his 2nd anniversary on his world walk Tony now finds himself walking somewhere  across Australia.
Every night he has a choice to make and often this choice means that he has only one real option of where to sleep. With his trusty cart which houses all his basic living equipment he unravels his tent and makes a home for the hours of darkness as he invariably sleeps outdoors quite regularly night after night, all over the world.
But, fortunately, another option often presents itself and that manifests itself following the goodness of random strangers.
This is when Tony is presented with a choice to make. As Tony is such an experienced world traveler it makes him attuned to the cultural differences throughout the world. Perhaps tempted at times by a potential indoor bed, his instincts need to be razor sharp for him to accept the kind offer of strangers to sleep in their home.
During this past week Irish man Tony hasn’t been thinking of darkness much, but more of native country as his sister continued to send him updates of the snow fall that covered most of Ireland. For all of us living in Ireland over the past few decades the recent snow fall seemed surreal, but, spare a thought for Tony, as he wanders alone across the lower half of the globe  after being constantly updated  last week with pictures of home under a veil of whiteness. Surely he had thoughts of his childhood remembering the show that was, and other thoughts of how the snow back home could sooth him as he sweated in the heat. When we were in the depths of snow he communicated to me saying:
“It’s over thirty one degrees here and having trouble sleeping in my tent!”
Fortunately for Tony he ran into some very good people in Scott and Noel in the Darling Downs region. Scott who wondered about Tony as he peered from his home (at the then stranger Tony) quickly made his mind up to kindly offer him a bed for the night. Then there was Noel who came across Tony as he walked and decided to stride it out for an hour with him in honour of his late father who had passed away due to cancer.
Although Tony was having a joke with his fellow Irish man  by quipping how it was nice to be away from last week’s snow fall, again within hours he had to ask himself  ‘Am I afraid of the dark? ‘as he was unsure of where he was to sleep the following night again.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #4
The Bible is the good book that tells us how best to live. Many scriptures and stories are contained in the bible. Characters from within these tales are comparable to people that exist in our everyday lives in the present day.
One of these characters is a man named Moses.
The story of Moses stated that the descendants of Jacob had lived in Egypt for over 450 years and then their people transformed into a nation. This nation was named Israel. However, the Egyptians started to see Israel as being a threat to their own nation and reacted by forcing them to become slaves. Due to Israel`s population increase, the Egyptians then decided to drown their babies in the River Nile. However, God came to Israel`s aid and sent them a leader who was called Moses.
As an infant, Moses’ mother had left him into a basket and let him flow down the River Nile as she believed that  God would look after him. Despite this random act, the baby Moses was rescued by a well off daughter of a Pharaoh and the baby was raised in a royal palace.
Like Moses’ mother, Tony Mangan leaves a lot to chance. Still, this chance is educated by his vast travelling experience. Although Moses travelled down the River Nile and was fortunate enough to be rescued by a Pharaoh`s daughter Tony too, has had the fortune of being aided on many occasions by generous people.  Each time Tony meets a new stranger and tells them of his world walk message of becoming aware of early Cancer screening, he is often given royal treatment by ordinary people.
Later in the biblical story of Moses things became more complicated.
Once Moses reached adulthood he rebelled against his upbringing and killed an Egyptian guard in honour of his native Israelites. As he attempted to avoid the reaction of the Pharaoh, he flied to the dessert where he was spoken to by God through a burning bush. This message from God is said to have given him special powers that were to eventually propel Moses to lead his people from slavery.
Like Moses, Tony is taking chances as he travels down under. Although he has not had the experience of being spoken to by God in the dessert, he is certainly raking up the miles in the Australian bush and continuing his story in leading others from the wrath of a cancerous death.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #5
God said to Noah:
“I am going to put an end to all the people because the earth is full of fighting because of them. I am going to destroy them and the earth.”
Noah was then given specific instruction on how he could build an arc to save those that he could from the almighty flood.
Once God had communicated this to Noah it is said that he then made a covenant with him, an agreement with a promise.
Before Tony Mangan’s mother passed away from cancer  she lived out one of her dreams in seeing her son finish his world run.  By then a deep motivation had begun in Tony. That motivation was to spread the urgent news regarding the importance of early cancer screening in order to  avoid the pains and struggles of the dreaded disease.
Recently Tony was experiencing another annoyance during his leg of a Queensland walk. As St. Patrick’s Day was looming Tony began to ponder how he, as an Irish man, felt coming up to the annual celebration. As an overseas ambassador of his beloved country, Tony began to recall the time he ran around the world some years previously. Rather than being near Australia, Tony was on the opposite side of the southern hemisphere and finishing a run through Mexico. As soon as he completed a 50km journey he was parched with the thirst and had to be led by police back to the police station. While he was being marshalled back by two Mexican officers, one of them stopped to take a call of nature. As he did his business he turned to Tony and said:
“Hey, you Irish you love to drink, don’t you?”
and proceeded to offer Tony a beer.  Much to the officers’ amazement Tony preferred to drink a Coke instead as he retorted:
“Nah, nah I`ll have a coke instead.”
The resultant body language and actions from those officers said it all for Tony. They continued to use their pistols to open two beers before driving off and this displayed how they were not prepared for an Irish man so fit and self disciplined, not fitting the stereotype of wanting to drink alcohol at every given opportunity.
In these past few days Tony has experienced Queensland in floods yet the weather is warm and welcoming. His insistence after travelling around the world and meeting many people from all places is that the Irish, when internationally compared, are only ‘mid table’  consumers of alcohol.  Thankfully for us Irish we won’t need a Queensland flood to water us down now that St. Patrick’s weekend has run it’s course, but for Tony, his international ramble by the waters of the world continues.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #6
Many would say that the modern man is a metro-sexual man. Being metro-sexual means that the man is particular about how he grooms himself and that he likes to spend time on his appearance – even more than many women. In comparison to men of yesteryear, these types of men are perceived by many as being more aware of their appearance as distinct from their fore fathers. Still, not every modern man is a metro-sexual. Some are just clean shaven, tidy, resourceful and just as hardy as those of their fore fathers.
One such man is Tony Mangan. His daily ritual of keeping clean, tidy and as presentable as any so called  ‘heterosexuals’ endear him to hoards of strangers all over the world. His charming way backs up his affable and clean cut lean frame as he is challenged by the high ways and by ways of the world.
Tony attracts all types of positive attention on his world walk. Thankfully for him, it’s predominately positive attention from people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. He seems to motivate kindness in people as he steps it out across the southern hemisphere.
About five years ago, when Tony was galloping along the road in Melbourne (with his crew member Michael), he bumped into a kind farmer and his wife. After the rapport was built up Tony and Michael were offered to stay on the farm for the night – to rest their weary limbs.  The banter was good and Michael and the farmer had a couple of drinks as Tony rested his weary muscles and had the chat with them. As the night wore on it was time for bed and Tony and Michael were summoned to sleep in the same room but on different sides of an ‘L’ shaped couch. As Michael had taken a few drinks he was falling asleep while Tony was just allowing the last few thoughts of the busy day flow through his mind as he lay relaxed on the couch.
Soon the inebriated farmer’s curiosity got the better of him and he hurried downstairs and jokingly approached Tony’s side of the couch before surrounding a prostate Tony and then eventually pinning him to the couch with his wrestler like build. As he lay over Tony with his muscular frame his drunken antics eventually uttered:
“Why the hell are you running around the world?”
Tony, although initially startled, stayed as cool as a breeze while his friend Michael was sniggering with entertainment on the other side of the couch. But Michael was still clever enough not to attract the drunken farmer’s comical advances! Within a moment both men’s shock was abated as the farmer’s wife  summoned her semi naked husband back to his bedroom.
Although Tony Mangan is not a metro-sexual he attracts a lot of attention. On that particular night he attracted a confused drunken farmer, but Tony’s cool instincts and appeal to the ladies is obvious as he continues to make his way through the trails of Australia.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #7
lthough Easter has just passed you would be forgiven that everyone has eaten their fill of Easter eggs and now find themselves looking back on the Winter with a huge degree of haste.
But not everyone feels the same. After all, we are all different.
For Tony Mangan on his world walk somewhere in Queensland, Australia Easter 2018 was not a time for a lot of personal celebration. For him the few days on the lead up to Easter were ones where he was introspective along his walk. Walking alone is one thing but walking around the world alone for years on end is a totally different matter. Even more challenging than that is being alone in the wilderness with only your memories as your sole companion and this can have an impact on a person.
 The closeness Tony has to Summer like nature as he walks
This past Easter has represented good and bad memories for Tony. His particular motivation for his website  comes from the memory of his mother’s passing. Tony’s close relationship with his mother is much like many Irish people and this is to be heralded. Yet,this past Easter was a tough few days of walking for Tony as he was recalling his mother’s third anniversary of her passing. She died of cancer and, unfortunately for her and Tony’s family and friends, things may have been different if she was screened for cancer earlier.
So, three years later, Tony finds himself on the road somewhere in the southern hemisphere putting one foot after another in aid of early cancer screening awareness.
Coincidentally, only last week on the day of Tony’s mother anniversary a study by the Irish Cancer Society was published where it stated that around 3,000 cancers are diagnosed annually in hospital emergency departments. According to the study, three out of four cases are at an advanced stage and involve people over the age of 65.
Being suddenly diagnosed like this when you are elderly is still shocking for many. On an earlier world run memory Tony was once shocked by an elderly person who showed him so much kindness and like him at time, was at peace with themselves.
It occurred in the Andes Mountains of South America. Here, as he ran, Tony noticed a trail by the high way. He continued for a couple of kilometres until he arrived in a little village that was well off the beaten track. There he met a very old woman named Violet who invited him, a total stranger, into her home. Within her home there were no electrical appliances. Despite this, and being in this very remote region away from everything civil the old lady put on fire made of twigs, boiled water for a cup of tea and coffee, fed him and gave him a bed.
Many who are over 65 in Ireland may be feeling as if they are entering into their Autumn years and that they can bask in the sunshine free of a life full of working pressures, but for thousands each year they are instead in the midst of winter and are only looking forward to a hasty cancer filled exit from earth.
Bitter sweet after taste of Easter for those hastily looking back on the winter of their lives
Thankfully for Ireland and the world there is a sensitive and determined man in Tony Mangan who will continue to put one foot after another to educate the masses.
Although the Easter has now gone the bitter sweet after taste of the importance of exercise and early cancer screening resides for those that are only now entering their dark winter despite the Spring that find ourselves now in.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #8
Tony has been keeping it very Irish this week. Despite St. Patrick’s day having passed, his memories of the emerald isle are sharper now than ever. Even though he is trouping around Queensland in mid-thirty degree Celsius heat, he still seeks something hotter!
Getting into hot water is not something that any tourist wants abroad and mingling with a nation’s police force is something all journeymen are supposed to avoid, but then there’s Tony Mangan, and he’s not an ordinary type of guy.
Recently, while bumping into a young Irish couple, Tony was greeted with a smile and for him it was good to touch base with an attractive fellow country man and woman
Even though he had the pleasure of meeting this couple, he is keen to remind us of a time when he entered <em>‘the land of smiles’</em> and his presence got them all hot around the collar, although this all happened a couple of years back under the Asian sunshine.
As a single man, Tony ran into the renowned and exhilarating city of Bangkok, Thailand. Soon, word spread that such a fit western gent was arriving and the local police chief got excited. His introduction to the capital city eventually caused quite a stir.
This flurry of excitement caused the chief of police to take the day off and go on a run with Tony as he made sure that his patrol cars were loaded up with water and food. Late in the day, Tony reached a local college where he got rousing appreciation. This assured Tony that he was being lauded for his athletic achievements and not just his other charms.
As Tony continues to trek it out, over the years it must amaze him how many people get drawn to his unique efforts to foot it out alone across the globe.
Though it’s tough for him at times (and so hot that it`s uncomfortable) it’s better to meet a police chief in Thailand and be admired than being <em>‘ Banged Up Abroad’</em> under the suspicions of a different type of heat altogether!

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #9
There’s a wise old saying:
“If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain”
According to the Oxford dictionary this generally means that if someone fails to do as you wish them to do or, if a particular situation does not suit you despite your perseverance to shape it in that manner, then you must accept it and change your plans accordingly.
Perseverance is something that Tony Mangan does well. In fact, his waking life depends on daily perseverance as he walks around the globe step after step.
This week Tony was keen to share his memory of when he was on a similar world tour 4 years ago. At that time in Iran he bumped into a man named Mohamed and his little family. Tony got to experience a culture of a different kind and he shared a lovely birthday experience with this man and his kind family.
As Tony foots it out across the southern half of Australia, he is continuing to bump into random characters that provide him (and us) all with entertainment. Tony, of course, greets them with his smile and shows his Irish charm whatever comes along.
Recently his openness around the world meant that he was followed by an uncomfortable amount of flies. This and the excessive heat have bothered Tony somewhat so he’s fortunate to have met a couple of ladies that have stuck to him as closely as those flies!
Two of these ladies are pet-named  by Tony as ‘Thelma’ and ‘Louise’ and  another was kind old Nola who volunteers to help revive drivers in the outback. As per usual, Tony used his gift of the gab to illicit some fun and mischief from the ladies along the way.
Although a couple of these lovely ladies were named after the famous movie that addressed how two women who bond can live without men in their lives, thankfully for Tony these two Aussie ladies were far more welcoming to him.
Then again, he was in the mood for a waltz with even a Matilda if she crossed his path. For Tony perseverance is one of  the traits that he knows too well since his journey from Asia to Australia and back again in the near future.
Perhaps in Asia he will be greeted by people just as glorious as the ladies he has met recently. If not,  ah well, you can be assured that he will be as open to receiving an approach as we all know now that with him:
If the mountain won’t come to Tony, Tony must go to the mountain!

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #10
As the good old jokes go:
‘A man walks into a bar…’
For in a bar you are bound to meet the most interesting of characters.
This past week in Queensland, Australia Tony Mangan met men who were far from ‘queens’. In fact, they didn’t even seem like royalty.
Of course, Tony is used to being treated like royalty by many ordinary people along his world walk route, but then there are times when, despite him insisting that there are great people all around the world, it`s just not possible to bump into them.
When that happens getting from ‘A to B’ in a foreign country can be tough. In October 2011 Tony was going from Mexico to Guatemala. It was a dry and arid time, not unlike this past week in Australia. Tony was finding it tough as he walked. His usual economical journey was being interrupted by immigration on the Mexican border. There the guards insisted that he pay more money even though he had already forked out for the original visa fee on the other side of the border. He had to wait for over an hour while the man on the border emailed and liaised with officials about what must have seen to them at that time as being some form of a runaway border hopper. Tony though, used the waiting time to notice the surrounding landscape and weather. 
He noticed that the drivers were erratic and the roads weren’t much better either. Notable to him was how the roads had been worn down such was the power and regularity of the extreme downpours during the typical monsoon weather of that typical central American country. As he had been there before he wondered if the potholes were the same ones as the last time he had visited!
This past week for Tony has allowed him to meet nicer folk that the pertinacity of the border guard though they have spun a yarn or two to Tony along the way also. For him, these past few days have  been a case of forgetting about the ‘Queens’ land, as it`s been more like a deck of cards where the queens, kings, jacks have all been missing and a new jester has been crowned instead saying:
“Tony Mangan walked into a bar and met a pack of jokers “
Thankfully, for the local road users there are no dangerous crevices in the ground to make the drivers as crazy as Tony experienced in South America during 2011, although the ‘holes’ may be larger but are seated under the jokers right by the bar in Queensland, Australia.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #11
In Ireland, the Dublin football team were the team of the decade as they ended the decade with a 3-in- a-row.

Although fellow Dub Tony Mangan was celebrating his birthday recently he was not born back in the 1890s, but it being his birthday season, it seems only fitting to mention dates on this occasion.
Another time of note that occurred back then in 1895 was that the song <em>Waltzing Matilda</em> was written. Lately on  Tony`s birthday he was fortunate enough to spend it in the town where the song was first performed.
Such was the song`s popularity,  it became notorious for being Australia`s unofficial national anthem.
As the tune goes:
“Oh there once was a swagman camped in a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree”
Over the past few years Tony has camped out in many a place and under many a tree and so the significance of Tony being compared to the character in this song is obvious.
But what is the real background behind the song?
The Waltzing Matilda song lyrics arose from the 1891 Shearers Strike which was one of Australia`s most prominent industrial disputes. Unionised and non- unionised wool workers fought violently and the outcome saw the formation of the Australian labour party coming to political power.
In Tony`s native land there is another Dubliner in political power and he has the overarching responsibility of many government departments including the bursting at the seams <em>Health Service Executive</em>. As Tony is walking around the world in aid of early cancer screening it seems apt now and then to wonder about the disease that he preaches about.
A recent study found that cancer patients who are physically active both prior to and following treatment are 40% more likely to survive in comparison to people who have cancer who are sedentary.
One thing is for certain that despite Tony having a couple of unusual rest days in this past week he is anything but a sedentary body as he moves around Australia meeting people here and there and spreading his message of early cancer screening. Of course, his two day break was due to his recent birthday and like anyone celebrating a break is well deserved. An Taoiseach, Ireland`s prime minister, is another who likes a ramble with his short pants on.
Of course, there is a possibility that Tony`s idealist early cancer screening is prevented for many due to the inefficiency of the health system that Irish people find themselves living in. Seeing as only last month there was record breaking 10,000 people on trolleys in hospitals across Ireland, perhaps it`s time for certain people in the HSE to do as Tony did some years ago and ‘go for a run…’
That run went all around the world for Tony and he continues to repeat the selfless feat for others who need it now.
As he has passed the famous Waltzing Matilda mark we still wonder what is a swagman?
Simply put a‘Swagman’is a  person holding a swag or bundle of belongings for a prolonged period, as they walk away.
As Tony Mangan walks on from another important date on the calendar and away from the fame of the 1890s famed Waltzing Matilda memory co-incidentally his native Dublin footballers are beginning  to start defending their present  3-in-a-row All-Ireland Football Championships  wins, yet  Tony`s  governmental leader Leo has his famous socks on and may be ready for a long walk of his own -if everyone figures out that he is the real ‘Swagman’ of Dublin.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #12
During this past week Tony Mangan has landed in Crocodile Dundee country. The 1986 hit movie chronicled the lifestyle of outback hunter gather Mick Dundee who had an often hilarious twist on things that he experienced.
There’s a scene from the movie ‘Crocodile Dundee 2’  in which Mick Dundee is walking leisurely through a fancy hotel like venue hand in hand with the female lead Sue Charlton.  The couple are greeted by a concierge who offers Dundee’s lady friend a menu of sorts while Mick`s outdoor instincts kick in once he sees, to the other side of him, a musician snake charming for entertainment. Dundee immediately reacts to the snake as it wriggles by his arm and grabs it with both hands before cracking it’s neck in a nonchalant manner. The snake wiggles no more and instead drops to the base of the basket where it once lived. All the while, Sue Charlton is unaware of Dundee’s flick of the wrist and they both walk on through the hotel.
Mick Dundee’s character can be summed up by a few quotes that he said throughout filming. One quote from him explained his theory on life when he began with:
“Of course it took me a week to crawl this far.
I thought I was a goner. I said to meself, 
‘ Mick old son, find yourself a nice comfortable spot
and lay down and die”
During these past weeks or so Tony can relate to this. As he has been walking through Australia over the past 10 days he has momentarily taken the outback and all it`s outdoor wonders of nature for granted.
Of late he was rambling with his trusted cart ‘Karma’ and was pensive about his late mother’s birthday which was on that very same day. Naturally, as Tony has dedicated his world walk to the need for early cancer screening (which was in part motivated by his mother’s passing from the dreaded disease) he could be forgiven for his lapse in concentration as he moved along his route.
As he rolled his cart forward upon the road it ran directly over a snake which wasn’t obvious to the eye at the time and, before Tony realised it, his momentum made him step right onto the reptile. By the time he figured out what had just occurred the snake had slithered for cover into the surrounding grass as Tony was left to wonder if the creature was venomous or not.
Thankfully, Tony has recovered and his world walk continues.
What of what Mick Dundee said earlier?
In reply to the quote by Dundee about he may have been killed one time his missus in the movie Sue Charlton said:
” Nah, I read the Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were fishermen, just like me. Yeah, straight to heaven for Mick Dundee Yep, me and God, we`d be mates”
Now that Tony has learned from the outback warrior of Mick Dundee’s legacy he’ll never be afraid to die. He’ll face the coming weeks with bravery as the worst that can happen has happened and he has survived the incident with the snake and is still walking onward.
You can’t kill Tony Mangan, for he’s just got too much ‘snake charm’ in him.
During this past week Tony Mangan has landed in Crocodile Dundee country. The 1986 hit movie chronicled the lifestyle of outback hunter gather Mick Dundee who had an often hilarious twist on things that he experienced.
There`s a scene from the movie ‘ Crocodile Dundee 2’  in which Mick Dundee is walking leisurely through a fancy hotel like venue hand in hand with the female lead Sue Charlton.  The couple are greeted by a concierge who offers Dundee`s lady friend a menu of sorts while Mick`s outdoor instincts kick in once he sees, to the other side of him, a musician snake charming for entertainment. Dundee immediately reacts to the snake as it wriggles by his arm and grabs it with both hands before cracking it`s neck in a nonchalant manner. The snake wiggles no more and instead drops to the base of the basket where it once lived. All the while, Sue Charlton is unaware of Dundee`s flick of the wrist and they both walk on through the hotel.
Mick Dundee`s character can be summed up by a few quotes that he said throughout filming.
One quote from him explained his theory on life when he began with :
“Of course it took me a week to crawl this far. I thought I was a goner. I said to meself,  “ Mick old son, find yourself a nice comfortable spot and lay down and die”
During these past weeks or so Tony can relate to this.
As he has been walking through Australia over the past 10 days he has momentarily taken  the outback and all it`s outdoor wonders of nature for granted.
Of late he was rambling with his trusted cart ‘Karma’ and was pensive about his late mother`s birthday which was on that very same day. Naturally, as Tony has dedicated his world walk to the need for early cancer screening (which was in part motivated by his mother`s passing from the dreaded disease) he could be forgiven for his lapse in concentration as he moved along his route.
As he rolled his cart forward upon the road it ran directly over a snake which wasn’t obvious to the eye at the time and, before Tony realised it, his momentum made him step right onto the reptile. By the time he figured out what had just occurred the snake had slithered for cover into the surrounding grass as Tony was left to wonder if the creature was venomous or not.
Thankfully Tony has recovered and his world walk continues.
What of what Mick Dundee said earlier?
In reply to quote by Dundee about he may have been killed one time his missus in the movie Sue Charlon said:
“Weren`t you afraid?”
To which Mick replied:
“Of dying? Nah, I read the Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were fishermen, just like me. Yeah, straight to heaven for Mick Dundee Yep, me and God, we`d be mates”
Now that Tony has learned from the outback warrior of Mick Dundee`s legacy he`ll never be afraid to die. He`ll face the coming weeks with bravery as the worst that can happen has happened and he has survived the snake bite and is still walking onward.
For you can`t kill Tony Mangan, for he`s just got too much ‘snake charm’ in him.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #13
Maewyn Succat was a boy born to Roman parents, kidnapped as a teenager and sent into slavery in Ireland to tend on sheep in county Antrim. That was a long time ago and few, if any, will recall what happened with the youngster next in life, as his name is not exactly etched in folklore.
Being a fluent Irish speaker was next on the list for the brave Maewyn and then priest hood followed.
Although poor Maewyn became ultra religious and was credited with changing the Irish to beign Christians as well as banishing the country of snakes before later being given the name of St. Patrick, history still states that he was forced into Ireland rather than being there of choice.
Tony Mangan is no saint. Nor is he a sheep herder. Still though, he does cover the amount of ground on foot as a sheep herder would have attempted back in the days prior to automation.
In November 2013 Tony`s feet found him in Myanmar and Burma in the eastern part of the world. Here he was welcomed by Buddist monks and although the area was a latent to the democratic process Tony was fed well, allowed to run unhindered and felt the joys of being warmly cherished as anywhere he had experienced and even the best of places in the world. Although at that time he understood  why his entering into this country may offend some of his international followers (due to it being a country that was only new to democracy) his experience there rebuffed any claims of the people being unfair or anything but open to his arrival.
As said, Tony is a layman and this disqualifies him from his likeness with St. Patrick or the monks. Unlike St. Patrick, Tony, in this past week or so, choose to enter into his latest city of Mount Isa in the Gulf Country region of Queensland, Australia.
In he strolled and before he knew it he was swarmed by many Irish people which were a very welcome diversion from the long lonely road that he is now so used to after over two years stepping it out around the world.
Although Tony Mangan is no saint, his personality will have surely banished any sneaky behaviour from Mount Isa as his open and expanding travel blogging and vloging brings light to another town who showed him a cΓ©ad mΓ­le fΓ‘ilte and a truly Christian welcome.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #14
Back in the 1970s Tony Mangan attended school in Dublin. Often, back then, young girls wore skirts and young boys wore short pants as they attended even the foremost  Irish educational schools of the land. At the end of each day they skipped home and diligently attempted a couple of hours of  home work that was designed to make them more worldly  in their actions in the years ahead.
In the north side and other parts of Dublin city a lot was happening.
In Ballymun the infamous flats were built and motions were made to establish a Gael Scoil in the area.
In Foley Street the corporation place flats known as ‘The Cage’ which had a plethora of social problem meant that there was a high failure rate for those that sought out  educational attainment. There was even an official experiment by the Department of Education which paid attention to the Bernard Van Leer Foundation in Holland of having a bright and informal school surrounding designed for 3-5 year olds in order to irradiate the social problems that were so prevalent in inner city Dublin.
In those times, glass milk bottles were used by the schools children and Aran sweaters were seen a plenty ,not to mention, the child in the duffle coat who crossed the street with the lollipop lady for safety.
It was different times in Irish schools and far from the computerised classrooms of the modern day.
In that same decade attention was given to the old Irish Industrial schools. A the beginning of the decade the Kennedy Report found that the residential care system, as it was, should be abolished and replaced by group homes in a kinder effort towards the children of those centres.
By 1972 the Marlborough House in Dublin was closed down along with Galway`s Letterfrack and the Daingean Industrial School in Offaly also ceased their operations.
Although there was a lot of changes for Irish schools back then it wasn`t all bad either.
School children were a lot fitter and mobile than what a lot of the current school goers appear to be as present day obesity levels in Irish schools are at a high. Street games for children were very popular, where as now, there is often a reluctance by parents to let their children play outdoors such is the changing views by many of how things should be done.
Other Changes were a plenty in that decade too. For those a little bit older  than the child were known for their stylish twist on things as they wore  the flared trousers as a fashionable attire.
Still, that was a time when Tony Mangan was a little bit younger and from then until now he remains unchanged in so many noble ways.
Then he was a fit young boy, now he is a fit man.
Then, when he wasn`t playing street games for entertainment and exercise with the other children he book learned the geography of the world. Now,  he continues  his unique walk the world with a message to educate around the globe  that ‘ Life is Precious, Early Cancer Screening Saves Lives’.
Yet the young boy is still there in Tony as he continues to wear his short trousers and visit schools around the globe to tell them of his remarkable feat of helping other people. That`s  his work right now.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #15
Cathy Freeman is an Australian field athlete. She is also an Aboriginal woman. In fact, not only is she both, but she is the first Aborigine to earn a medal in an individual Olympic event which occurred in Atlanta in 1996.
In later years Freeman won gold herself in the 1997 and 1999 world championships and when the Olympic games was hosted by her native Australia in 2000 she proudly carried her country`s flag in the opening ceremony in Sydney and then didn`t disappoint her country folk as she went on to run to victory in the 400 metre final.
Like Freeman, Tony Mangan is a field Athlete and after spending over a year trotting the roads of Australia he is now in Aboriginal country where he is being warmly greeted by those in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Once, there were hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory even well before European settlement.  These people spoke hundreds of different languages. For example, the Yolngu came from Arnhem Land and Arrernet, Pijjantatjara and Warlpiri originated in central Australia.
Back a couple of hundred years ago, the aboriginals in the Northern Territory began trading with Makassan who were from Indonesia. The Indonesians came to Australia in order to harvest sea cucumbers.
In the present day Northern Territory the Larrakia also known as the ‘Saltwalter people’ exist. They find themselves as being the custodians of water and land around Darwin. Even now, over 80 Aboriginal languages are being spoken in this territory with half of the land there being owned by these residents. This even includes national parks like Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu.
European people began to settle in the Northern Terriotory in 1824 but found it difficult due to its limited supplies, harsh conditions and isolation. The results meant that people were often starved, ill or simply failed to live in the area.
Eventually in 1960 a place named Darwin was established successfully.  It was actually named after the famous Charles Darwin. Captain John Lort Stokes founded and on the back of it`s promise Alice Springs originated in 1871. Within another few years gold was discovered close by and subsequent findings and mining of tin, copper, manganese, mica, wolfram, bauxite, uranium, oil and gas.
By 1911 the Northern Territory became a part of the Commonwealth of Australia and separated from South Australia.
In this past week or so, Tony Mangan has been walking briskly through the Northern Territory and has been rewarded by many the kind stranger who has brought him water and placed other bottles of water further along his route for when he really needs it. In spite of it  getting hotter for Tony up there, there are those in Aboriginal country who are treating him well due to the originality of his achievements which are similar to that of their own hero Cathy Freeman.
Although Tony is not seeking to break any records in this athletic attempt this man is the salt of the earth and is making Irish people everywhere proud as he continues to fly his country`s flag during his travels with his message of  ‘ Early Cancer Screen Saves Lives’.
Tony Mangan is the golden one and like all aboriginals who eventually became heard on the world stage, his message needs to be listened to loud and clear.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #16
In 1976 Cadburys, the famous chocolate company, devised a very clever marketing campaign concentrating on some of their main ingredients that were contained in their chocolate. As they used fruit and nuts in many of their recipes they used the line ‘Everyone`s a fruit and nut case’ to highlight their brand.
In this past week Tony Mangan has been using fruit as a way to re-hydrate and replenish his low energy reserves as he pounds the pavements.
His renewed energy reminded him of this time in 2012 when, like this past week, the Champions league final had just finished. Back then Tony was footing it across Peru in South America. There he met a respected man by the name of Clemente.
Clemente was a guy who loved to see travellers visit his way. He even had three guest books that date back 30 years now. Similar to Tony`s walk in Peru, Clemente told him of two other walkers namely French Canadian Jean Believue who walked around the globe for 11 years and Karls Bushby who went around the world without any particular transport to guide his way. For Tony in Peru that time meeting Clemente and seeing his guess books gave him a great laugh as he saw how Karl Bushby demonstrated (with the aid of the guest book )where in the world the most beautiful women resided.
Although Tony is not rating the women in the towns he passes through he certainly is benefiting from their sustenance and care as they, along with other people, feed and water him along the way.
Over the past 3 months of covering Tony Mangan`s world walk it`s becoming obvious that Tony opens himself out in a truly colourful way. His personality shines through where all colours of the spectrum are greeting each new person in each new destination with brightness. As he walks and soaks in the rays of the sun many would think that he was de-motivating but with Tony it seems the power of the sun and the abundance of water that he so kindly receives along the way is making him grow like the assortment of fruits and vegetables  that he passes day by day on the road side.
As Tony`s healthy and fresh outlook resembles the fruits of the earth that he trod`s upon, it is gratifying that with each step he is trampling the fear of cancer for each and every follower of his world walk and showing that positivity and people`s interconnection along his world path can help bring about long term cancer relief in the coming years.
Tony Mangan is leading the way with cancer awareness as he continues to chant his message that:
” Early Cancer screening Saves Lives”
Tony`s message will need to be loud in the coming months as the big ‘ C ‘ continues to rear it`s head around the developed world.
Ironically, if everyone in the developed world were to intake the proper amount of nutrients that Tony is so careful to take on a daily basis , perhaps there would not be so many cases of cancer?! But then again, like fruits in a basket there are all types of  people who should be making proper dietary choices.
If it was all as simple as having world full of Tony Mangans there wouldn’t be so many interesting places for Tony to visit and Cadbury`s wouldn’t have to continue to be as blatantly honest with their advertising when they, well before their time, made it known that their sugar filled products were so good that they aid a healthy diet and also help all types of personalities, how ever strange some may be!
It s a mad world, but then again
“Everyone`s a fruit and nut case”
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #17
When an article is written for a publication there is particular sequence of events. Firstly, there must be communication between the writer and the subject that is to be written about. Then the subject (or the person to be written about) must communicate their information as accurately as they can. They may also say of any limitations or considerations that they have with the information they are imparting simply because they are aware that the content within the article is essentially coming from their own source. 
Once the information is told to the writer they must then assess the credibility of the information and go through a series of questions with the subject in order to elicit the correct information and the most pertinent for the audience of the article. Naturally then they have to get creative and put a certain sequence to the information or a twist of interest, so to speak.
Readers like to read interesting stuff and this is the job of the writer. Lastly, there is one more person that manages all of this communication. That person is the editor. The editor has a very responsible position. He or she must read through the finished article and adjust it’s contents with not just the audience in mind but also, the set of rules and principles that their publication is governed by in order to be considered a credible source or publication that is respected  in literary terms.
The whole process takes time. The whole process takes people. This time is spent between three people. They communicate between the three of them to make the best outcome for all of them. This three way communication is there to give satisfaction to each individual involved and to bring joy at the outcome of the sum of the parts.
This past week Tony Mangan has communicated with his article writer and in turn the editor. He has told of his information and in doing so the writer has checked his source. Then the editor has proof read the findings and considered it’s appeal. In conclusion this is the completion of the three way activity.
Co-incidentally in this past week Tony has entered in a threeway. This Threeway is in Australia where his world walk is continuing.
So, as Tony Mangan recovers from his time in Threeway he hits the road again. He is thankful that his dealings with his article writer have been distant and professional and that he can have open verbal and written communication with the article`s editor also.
Leaving a threeway can be tricky as it can sap your energy. Thankfully for Tony, the article writer and the editor are all heterosexual men who just want to talk to one another, otherwise Tony Mangan would be re-starting his running career and sprinting as far away from any future male communication in the next random town that he comes into.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #18
Back in 1990 there was an old song which rang out with the chant
‘Ole, Ole, Ole, we`re all part of Jackie`s Army, we`re all off to It-al-y’
Ireland was in the midst of economic deprivation with many school leavers hopping on the boat to the UK in search of what seemed would be a lifetime of exile. Back then being in the World Cup was completely surreal for us Irish. In fact, it was the first time that we had qualified for  competition. Two years earlier we had qualified for our first major senior mens’ soccer tournament and had scored a famous win against our most  fiercest rival England when Ray Houghton headed the winner over a hapless Peter Shilton.
The chorus that was ringing in every Irish person`s ears during the Italian World Cup referred to the old English football hero Jack Charlton who had the Midas touch in turning around the fortunes and success of the Irish soccer.
Charlton was a no- nonsense type of individual. He didn’t do finesse. He even ignored much of the talent at his disposal when he took over the Irish job and instead concentrated on planning his game play around a laboured style of forceful attach that was epitomised by a  swash buckling ‘ no surrender’ characteristic. Those that had the silky balls skills were left on the sideline as the team ethic was but to the foremost in order for the Irish flag to sail high in the international skies.
At that time Tony Mangan was still enjoying the odd game of football. Although in the midst of his ultra running career, his fitness leant to his ability on the ball. In spite of Tony`s athleticism and the extreme time commitments that he had to give to the preparation to his powerful exploits he still found the odd moment with mates to have a kick about.
Such was the lingo at that time that Tony would be undressing as would another member of the other team in order to design the make shift pitch most probably somewhere at the end of a Dublin street or a green patch not too far from a track. Then the terminology of using ‘ jumpers for goalposts’ was popular and Tony would have raised a smile or two as he jinked in and out of the action mimicking the Irish World Cup heroes of Bonnar,  Moran, McGrath, Whelan, Houghton, Sheedy and Cascarino.
Of course that was then and this is now. At present Tony is walking in aid of cancer awareness all around the world. He hasn`t time for a kick about and as he wanders the roads he is constantly wondering about the latest result in the 2018 World Cup whilst manys the feet of millions around the world are escalated onto sofas and following each camera angle of this over paid millionaires on a football pitch when their millions could do so much more for people like Tony and all that he stand for.
It may not be 1990 anymore but it is World Cup time. Perhaps its time to start a new chant to get more people on Tony`s side. It may go something like this
 ‘Ole, Ole, Ole, we`re all part of Tony`s Army, we`re all off to Asia soon!’
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #19
“All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock-hammer damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through a wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty.” 
Back in the 1995 there was a wonderful movie about how the life of single and successful white male was thrown upside down when he was wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife`s lover. That man  was a clever man, a man who was highly thought of in the outside world and most of all a man who exuded the ability to think under pressure and remain solemn and patient in his execution of the finest of deeds.
His name was Andy Dufresne. Andy was cool and calculated. Anyone who really knew him on the inside and the outside world knew that he was pensive within his own thoughts and was a man that  persevered in spite of the odds being against him. Such was his perseverance that he eventually broke out of the Shawshank state prison and eventually lived out his life as a rightfully free man.
Another such man who calculates things in a cool and calm manner  and allows his raw ability to lead the way in spite of all the odds stacked against him is Tony Mangan. Although he has not been imprisoned, but in fact lives quite the opposite of lifestyles to old Andy in being free to stride the high ways and by-ways of the globe, he none the less shares many other attributes with the award winning movie character.
Tony has done nothing wrong to get where he is in life. In fact in his former occupation as an ultra-distance runner he has achieved the lofty heights of success in a similar manner to Andy`s outside the prison walls success. Like Andy though, Tony`s commitment to his cause has fractured his possibility to have a long term relationship, yet his attraction to the ladies is ever growing.  For him, who knows what freedom on his world walk will bring him into contact with next. For soon he will be going the Asian route and his resilience and chirpy disposition will be welcomed in many the place including the likes of the land of smiles.
When Tony`s World Walk is done and dusted, we will all look back and wonder if we got our predictions correct in how long it took him to complete the journey.
Tony himself will count back on the number of pairs of walking shoes that he has popped his feet into and ponder on how he ever got this far in the first place.
In him showing this admirable resolve it`s no wonder that his current soles of shoes are fading away. Like an old rock hammer worn down to the nub, Tony will be able to smile and look back over his time on his worldly feet and take a relieved breath and say quietly to himself how he has reached his personal paradise of achievement in the same as old Andy Dufresne found peace by the ocean at the end of his much lauded story of life.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #20:
There was a cool cat in the 1980s and 1990s who sang of friendship and entertained millions. His name was Garfield. Garfield sang:
“When You Feel Like You’re Ready To Flip
When You Got The World On Your Shoulders
Friends Are There To Give You A Tip
Friends Are There When You Need Them
Their Even There When You Don’t
For A Walk In The Park, For A Shot In The Dark
Friends Are There. Garfield: “I Don’t Care”
But Friends Will Care For You-u-u-u-u-u-u! “
In this past week Tony Mangan has showed his coolness in spite of all the heat in the past few months in Australia. He has achieved part of what he has set out to do. After nearly 1 year walking Australia he has calmly reached the ocean`s edge where he now peers out over the ocean to another continent. That`s some movement, some walking.
Tony`s completion of Australia comes after months of adventures and meeting of many kind strangers. He has been burned, scorched, slept rough, been offered barns, homes and hotels. He has met poor people, rich people, bar flies, water boys, beautiful women and country guides. Along the way Tony has mixed with many the type of Aussie and got on with the all. No one has complained about his fleeting presence in their communities and many have championed his efforts for raising much needed early Cancer care screening. With minimal expectation and an old cart for company he has wandered and become worn at times. Yet still he has moved to a higher point and soon his fan base will grow as others in Asia begin to find out of his extra-ordinary ambitions and achievements so far.
Tony has missed many home comforts in these past years travelling the globe but one of them that he became recently reacquainted with was his old friend who came to celebrate with him as he finished his Australian leg of his world walk. It shows how genuine a person Tony is that this kind act of friendship meant so much to him when he could have chosen to have other home comforts instead. Of course he had some Barry`s tea and a Tayto sandwich but this was with his long term mate as a way to celebrate. As Tony hits Asia he will need more human support. He will meet more friends but this time there will be a language barrier and perhaps restrictions to his internet coverage at times. as the old Garfield song said:
“Friends Are There When You Need Them
Their Even There When You Don’t
For A Walk In The Park, For A Shot In The Dark
Friends Are There. Garfield: “I Don’t Care”
But Friends Will Care For You-u-u-u-u-u-u!”
If you`ve been reading Tony`s travels and been seeing his videos on line count yourself his friend because he will need your support in the coming months of his journey. So, be a needed friend, and support Tony in what is anything but a ‘walk in the park!’

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #21
Donny Hathaway wrote and strongly sang:
“The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where.”
Tony Mangan is not a song writer or singer but he is strong.
Although Tony Mangan has left Australia and is pushing his Karma cart around the wilds of Asia right now, he still has things on his mind. Just over a week ago when he left Australia and celebrated this with a very close friend and marvelled at seeing the ocean for the first time in about a year, even then there was something aching away at him.
Being the guy he is, it never held him back. On the contrary, Tony decided to overshadow his remarkable achievement of walking around Australia by thinking of another.
This time it was his late brother Brian. Around the time of when Tony`s solo walk was being completed at the edge of this blue ocean, he was poignantly dedicating  this part of the walk to Brian`s birthday. Around the time Tony reached this point in his world walk Brian would have turned 60 years of age had he been alive.
Earlier in our chronicle of Tony`s  world walk we heard of his initial motivation to solo stride through the world for a second time in honour of his late mother who passed away due to the horrors of cancer.  
When you consider that Tony is a single man and that he rarely spends more a night in any one place in the world, its extremely motivational to consider that he still smiles at all he meets.
Now that he is finally in the land of smiles and that he has gone through an emotional rollercoaster of late lets hope that he will prosper with the people that lead with a grin and are pleasent to all they meet.
This is the least that Tony desearves. Then again, if he doesn’t receive this typical Thai welcome he`ll soldier on through because there`s one thing for sure with Tony Mangan he`s a tough guy underneath the softness he has for people.  As Donny Hathaway wrote:
“But I am strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy..”
That’s Tony for you, not a song writer or singer, but he is strong.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #22
Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose, to accept defeat, to learn to die is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes, you must free your ambitious mind, and learn the art of dying.
Bruce Lee was a famous American martial artiste of Asian decent who moved with grace and energy. Although he moved with intense purpose through the air at high speed we always knew he was central to our movie screens whenever there was action from Asia.
At the beginning of this series of articles some months ago there was a video accompanying  each piece of writing which often asked the opening question by yours truly each week by wondering ‘Where`s Tony?’
Not long into each small video clip it was clear that Tony Mangan of was somewhere new of note having fun and frolicking with the natives deep in the southern hemisphere.  Once Tony got to Asia some weeks back it became apparent that he had  little internet band width and  communicating with him has been quite difficult at times.
So, in these past couple of weeks I  have really wondered to myself 
‘Where is Tony? ‘What has he been doing?’ Last night Tony and I eventually got chatting and as I suddenly enquired as to his whereabouts and queried how he was getting along , he  speedily replied back (all be it in a very brief manner) that his  location was in Laos and that the  people are:
 ‘…smiling in spite of the big flood that the country had just experienced’.
If you are reading this and wondering  where is Laos? then, allow me to fill you in very briefly.
Laos is located in South East Asia in-between five countries namely China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma.
As a former French colony from 1893, it was first recognized in the history of humans over 10, 000 years ago.  Then, stone tools and skulls were unearthed.  Over the next couple of centuries humans settled in Laos and the capital became located in Xiengthong.  Now known as Luang Prabang, the capital and the country of Laos was granted it`s own independence in 1953 after world war 2 had caused much a rumpus for the natives.
Still, that was not the last of the wars that they were to experience. In 1964 the USA bombed North Vietnamese troops who were in eastern Laos and this saw the outbreak of a conflict between the royalist Vientiane government and the communist Pathet Lao.
As a result eventually the Pathet Lao took control of their misfortune and created the Democratic Republic in 1975. Over twenty years later in 1997, Laos had matured so much as a market economy that developed a thriving tourist economy and joined hands with neighbours to become members of Asean.
Lately there was a major dam collapse there and reports said that there were 20 dead and over 100 missing as well as having nearly 7000 people being made homeless.
As Tony Mangan is known to us all as a resilient sort by trotting  around the globe it seems that he is at home for now in South East Asia. As we have seen his smiling face on many a video screen up until now then ‘for sure ‘he is meeting his match in the unfortunate but resilient people of Laos in spite of all their battles and losses and their smiles in face of what fellow Asian representative Bruce Lee said was the ‘… art of dying’.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #23
Tony Mangan knows all about the bush. For a year or so he spent so much time walking the highways and byways of Australia and there he past many  the rural place and met strange, wild, funny and welcoming characters all surrounded by acres of bush land.
Then there`s a different kind of bush. One of a more personal sort and that`s the name ” Bush”.  Although Tony does not know Terry Bush, Terry`s words are likened to Tony`s travels at times:
“There’s a voice that keeps on calling me
Down the road, that’s where I’ll always be.
Every stop I make, I make a new friend,
Can’t stay for long, just turn around I’m gone again”
Back in the  1980s when Tony was a younger man exercising (and was still 20 or so years away from ultra running)  he was making us beginning to make us feel as underachievers as we lay on the sofa and watched RTΓ‰`s popular
‘ The Littlest Hobo’. Still as we lazed about after school, the Hobo dog was rambling from town to town and finding new friends everywhere he went. There he seemed to have an uncanny knack of meeting new people who needed his advances and who benefited from his short visit, before ( by the end of each weekly episode) he moved onto the next town.
Knowing that there are helpful creatures in life that can just pop into our mundane day to day existences is really assuring especially if they are travelling about for a greater cause that our own, or indeed their own lives. That`s what Tony Mangan is continuing to do as he marches through Asia in aid of early Cancer screening.
Thankfully Tony is fit and well and is feeling more than cheerful this past while. His smiling and singing demeanour is motivated by what he sees is the first four of a potentially record making five-in-a-row of All-Ireland Senior Championship victories by his native Dublin. Since last Sunday week Tony is brimming in his blue of<em> The Dubs</em> and happy to notify all that care to listen of how the capital team are heading towards record breaking territory in the next 12 months.
Still, there have been 3 other Senior football counties who have tried for the five-in-a-row and have been beaten in the fifth year. Wexford in 1919 were the first and two Kerry teams also failed at the fifth hurdle. The most recent of those teams, Kerry in 1982 were embarrassed when their famous five-in-a-row chant was ended by an unfavoured Offaly side.
In 12 months it`s hard to know where The Dubs will be, but for sure Tony Mangan will be continuing to move as he suspects he will be somewhere state side by then.
As that man Terry Bush wrote so fittingly  and indirectly of Tony Mangan`s travels, perhaps he has a point though when he said:
“Maybe tomorrow, I’ll want to settle down,
Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep moving on.”
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #24
As the old song goes:
“And because time was on his side”
Time is certainly on Tony Mangan`s side. Although three score years old and rambling the world like a child at Christmas, he walks with ease and a smile to all he meets. He has time for everyone he encounters. Everywhere he visits he has a natural sense of wonder for. That`s Tony Mangan for you and that`s how he lives his life.
Right now  Tony is wandering around Vietnam and not too far from China. There it is dry and arid. The people smile simply because they can. It`s a far cry from where Tony was not long after the recession hit us and he embarked on his trails running the world some years ago. Then when he eventually set off on his world run (after allowing it to ruminate in him mind for the previous twenty years or so) he fleet footed his way from Dublin to west Kerry on his first leg of the almighty ambition. As the rain and Irish weather was overpowering all that chanced standing out in it for too long, Tony was different and he just kept running along unfretted by it’s unwelcoming vibe.
Locals in the south west were perhaps indoors watching re-runs of the great Kerry teams of the 1970s on finer Summer days as they clobbered the Dubs in Croke Park, yet one Dub was pounding the pavements outside and unrelenting to the Kerry ills of climatic punishment. In went As Tony sought a brief refreshment in a local store, there he was greeted with the typical Kerry ‘shoot from the hip ‘style of banter from the lady behind the counter when she said:
“What has you out on a day like today?”
But a quick reply by Tony was:
“I’m running around the world!”
Having an ambition like Mangan`s is something we can all have, but fulfilling it is quite another thing. Tony is doing so for a second time.
There`s that word again ‘Time’. As Tony`s old songster Bob Dylan continued to sing:
“…Now your dancing child with his Chinese suit he
Spoke to me,
I took his flute No,
 I wasn’t very cute to him, was I?
But I did it, because he lied and
Because he took you for a ride…”
Soon Tony will be in China. He will have met thousands of folk from all around the yet he will always remember that Kerry woman who retorted in reply to his audacious admittance of ‘I’m running around the world’ with a sharp reply that it was simply ‘ a bad day’  to begin such an attempt.
Had she looked at Tony in the eye and gasped at his manly and outrageous ambition, she may have been better to have jumped the counter and hoped on the back of a Dub that is definitely going somewhere and can sing the old Bod Dylan number to any lady who`ll perk her ear to his charming ways of worldly wonder.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #25
In 1986 thee was a movie released starring the famous Eddie Murphy who had to travel away from his easy breezy single life in the US  all the way to Tibet, somewhere in Asia. There, Murphy (who played the character of Chandell Jarrell) was a  private detective specialising who specialised in missing children was summoned to save a special child. During the adventure that he went through Jarrell was directed by Kala the dragon lady who briefed him on why he was the one to save this very important child.
Chandler Jarrell: Tell me about the Golden Child.
Kala: Every thousand generations, a perfect child is born, a Golden Child. He has come to rescue us.
Chandler Jarrell: Rescue us from what?
Kala: From ourselves.
Chandler Jarrell: Ah.
Kala: He is the bringer of compassion. If he dies, compassion will die with him.
Chandler Jarrell: So, if something happens to the kid, the whole world goes to hell?
Kala: The world will become hell.
Tony Mangan is not a  Chandler Jarrell though he has some similarities to him. After all, like Jarrell, he has left his native country for the good of a greater need for mankind in spreading his  word that early cancer screen is necessary for all. Not just that, he is also a single man.
Lately, as he stooped to get  some pockets sown into his walking shirt he encountered a nice  female dressmaker. Although she was quite helpful she soon began to show signs of incredible affection for Tony when she said things like:
‘Are you married?’ and ‘Why are you not married because you are very handsome!’ and this was followed by ‘I have no husband’ and ‘What about me?’ and ‘Will you marry me Tony?’
Still Tony being the gentleman that he was politely declined the kind lady`s broken English advances. That`s not to say that he didn`t appreciate the compliments but Tony is catch in anyone`s mind and something more than a quick proposal is required to settle him down. After all he has plenty more mileage to go to complete his world walk.
For now, somewhere in Asia, he strides out one foot after another. Tony Mangan is no Chandler Jarrell, but due to his compassion and ability to spread his noble message he will save many from the torture of their own personal hell when suffering from cancer. He is one in a thousand generations. Maybe, like the golden child, that female dressmaker saw that there is special child like quality within him.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #26
Tony Mangan was born in Dublin in 1958. He was an innocent and harmless little boy lived in a simple Ireland. He was an obedient and active child.
Now he  is entering China. When he does his passport will be checked. There the Chinese officials will be understood for being surprised at the amount of stamps that have been placed on his passport in aid of preventing cancer and instead heralding attention for early cancer screening.
For the Chinese to be wary of such an immigrant is not unusual for them. For it was more than 2,300 years that the Long Wall of China was built. It was built in different areas by a variety of dynasties throughout their history to protect different territorial borders.
It was this time of the year in Autumn ( and partly in Spring) that the first part of the wall was built. Then the eastern and central region of the country consisted of many small princedoms. It is thought that the earliest part was built between the states of Lu and Qi around 650BC.
From 247- 221 BC Qin Shihuang became emperor of China and he ordered that the northern part of the wall built by Qin, Zhao and Yan be all joined together. This all took 9 years to complete. By this time the wall was in excess of 5,000 kilometers.
Then, after Qin died, the Han dynasty took over.  Orders to strengthen and lengthen the wall were obliged and the wall grew from the North Korea coast near Pyongyang in the east to Jade Gate Pass in the west .
Though a short leadership of China the Northen Qi dynasty ( 550-577) still further built up the wall and even constructed an ‘Inner Great Wall’ before the Sui Dynasty (581–618)  fortified things further in their time.
The Song Dynasty (960–1279) and the The Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) continued to fortify the wall before eventually in sixty one years ago it was opened to the public as a tourist attraction.
Throughout all of these Chinese dynasties the wonder is ‘why was the great wall of China built in the first place?
In reality, China wanted to be defended from intruders and invasion. Yet not, the wall comprising of  21,196.18 km in length allows people to walk it.
Oddly, as Tony Mangan is in his sixty first year on earth and was born around the time the wall was opened to the public and as he has a habit of walking thousands of kilometers, he now enters China with perhaps, another strip of a walk to wander to add to his World Walk.
With all those royal dynasties of Chinese people you would think that they would have seen the intrusion of Tony Mangan as being unwelcome and continued to build the wall so that he could not come in to their country.
Then again, Tony was always an  innocent and harmless little boy who came from  simple Ireland. His obedience and active childlike qualities should walk throughout China with little fuss.
Still, let`s hope  his presence in China does not throw off the centuries of leadership and motivate the Chinese to begin building a wall in order stop us all from wondering at the awe of both their and Tony’s achievements.
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #27
Tony Mangan is no Forrest Gump.
Although the classic movie featured a man, who at one stage of his adult life decided to react to his romantic ups and downs by hitting the road on foot and running for as long as he felt like it, Tony is very different.
Sure, Tony has run the world, but he has done so with true athleticism and precision of timing. Gump, on the other hand, was unsure of his timing and just let one foot fall after another as he aimlessly found flight from the fright of his romantic defeat.
Another way is which you could not begin to compare Tony with Forrest is the fact that Tony, unlike Forrest, has a knack with the ladies. After all, he is a happy person as  the fairer gender tends to be more emotional,  let`s face it, if you encounter a positive person like Tony Mangan then you`re emotions are bound to make you feel better.
Still on Tony`s recent a challenge he has met what seems like a more realistic comparison to Forrest Gump himself.
Forrest not only ran himself from one end of the country to the other but in one of his many other achievements became a member of the All America ping pong Army team who were the first team to visit China in what he stated was:
The first team visit] in something like a million years… or something like that!
In meeting his friend Kevin in China of late Tony has met a man whose skill with the small ping pong ball compares with Gump`s natural steady hand reactions and visual concentration and a man who would probably defeat the talented character played by Tom Hanks if given the opportunity in the 1994 movie classic.
Seeing as Tony glided into welcoming China without a fuss a couple of week`s back and he has made so many friends already it`s fair to say he`s as opposite as Gump as can be.
Kevin, his Chinese friend, though could represent China with skill and aplomb that would make Forrest call for more Americans to back him up such is Kevin`s steely  concentration that many Chinese athletes exude when calling upon their  competitive instincts.
So in meeting Kevin and becoming friendly with his majestic skill it`s clear  Tony Mangan could never be compared with Forrest Gump. In fact, if you were to compare him with Gump you`d be right to the accused of being quite silly. Why? well,  as the great character of the same entitled movie Forrest Gump once repeatedly uttered the wise words of his mother when saying:
” Stupid is as stupid does”
Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #28
Communism is:
” a form of socialism—a higher and more advanced form, according to its advocates”
It is system of social organisation where one`s property is owned by the community.
Historically back in 1949 communist revolutionaries led by Mao Zedong seized control of China. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came into formation in 1921 after being inspired by the Russian revolution. Chinese economic and political turmoil in the 1930s as well as Japan’s invasion of northern China, allowed Mao and the CCP to increase support and work towards a revolution. A CCP victory in China carved a way for a huge dynamic change in global affairs there after. As the most populous nation on Earth with 540 million people China was soon to be ruled by communism that gave way to an Asian Cold War. The people of China,though living in a country that was undergoing modernisation and industrial growth were under authoritarian leadership, rigid social control and eventual mass starvation.
In the more modern day this was seen when Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympic Games.
The Olympic flag has five coloured rings on it.These rings are interwoven representing unity of the five continents of Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Australia.  Each colour represents each nations flag colours who partake in the competition every four years.
Yet in the past decades China’s human rights record has been the known for being far from suitable. By it hosting the Olympics in 2008  China was set to receive boycotts from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Tony Mangan is not a political figure. Nor is he one who preaches to masses to states on how they should govern their fiscal or economic policies. Rather, Tony has one defined but more international message which dictates to have ‘ Early Cancer Screening’. His message is one from experience of living  a loved one and his passion is to preach to all in his path the importance of living well and being healthy.
Is Tony  Mangan a communist? as Communism wishes for people to have shared ownership of their property you could say that Tony is one as he is caring and open to share his good word. Is he a communist if he shares his little push cart, or is there really someone who wants to push it with him? who knows!
One thing is for certain though, Tony may not have run in the Olympics but his international appeal is growing and he is uniting all continents as he crosses the main colours that they posses. 
As the Olympic motto says:  “Faster, Higher, Stronger”  Tony Mangan exudes these qualities bringing people together and spreading good cheer throughout welcoming China as he trots along his way.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #29
Eddie Huang is s an Chinese-American chef, restaurateur, food personality, producer, and attorney. His life also inspires the hit TV series Fresh off the Boat. He is also well known in America for his famous foods from home.
Tony Mangan is becoming well known and well liked in China too. His round the world stories are being told to all he meets and many are finding his tales of globe trotting as being extremely entertaining. Yet Tony still walks alone. Every time he has to stop, it is either for a night`s rest or for a meal that his tiring body must absorb in order to keep his strength up as he hits the author, highways and byways of the east.
Being able to chat to the locals is a welcome distraction for a person so long on the road and having the appetite to eat when he stops along his way is welcomed. That hungry is satisfied by the delectable dishes that he absorbs along the way.
As Eddie Huang is now becoming famed in his adopted land of America, Tony Mangan is becoming adored in his visiting land of Huang`s parents’ homeland of China.
Still, that`s not the only similarity both men have. In fact both have a liking for books. Not many people know that although Tony Mangan is a storyteller of sorts as he walks through China in each town that he visits. he also puts these stories on paper. Tony, like Eddie Huang, is also an author of books.
Eddie Huang created his memoir of his  time growing up in America as one of three sons to Taiwanese immigrants. He documented how he struggled with his identity growing up, his affection for hip hop and African American culture and his experience with racism.
Tony Mangan, on the other hand, has no stories of his hip hop days, his kinship with African American culture as he grew up in a largely Irish Catholic culture in North Dublin, or of any ups and downs relating to racism.
Yet, like Huang,  he has stories that are worth reading about in book format. Who knows, but soon Tony Mangan may have his own movie and considering all his worldly travels and his current time in China he may consider calling it Fresh off the Boat!

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #30
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a Dublin ‘Jackeen’ as  a
“Contemptuous designation for a self-assertive worthless fellow”
The term dates back to the time of the potato famine in Ireland around 1840. Other reports say that a Jackeen is  a ‘fellow who does very little for a living and wants to do less.’ So, is Dublin’s Tony Mangan that Jackeen?
The term ‘Jackeen’ was used by ‘The Kerry Examiner’ back in February 1854 to refer to those in Dublin who  contributed more than their quota to the ranks of the British army and military records and that these were great soldiers from the Irish capital.
Yet Tony was not thinking that recently as he was busy walking through Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is an autonomous territory. It was once even a British colony. Located in the southeastern part of China, it is reported to be a densely populated location that has vibrancy at it’s core. As a major financial hub, Hong Kong boasts sky scrapers that almost nudge the sky as one peers up through the powerful night lights.
As a central business district it features architectural landmarks such as I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower. Due to its buzz filled with people, it is a major shopping destination, famous for its bespoke tailors and Temple Street Night Market.
It’s funny why references to ‘Dubs’ being said to be lazy, without work, or related to the British army can turn our eyes toward that one Dub Tony Mangan. After all, he lives quite a different life than all of that. Tony walks through his life and, though a short-sighted person may note that he no longer clocks in and out for a day’s wages, others may notice that his occupation is so unique that it does the work of many agencies, organisations and associations in the way he modestly markets the need for greater early Cancer screening on an international scale.
The fact that he has been through the  boastful business-wise territory of Hong Kong (which has such strong links with Great Britain) can almost provide a bit of worry to many, especially with Brexit around the corner.
In comparing ‘Jackeen’ Mangan to such derogatory and hopeless terms is futile, as his actions of positivity speak for themselves.
For Tony Mangan is no bumbling Brit, rather he is a true soldier of Irish freedom.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #31
Recently Tony Mangan`s website noted that Tony had now walked over 27,400 kilometres. That translates to  well over 16,000 miles in old money. All that has been achieved in around 800 road days, or almost three years since he began this quest. It`s some mammoth effort of human movement and shows that Mangan is well on his way to achieve his world walk in the coming years. It makes you wonder about really long distances and what humans can achieve over such milestones. What Tony won`t brag about though is that the World Runners Association (WRA) minimum distance required for his walk to be legitimate is a distance of only 26,232/km but of course, for man as humble and giving as Tony it’s not always about going for records.
Of late, when Mangan arrived in China his feet hit the turf on solid ground when others from the country were doing the opposite in leaving their country and hopping into their cars for a long ride across a bridge that had been newly opened to connect mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau.
Marketed as the  “world’s longest sea bridge,”  and with a $20 billion price tag the project took nine years of construction and with it came a lot of  controversy. Those that supported the bridge believed that it was a worthwhile project as it would massively reduce the time it takes to travel between the three a fore mentioned places. This gives a reduced time journey from three hours down to only 30 minuets instead.
However, there have been critics of the build too. Criticisms that are not just criticisms of the bridge`s impact that it`s construction  had on it`s surrounding habitat but that it meant there were tragedies as people lost their lives during it`s creation. In all, nine worker on the bridge have died and even 200 workers were injured during it`s years long project. Further problems results when it was discovered that subcontractors were endangering their workers as safety on the bridge was questioned. At one stage prior to the bridge opening there were photos of the bridge made public showing how concrete blocks were floating away from it highlighting that not all may not be as it should be throughout the build. 
In it`s entirety though  the task was considered an achievement. Once it was finished it totalled 55 kilometres in length, that`s 34 miles in older translations.
A marvellous achievement by the Chinese designers, architects,  contractors, and builders.
Still, they are no Tony Mangan. For he is but one man who will walk much longer than one bridge. In time, he will walk the whole world and instead of their being injuries or deaths his noble message for cancer awareness will help save many instead.

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #32
“When you walk through a storm, Hold your head up high,  And don’t be afraid of the dark”
As Tony Mangan wanders around the world and is mostly alone with his thoughts quite often, he begins to wonder about mundane things. After all, despite him having a superhuman ability to travel on two legs, the rest of him is human. As he walks around he doesn`t just like to keep his body active but, with all that blood bouncing around into his head, he`s aware that his mind needs to be kept going to. If he was to spend too much time thinking about why he is walking, to ‘<em>educate people of getting early cancer screening</em>’, then he would make himself feel very down indeed.
So, Tony being Tony, chooses to keep himself motivated with upbeat measures of other pleasantries that are going on in the world around him.
Coming from the part of the world that he comes from and being an athlete like he is, it`s little wonder that one of the things he does to keep himself entertained along the long road is to continually update himself on the sporting developments around the world. That not only whets his competitive juices but it also provides a great way to continually connect with people back in Ireland who are of the same ilk as him and who have similar interests to him.
Thankfully for Tony one of his favourite pass times over the years has been football, and not just playing football because let`s face it, when you have tens of kilometres walked everyday and are facing into much of the same the following day you are going to want to rest, but rather, following football.
As Tony is a champion of athletics himself his energy has always resonated with like minded successful teams and ones that are as connected with Ireland also. That`s where his love of Liverpool Football Club came to pass some years ago.
Lately, as we chatted, Tony and I stumbled across this mutual grΓ‘ for the ‘Mighty Reds’ and we swapped opinions on team selections and old stories of more successful eras of times gone by for the Merseysiders. It became very clear to me that Tony`s excitement levels for the then up and coming pivotal top of the table Premier League clash between the champions Manchester City and the challengers Liverpool was foremost in his mind. Both of us swapped theories and ideas on the potential outcome of the game and I left Tony with the knowledge that he would be a very happy man once the ‘Mighty Reds’ had disposed of ‘City’ which would have put them 10 points adrift at the top of the table with only 17 games remaining.
Alas, it was not to pass and that long road of Tony`s must have seemed much longer the following morning as this link with his past and his homely heroes had let him down as it has to many Liverpool supporters since their last League triumph in 1990.
Still, there are 15 games to go and Liverpool are 4 points ahead of Manchester City and who knows the overall outcome may make Tony smile yet. Until May of this year we won’t know the outcome. For the next few games when Tony sees red he will rue what could have been. He will feel lonely for home, that memory of 1990 when fellow Irish men like Ronnie Whelan, Ray Houghton and Steve Staunton wore the red of Liverpool and Ireland in more successful times.
For now Tony will just put one foot in front of the other and hope for a better result the next day. 
For the Liverpool supporters at home we know that we too can hope of a better performance next time but, in the mean time, we can follow Tony as each step is worldly success and that, unlike many Premier League stars, he is so accessible to us all online as he travels the world for all of our health.
So Tony, don`t worry we are with you along the way and be assured
“You’ll never walk alone!”
 Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #33
On the Tuesday night Manchester City`s little diminutive goal scorer added to his tally after only 24 seconds to pile the pressure on the ‘Mighty Reds’ who had decided to go on holiday for the previous week.
By the following evening the pressure was back on Liverpool but, not in a bad way. This was good pressure, considering their nearest title rivals ‘City had failed to build on their early opening advantage against a bottom half at best rarely competitive Newcastle side.
Tony Mangan was loving the rivalry. As he took each step on the Wednesday evening he was sure that the Liverpudlians were taking their first steps into history as they were hotly fancied against a Leicester side that seemed to have nothing big on their radar for the final third of the season save to continue to credit their former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
It all seemed a nice position to be in with only 15 games to go in the league and a win would see Jurgen Kloop`s men 7 points clear of last years winners. Within the first couple of minutes up stepped Sadio Mane and he slotted home to make the supporters day and the ‘City fans biting their finger nails with one game less to play.
Meanwhile, Tony Mangan was walking. That evening he was on a time pressure himself having to reach security at an airport just to keep his World Walk on schedule for the good of others less fortunate. Doing what he does day in, day out. Simple consistency and easy motivation for a man so committed to what he`s doing. Far from a holiday he was on that evening even though his beloved <em>Mighty Reds</em> had flown half way across the world only a few days before to have a break yet, in the mean time, Mangan had walked the Republic of Philippines with his pal Francis Cosgrave. Undeterred by the potential of an armchair and a beer (as many men of his age would be swigging as they lay back on holiday) Tony was spreading his message of <em>early cancer screening saves lives</em> to a country whose similar Catholic values to that of the Ireland that Tony grew up in were smiling with every stride that he took.
By the time Tony got to his destination that night news had filtered through that Liverpool had only managed a 1-1 draw at home to a Leicester team that had little if anything to play for. For what many punters were hailing as the champions elect were instead sluggish, unmotivated and in truth, deserved little cheer as the crowd were subdued throughout the second half.
The commentators remarked throughout that there was one man who showed some spark and that was Mane.
Still, you would have to wonder about the <em>Mighty Reds</em> and if they left their passion on holidays and even if they deserved to be a further point ahead of Manchester City that night as their fortunate draw inching them that bit more ahead. This is especially pertinent when you consider they failed to overcome West Ham United only days after the ‘City clash. Still Sadio once again came to the rescue for the ‘Pool that night also.
Had they someone like Tony Mangan on their team they would have far more pep in their step.
For Tony Mangan he`s the man, eh?

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #34
Why return to China?
That`s the question I`ve been asking myself for a few days before Tony Mangan and I got in touch recently. When he told me that he was again back in the communist state I wondered aloud and asked him ‘Why return there?’. Yet Tony never replied to me. So, I asked myself ‘Why not ?’
It`s not nice to communicate with someone and be given a brick wall as an answer. Surely that`s the sort of thing the American leader rather than the Irish leader of freedom Tony Mangan would do?! After all, that`s not the type of guy that Tony is. Being so happy when he meets new people and for everyone from such an array of cultures having time for him it didn`t seem to add up. It all seemed to bemuse me, so I had to investigate.
Around the time that Tony returned China was changing again. This time though it was not a political revolution, rather, it was the changing of the calendar. The Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival as it has also been known was occurring as Tony flashed his passport across state lines.
As the annual New Year occurs on no specific date due to it being based off a lunar calendar I wasn`t sure if this had anything to do with Tony`s arrival there. Although he`s Irish, you couldn`t over accuse him of praying to the Gods too often as the New Year traditions often demand. Tradition also notes that an ancient monster  can often be fought off at this time of the year, but, then again Tony is a lover, not a fighter. Although single, Tony`s not the type to hire fake girlfriends as he`s loved the world around by the opposite of sex, unlike many Chinese who seek the services of the opposite of gender at this time of year. Perhaps then, it was the fact that many country people receive lucky money in red envelopes, the eating of dumplings, the wine or the glorious deserts that are customary at this first day on the calendar? Not so, it seemed.
So why did he return?
Eventually, I figured it out. For it was Tony who just couldn`t miss a good party and as he had his lucky red outfit in his bag he popped it on to signify that other well worn custom of every Chinese person wearing red for the annual celebration!

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #35

Tony Mangan does not do dating profiles, but if it did it would look something like this:
TonyToes Says Happy Valentines to You!
Non-Smoker with Athletic body type
City: It varies!
Age: 60 Year Old Male
Height: 5`9″
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Relationship Staus: Is looking for a relationship,
true friendship along the road, sponsorship
for all his wonderful helping of others!
Education:The World Wide Phd
Personality: Athletic World Record Breaker!
I am Seeking a: Woman
Do you drink?: To Celebrate My Many Achievements that Help Others!
Marital Status: Single
Hair Color:Brown
Do you have a car?: Well I could do with a lift now and then!
Longest Relationship:80 Days around the world!
About TonyToes:
He`s an incredible guy! If you like travel then you’ll love Tony Toes. This man has seen it all and done it all.
If you`re wondering if  this guy keeps in shape, well then just hang with him for a day or two and you`ll see what energy he truly has. Is he like other men who lay about and watch TV all evening, are you kidding me this guy should be on TV! Is he loving and kind? Well, giving up his whole life to walk around the world for the good of others answers  hat one. 
Does he like nights in? 
He sure does, so if you know a place to stay on any given night he gladly take a spare bed.
What about nights out? He has slummed it with the best of them out there as he has no fear where he has to pitch his tent, so long as it gets him from A to B the next day to help others.
Is he boring?
Ah come on, TonyToes anything but!
Does he like to eat out? This man loves a good feed so if you’re offering?
What are his long term commitment levels like? Well, if he is willing to walk all around the world for people he has never met imagine what he`d do for you!
Oh lastly, what size are his feet? He has big shoes to fill and if you can find a man better than him please get in touch!

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #36
The song writer Robert Dorough got it wrong. He wrote:’
Three is a magic number’
Ya it is, its a magic number.
Somewhere in that ancient mystic trinity;
You’ll get three, As a magic number’ 
You see a song like this with it`s happy clappy ding dong rhythm is all well and good to listen to you when life is giving you lemons. This is reemphasised when you notice it lasts a total of about three minutes to sing.
Yet it does not really cut the mustard when we think of the likes of 3 years in a normal person`s life.
Lets look at the evidence.
In the first three years of a human being`s life they go from only being able to lie down to running and jumping. Initially they have no idea of what words are and then, within that time frame, many can manipulate parents on the palm of their own little hand.
Teenagers seem to grow into young women and men from the early transition of chemicals that a 13 year old experiences to the heady times of sweet sixteen. Rather that look childish, many young ladies have a young woman`s physique while young men are strutting their stuff with wispy facial hair.
Young adults are often embarking on a college course and within three years they go from fumbling post primary students to university graduates with the world at their feet.
Yet many of these types of humans are going through natural transitions of development or are being led by teachers that have expertise.
But what then about those that are super humans?
That`s the bracket Tony Mangan fits into. Three years is a long time alone. Sure you may insist that he has been bumping into people everywhere he goes. You may also say he has the life of Riley as he seems to be a celebrity every where he arrives. Still though, he is alone.
Alone he may be but he is alone as a leader. Tony is leading the worldly message of ‘Early Cancer Screen Saves Lives’. He is doing this of his own free will. Doing it simply because he wants to help in his own way. He uses his superior athleticism to touch people, villages, towns, cities, countries and continents to ripple his Cancer care awareness throughout the planet.
Maybe Robert Dorough was right after all, especially when we keep Tony in mind?
‘The past, the present, the future,Faith, and hope, and charity,
The heart, the brain, the body,
Will give you three,
Its a magic number ‘
…considering that he has been walking the world for others for 3 whole years today, this song could be renamed ‘3 of a Tony Mangan’!

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #37
Tony Mangan needs to stop walking or else he is sure to fall off the Earth. The round the world walker is testing not only his human limits, but, the limits of the universe as he toddles from one city to the next. He is tempting fate and someone needs to stop him as soon as they can. If he is left walking any longer he will officially be the first human being to fall off the Earth. His tomb stone will read :
‘He walked the world for so many who fell ill but until he fell he was not ill’
By the way, this is not according to yours truly or to fake news. Rather, it is the truth that all humans have been hidden from for many a generation. Thanks to NASA who claimed we have a spherical planet it`s motivated a growing international community to believe that the Earth is not sphere shaped but instead simply flat.
Check it out.

You can test it yourself by standing on lands end and looking as far as your
eye can see. If you can see over a couple of hundred metres out into the ocean then how could the earth be sphere shaped? After all, should it not have a curve which means you can`t see flat land that far?
Another piece of evidence, according to the ‘Flat Earth’ community, which proves the Earth is flat states that if you check out the soles of your shoe they are indeed flat and if you were to walk on a curved surface it should make the shoe curved in return.
In the United States, 34% of 18-24 year olds believe that the Earth is not round. Recent survey results of over 7,000 US citizens said that 4% of Americans feel the world is round, 5% think they always believed the world to be round but have recently become skeptical. An even lower, 2%, say it is flat with another 2% thinking that they always thought the Earth was flat, but, have recently become skeptical. The remaining percentage (7%) just weren’t sure of their opinion. Such is it`s popularity that Netflix have a documentary on the community of people.
Whether Tony Mangan knows about the ‘Flat Earth’phenomenon is unknown.
For now, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope Tony survives and keeps upright. If his social media is anything to go it`s hard to know that after over 3 years walking the ‘Flat Earth’ how he is still keeping his feet on the ground and not somewhere dangling into the universal unknown while his feet plod one after another as if hanging on to the biggest cliff edge a-round!

Tony Mangan ‘ Walk Around the World’ #38
It`s a long an lonely road when your on your own and away from home.
Sure, you can bump into the odd straggler along the way but in general, they are not your friends or those you`ve grown up with. For most people this is very liberating and for Tony Mangan, who is a truly mature and independent adult, this is the way it is , mostly. Yet, when you are away from home and it`s a special occasion it`s usually a time when you would much prefer to be home and meeting up with friends and family. When the national holiday bounces from the calendar that`s surely a time when you want to kickback and hang around with friends and even foes. Not so for Tony who will continue to walk the world in his quest for educating people about ‘Early Cancer Screening’.
Others in his native Ireland will be walking too, but this time for a
different reason. They`ll be taking part in the annual St. Patrick`s Day
parade. Though Tony will walk for cancer awareness, most people around the world on the March 17th will be walking for tradition. It makes you
wonder then would Tony take the day off if he was back home in Ireland or would he just join in with the St. Patrick`s Day shenanigans on the streets of his native Dublin?
I mean Tony really doesn`t look too special as he makes the miles up
walking around Asia. He`s usually wearing a suitably adequate short pants for the heat that enraptures him as the sun shines and his cardio reaches a higher level than most, an old shirt, and while one hand guides his stride the other pulls along his trusty cart with his worldly belongings. Nothing fancy. Surely nothing that anyone would feel is good enough for a showpiece in the St. Patrick`s Day parade? Hardly.
Then again, even if he did finish his world walk right now he`d have clocked up over three years of continuous walking around the world. No mean feat. Surely that achievement alone would mean he`d make it in the cultural central piece of the Irish calendar year. After all, if someone like Tony (who pertains to be the proverbial ‘ordinary man’) can achieve such an extra-ordinary feat then it would be great for all other ordinary bystanders to see him as he waves to the crowd of onlookers on the national holiday.
Still, there is that style issue that Tony has. Maybe, that`s why he still hasn`t got that official invitation yet to partake in the Dublin city parade of 2019?!
Lately in China, he was kitted out with a new clothing style for walking. Perhaps if Tony was to wear it every day for the next year he may be the St. Patrick`s Day 2020 Grand Marshal?

Tony Mangan ‘Walk Around The World’ #39
In 1987 there was a big hit movie staring the 3 heart throbs Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson and the every sexy Tom Selleck. It was called ‘Three Men and a Baby’. In the movie the three men were busy and successful single men who were all rooming together in the Big Apple.
All three were seen as catches in the trendy New York single life and their lives could not be more fun as they enjoyed the frolicking of single manhood in the city that never sleeps. Then, suddenly, all their lives came to crashing halt when they discovered a female infant left on their doorstep that was supposedly Jack’s ( the character played Ted Danson) daughter.
Of late, Tony Mangan and myself met in another city. This one was far smaller than New York . In an old part of Dublin we met and chatted for a few hours.
As I wandered down through the south inner city of Ireland`s capital I realised that there was indeed a charm to the people and the locality which was surrounded by bright red brick houses.
Although it was no New York, as I stopped one or two passers by for exact directions to where I was meeting Tony, the locals willingness to help and their quick witted humour seemed to be entwined with their pride of place when they described what twist and turn to take for the precise location of our meeting.
Since then, Tony has returned to his world walk. He is now somewhere in China. Like most of us who follow Tony I wonder daily ‘where will he go next?’ and ‘who will he meet?’. I mean, you never do know with Tony.
But then, I should have guessed it. As Tony always knows the best place to go and the best people to meet along the way. After all, he has that south Dublin charm and wit and, with it, he can out do a trio of Hollywood heart throbs of Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson and the every sexy Tom Selleck.
Although it took three men to look after one baby girl in the hit movie, Tony did it alone in China of late. Now on he goes to the bright lights of yet another town. If he can do alone what three Hollywood actors did with just one baby, the females need to watch out as Mangan walks into the next towns along his worldly path.