Nov 29, 2021

More running through Argentina to read about and see today, including a video of a close encounter with a South American rattle snake.


Nov 27, 2012


Distance today = 50.00 km; Total distance = 15,019.03 km; Location = Rufino (36 km east of) – 34 21.841′ S, 62 21.126′ W; Start time = 0914, Finish time = 1702


Today was what most normal people would consider the perfect day of weather. The only problem was, it was a bit too warm for seven hours of running. And we’re without any on-board refrigeration here in Argentina, so my drinks were very hot by the end of the day.

Otherwise, it was ideal, with much less traffic on the road than yesterday – I estimate less than 20% of yesterday’s volume. And the Argentinean countryside was idyllic, even if it is the same, day after day.

Today was a flat as it has been for the past week, which reminds me of the reply I received from the manager of the Department of Similes, Watto from Wagga Wagga. He informed me of the old saying from many decades ago, before the advent of widespread sewerage systems in Australia – “as flat as a dunny carter’s hat” (actually, the more popular version of the time was ” as flat as a s**t carter’s hat”). In those days, when hats were de rigeur, these unfortunate toilet carters would carry the pan on their head to the waiting truck, thereby flattening their hats. Good one, Watto! So, today was as flat as a dunny carter’s hat.

I was stopped again today by a very friendly local, who wanted to talk about what I was doing. I’m pretty sure he was a keen runner himself. We actually conversed in Spanish, which is really saying something about his lack of English.

The mosquitoes have been bad on the road recently. They even attack while I’m running. I have to keep moving at a minimum speed to avoid being bitten. It’s a bit like the movie Speed, only the bomb on the bus has been replaced by dive-bombing mosquitoes.

And talking about dive-bombing, there are birds here that obviously have young in nearby nests. They try to scare me away by flying very close to my head and squawking. However, just as Australia has the most dangerous snakes and spiders, we also have the most vicious bird – the magpie. Anyone in the countryside during September or October should be afraid. These birds, believing they are protecting their young, will repeatedly dive-bomb you, but they don’t pull out. They hit you as hard as they can with their sharp beaks and claws, and can leave you very bloody and in pain. Many on the Tour de Bois cycle trips have suffered this fate, including a famous incident, when Poddy put his hand up for protection, and the magpie’s beak pierced his gel-padded glove and still took a large piece out of the palm of his hand. I’m so glad the birds here aren’t like that, or I’d look like I’d been in a war zone by now.

And finally, I passed the 15,000 km milestone today. I’m well past half way now.


Nov 28, 2012


Distance today = 50.36 km; Total distance = 15,069.39 km; Location = Alberdi – 34 27.373′ S, 61 49.499′ W; Start time = 0922, Finish time = 1711


Yet another day of completely flat terrain, along a mainly straight road rimmed with fields of soy beans, wheat, and canola. Carmel is getting frustrated, as there is nothing new to take photographs of. She is having a creative crisis.

The first 11 km of the day was along, what is best described as, a causeway running through a shallow lake. Although we’re very much inland, the smell of the lake was remarkably similar to the smell of the ocean.

After that, the day was a bit of a blur, as there is little to distinguish one mile from the next. There were plenty of squashed frogs on the side of the road, and quite a few snakes too, though I saw no live ones today. I did see the remains of an armadillo too.

We got lucky with the accommodation today. Although there was nothing showing on Google Maps, there ended up being a motel within a hundred metres of where I’d planned to stop for the day. How good is that? And just about everywhere in Argentina has Wi-Fi too.

PS I was a little wrong recently when I described Australia and Argentina as the 5th and 7th largest countries by area. Here is the correct Top 10, in order.

1. Russia 2. Canada 3. China 4. USA 5. Brazil 6. Australia 7. India 8. Argentina 9. Kazakhstan 10. Algeria

The countries ranked 2nd to 6th are all relatively similar in size. And, if Antartica was a country, it would take 2nd place.


Nov 29, 2012


Distance today = 49.67 km; Total distance = 15,119.06 km; Location = Vedia (21 km east of) – 34 33.262′ S, 61 18.484′ W; Start time = 0832, Finish time = 1614


I was greeted by a ferocious headwind this morning, and it didn’t let up all day.

But that wasn’t the hardest part of the day. Worse was the shoulder. It consisted of long grass, so every time a car or truck came along, I had to jump off into the green stuff. It takes much more energy running through long grass, as you either need to lift your knees very high, or incur the “drag” as you pull your feet through the grass. In summary, I expended a lot more energy today than if I’d been on the road all day. And that doesn’t even count the nervous energy from running in amongst the snakes.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I’m now in my fifth Argentinean state. After briefly running through the state of Sante Fe, I am now in the state of Buenos Aires, although still hundreds of kilometres from the city itself.

PS No mention of world running would be complete without acknowledging Tony Mangan. Tony is currently in Argentina (like me) as part his world run. However, he is way down south, in Patagonia. Tony has embarked on running, not just around the world, but up and down it as well. For example, he ran across North America, then down through Central America, and is nearing the end of running the length of South America. Tony is taking roughly four years to cover nearly 50,000 km – a run which will surely be considered the most comprehensive and complete world run ever.