Walking Ruta 40

# Walking Ruta 40 in the Patagonia

Richard Goodhead, who started his epic walking adventure in Ushuaia, is now on his way north on Ruta 40, the scenic dirt road that follows the Andes mountain range.

Richard and his cart

He has passed El Calafate, and continues onward in spite of terrible headwinds making progress slow, non-existent towns, a desperate lack of water, and a frightful encounter with Chilean police.

With a determination that does not leave him, a group of encouragers around the world egging him on through phone calls, messages, emails, tweets and Facebook, he is set to arrive in Mendoza before February.

walking away in the distance

Crazy Adventures


Richard Goodhead is a tall, unassuming man with a confident strut. When I met him in the airport he walked straight past with determination in his face. This determination is something he will need soon. Tomorrow begins his epic journey from Ushuaia to Aconcagua, Mendoza. Walking.

That’s right. This South African is planning on walking from Ushuaia to Aconcagua over the next four months. A distance of 4,000 kms.

Cindy in Brazil

A good friend of mine from my days in New Zealand, Cindy Ruakere, has brought out her third CD and is now at the beginning of a one year world tour. It starts in Brazil, and involves living in a slum and ministring to the people here.

Cindy Ministering in Brazil
Cindy Ministering in Brazil

Here is a small extract from her email that covers the part about life in the “favela” slum:

Heliopolis Sao Paulo, the place where the druglords are the ministry protection because the police will shoot you rather than look at you. Where we wear bright green vests to show that we belong to Iris ministries which is looked upon kindly as caring for the children of Brazil, so we are afforded relative safety in the incredibly unsafe streets of this the largest slum in the world. Heliopolis with 3 million residents .

Heliopolis, where we have to turn our lights off and flash them once to the druglord guards that are stationed at the entrance and along the streets of the favela (slum), where the Holy Given school is situated.

Heliopolis, where my bedroom window has to be closed at night in case there are intruders who easily climb over the roof and just as easily shoot you in your bed. Where gunshots and machine gun fire is a common enough noise.

This is the Brazil we have entered and where Jesus is walking among us. This the first stop on our world tour. What a privilege and honour to be among these people. In the city of Sao Paulo where 18 million reside and life is cheap, Jesus lives.

More information can be found on her website.

Three Months Engaged

NOTE: Carolina and I are no longer engaged. We broke up in April. Carol has moved on to another YWAM base where she is studying. I will remain here and continue to work in Puerto Madryn.

Today Carol and I celebrated our third month of engagement. In July we will be getting married in Colombia, quite a distance from our current home in Argentina. To celebrate we enjoyed a lovely dinner by the sea in one of the many restaurants that sit right on the beach, and then stopped on the way home to admire the city lights from a very crowded lookout next to the ocean.

Carol and Me
Carol and I taking in the last of the sun’s warmth in the late afternoon.

The Time Between

Well, it has been a while since I updated this blog. What has been happening since Corrientes?

The first and most important thing that has been happening is that I have met a beautiful girl from Colombia. Carolina was a student on the outreach in Peru that I was leading and since returning from Corrientes we have started to spend a lot of time together. More news on that shortly.

Introducing Brodie to Carol via MSN Messenger

Building a House
That’s right, I have started to build a house. No plans, no permissions, simply find a corner and start digging the foundations. The only complication is that I have no idea how to build a house over here. The advice I have received so far is somewhat conflicting and I am still struggling with the basics of the foundations but there is progress happening.

Digging the foundation trenches for the one roomed home

Teaching in Trelew
A couple of weekends ago I was part of a team that went to our neighbouring city of Trelew (1 hour away) to work and teach in a church there. We worked solidly for two days with the children and youth, also teaching adults in the evening services. Many of the children were impacted by the stories that we told them about our different nations (Latvia, Australia, Colombia and Argentina) and enjoyed our interactive teachings.

Translating Quickly
In YWAM we have a Discipleship Training School which is bilingual. There are two of us that translate the teachers, which normally is from Spanish into English. Most teachers pause while we are translating, which helps a lot, but some get so excited in what they are teaching that they completely forget. So in cases like this, we are both learning how to simultaneously translate so that the English students do not miss out on important parts of the message. It has been a challenge but also very enjoyable too.

So that is life down here in Patagonia Argentina. The weather is warming up now, and during the day we can normally take our coats off. Soon the beach will be filled with people as this sleepy town starts to bulge with tourists during the summer season.


That’s right. Last night after dating Carol for almost two months we are now engaged. A lovely girl from Colombia, I first met Carol in the team of students that I was leading in Peru, and by the end of our time there it was obvious to everybody that there was something happening between us. Shortly after our return to Argentina from Peru, we started dating.

Engagement flowers
Carol and me just after announcing our engagement with a bouquet of flowers from my brother John and Moira.

Brodie (my brother) also has mentioned something about this.

New Zealand – it’s all over now

After five days in New Zealand, I am now on the plane back to Argentina. My time in New Zealand really flew past during the race around to try and catch up with as many people as possible.

Met at the airport at midnight by Walter and Gail, we managed to stuff the large amounts of luggage into his car and returned back for a quick catch-up that lasted until 2am.The next day was a work day, so it was not easy to get up too early.

Catching Walter by surprise with the camera.

The next day I went along to work with Walter. Well, if truth be known, I slept in while Walter went to work, and then when he returned for breakfast I joined him in the return. At the office I caught up with Gail again, and met Leanne, on the desk across from Gail’s, where I spent a lot of time.

Journey to Snells Beach
Saturday morning saw me traveling up to Snells Beach. A train took me to Auckland city, where I felt compelled to track down my favourite old Indian Curry house for a delicious meal. A bus from here took me up to the outer limits of Auckland city on the north-side, where I planned to try hitch-hiking.

auckland city
Auckland city as seen from the harbour bridge.

When the bus driver heard that I wanted to hitch, he told me that I was in the wrong place, and needed to walk over to the other main road, which was a 20 minute walk from where the bus stop was. The bus was empty however, and when the driver realised that, he told me to stay aboard and drove me over to the main road, stopping amidst all of the traffic so I could get off. Nice guy.

On the bus heading north.

Once on the main road, I had to walk a fair way before there was room for cars to stop, where they could pick me up. On the way I passed a bus stop with someone waiting. He told me that he was waiting for the bus that would take me even further north, to a much better position for hitch-hiking, and that it was coming shortly. So I waited.

Finally at Waiwera, home to the famous hot-pools, and the place where all roads north join into one, I stood on the side of the road and stuck out my thumb. Within two minutes a driver had stopped and offered me a ride.

Snells Beach
The beach that I used to visit almost every day. Snells Beach.

Riding with a Killer Dog
Looking into the white coupe car with sports seats and a huge lump in the bonnet, I discover that the passenger seat is already occupied by a young pitbull pup which is reluctant to surrender his position. Eventually he does, after physically thrown into the back seat, and I take his place.

No sooner had we started our journey than the driver asked me if I had any "cones" or "weed." To his disappointment, I told him that I was fresh out of them. Perhaps it was my Bolivian bag that suggested to him that I may have walked in those circles.

As the journey continues, I learn that his young pitbull has a destiny of tearing people apart. The driver’s idea is to train him up so that he can leave his car open and the keys in it, and let the dog guard it. There is still a lot of training yet however, as the dog slinked over onto my lap during the drive for a cuddle.

Conversation ran more or less in staccato fashion, between loud bouts of Bob Marley. Initially it was rap, but on my suggestion we moved onto Bob. There was great pride in the volume of the stereo and I was given the full blast level so I would know just how good it was. It was so loud that the pain no longer came from my ears but from my entire head. On getting out I discovered that half of the back seat was occupied by one gigantic speaker.

jonny and hayley
Jonny and Hayley.

Meeting Friends in Unusual Places
Finally, I was in Warkworth. Heading up to some of the places where I remembered my friends used to live, I guess it should not have been surprising that after three years they were no longer there. So I continued through the town to the road that leads to Snells Beach and waited for a ride.

Cars were not coming along this road so readily, and as the evening pressed on with fading light levels, the cold was increasingly harder to ignore. Unsure of what to do, I stuck it out a little longer. Then to my surprise, there was a voice calling my name from behind me. When I spun around, it was an old friend, Eric, and his wife.

steve and angela
Steve and Angela.

Eric normally lived in another part of New Zealand, and although I had wanted to catch up with him, it would not have been possible. Now I was in the car with him. He told me that he was not planning on stopping for the guy that was hitch-hiking as the car was very full, but as they passed by, he realised that it was me. How thankful I was. Both for the ride, and for the chance to catch up during the short trip.

Frank and June
Frank and June.

In Snells Beach I catch up with some of my dear friends during the evening and the following morning, then turn and head back down to Auckland again. This time I get a ride down to Waiwera and take the bus from there all the way to the city. Another train ride and I am back at Walter’s place again.

Brenda’s place, where I stayed.

Last Days in NZ
The remaining time I have in New Zealand is spent hanging around the office with Walter, having fun with the staff and chatting about all sorts of things… as you do. One of the highlights of this time was enjoying dinner with Leanne, a time of much laughter and candid conversations. After dinner she presented a bottle of liqueur which Walter identified as being Austrian. A golden yellow, the bottle also contained myriads of flakes of gold that would float around for ages after shaking it, although you could not taste or feel them while drinking it.

Austrian Liqueur
Austrian liqueur with gold flecks all through it.

Tuesday is a day for finalising everything and saying goodbye to my new friends in the office. In the evening, at 10pm, after farwelling Walter, I climb aboard the plane that will take me to Argentina. When I arrive there, it will be 7pm on the same day. I gain three hours even after a 13hr flight. Nice.

flight path
Flying from New Zealand to Argentina.

Old People – Photos While Waiting

Some more photos taken while waiting for the paperwork to be completed on my motorscooter. This time it is of old people that lived nearby or wandered past. The photos are taken in the same section of town, but in different areas.

Owner of house entering
Owner of the house of the previous photos entering his garage.

old man smoking
Old man biding his time watching traffic pass by.

old lady walking
Old lady with bag walking along briskly.

Old Houses – Photos While Waiting

While Sergio and I were waiting for our Escribana during the paperwork saga on my motorscooter, I snapped off a number of photos. These were all in the same area of the one street.

Old house
Old house on Misiones Avenue.

house number
The same house’s number as it is pegged to the wall.

door and handle of house
The door of this same old house.

entry to another old house
Doorway to a house on the other side of the road.

Lehman Ready for Church

Every day is a different day here, and sometimes it rains so much that there is large puddles of water and mud everywhere. So getting to church in good shoes can be a daunting task. Lehman has solved all of these problems by an ingenious system. It is a combination of farmer and city-boy.

Here he is in all of his glory, ready to walk out the door for church…

Lehman ready for church
Pay special attention to those classic style church shoes.