Three Brits to walk from Uruguay to Brazil for World Cup
Many of the teams competing in Brazil for this year’s World Cup have had a difficult journey. None of their challenges match that of Adam Burns, David Berwick and Pete Johnston, three friends from England who begin a 1,221-mile walk (in honor of their country’s single World Cup win) across the South American continent.
They set off from Mendoza, Uruguay, on March 1, and arrive in Brazil for kick-off on June 12. We spoke to the boys from their training camp in Mendoza.
Metro: What inspired you?
Burns: We were all talking in our local pub about how much we wanted to go to the World Cup having never been before, and wanting it to be an adventure. Then we found that David’s mother runs a charity in Bahia, in northern Brazil, that is suffering its worst drought in 50 years and was saving for a well. It all came from that: we wanted to give something to people who won’t benefit from the World Cup and registered the website that night.
How have you prepared?
Burns: We did nothing for six weeks, then researched to see if it was possible. For six months, we have been planning the route, and then training by walking and running to work. The other boys have been in Mendoza for a month, learning the language and planning logistics, but David has a bad back and can hardly walk, and Pete’s knee is dodgy, so we’re not in peak physical condition.
What will be the most difficult part?
Burns: Safety is a big issue; we have heard stories of kidnappings and muggings, and we have put a lot of planning into making sure we can get water, because that could be difficult.
Johnston: The hardest part of the route is the first week from Mendoza, which is literally a desert. Once we get to Buenos Aires, and then the ferry to Uruguay, it should be easier because there are lots of towns.
What are you most looking forward to?
Johnston: Most excited about the Uruguay part of the trip. It has a famous coastline with beautiful beaches and people come from across the continent for holidays, and we can go fishing there.
Have you planned a celebration?
Johnston: The other lads have tickets to games, but I don’t. We’ll be staying in a free apartment through friends and be looked after and it will be an amazing atmosphere, and a chance to see the real Brazil – not as tourists.
What are you expecting from England?
Johnston: It will be a miracle if we get out of our group. But you never know.