The rise of Hobo Habilis

zin•ga•ra   Pronunciation: (tsēng'gä-rä)

So who or what is Zingara?..... ‘she’ is the road. An unfailing companion, a mistress and muse to those who fall for her beguiling charms.’ She’ the indefatigable host for hobos and vagabonds such as I.

A deity, worshiped with the footfalls of tramps on a lifelong pilgrimage. She is Mecca, she is Lhasa, she is Shangri-La to the faithful wanderer. She is home to the émigré and guide to the wayward traveller. She is Bodh Gaya to those seeking enlightenment through treading her bitumen.

‘She’ who can lead you to peril or deliver you to fortune....

Slipping into life on the road is, for me, as easy as launching paper boats in a garden pond. Once released to its fate, the fear of sinking abates, the journey however long or short can now only be enjoyed whatever its duration, and so I find myself again, back on the road.
For how long? I cannot say, this time it seems impractical to define the journey by when it began and when it will, if ever, finish. I can’t even say where this journey started geographically as really it had already begun in my mind long ago during other adventures. It was already under way during stories being shared amongst friends over crowded coffee tables at Parisian cafes or while preparing cameras on film sets in Sydney. It began in daydreams while working at some mundane task or while I was canoeing down the Loire, or walking over the Alps. It began the day I set one foot forward out of Sagunto in south east Spain and walked all the way to Italy as Hannibal had done 22 centuries ago. Maybe, just maybe it began the day I left Dublin what seems like many lifetimes ago now, with a hundred dollars in my pocket and a one way ticket to New York City and made my way west to California and eventually across the Pacific to Australia.

These kind of experiences distill the mind of a traveller. The more you do the more potent the attraction to ‘her’ the road becomes, irrespective of your financial ability or inability to do so. For some and this is true in my case, an evolution takes place, “Holidays”(something I always had an inherent dislike of) become sabbaticals as the thirst for adventure becomes greater. These become year long leave of absences. Then you quit for good. You evolve into a voyager, travelling, seeing the world, eating exotic foods staying in cheap beach huts somewhere in India or Thailand, in Ghers on the tundra, Huts in the Himalaya. This lasts as long as the money does. When this runs low you find a job to sustain the travel, when that too runs out and you find yourself still on the road you convince yourself you’re a true adventurer, who doesn’t need money, a bed, a roof over your head. With only a sleeping bag on the hard ground and a plafond of stars. Then my friend you have the spirit of a Hobo.

Cañuelas. A small dairy town 70 kilometres south of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Standing in the heat of an early summer afternoon with a vertical thumb on the end of an outstretched arm. There's no shade standing by the verge where 1 de Mayo joins ruta 3. Its 30 degrees maybe more. Nearby a dead animal lies rotting, we can’t see it but the aroma of putrid flesh fills the air.
Destination? the road leads south. We’re going south... A nearby road sign reels off the distances to ridiculously far off places. Bahía Blanca 571km, Comodoro Rivadavia 1409km, Ushuaia 2642km.

I have 300 pesos in my pocket, (about 45 euros) Ed, my travelling companion on this south American adventure has slightly more. Neither of us have bought return tickets. “What d’you reckon, should we have at least brought a tent?” Gunmetal clouds were gathering along the horizon “Don’t worry Ed! I bet you 5 pesos it doesn’t rain till we get to Chile”


  1. Habili(s)

    Habili seems to be the key for something...
    May you find it in this new experience!

    i'll follow you from here and from the sky..

    1. Grazie! qualcosa dal subconscio :) but yes, your right, ben fatto!

  2. One day my Father was coming home from work on the 83 bus when everyone around him started laughing! He looked out of the window and saw what they were laughing at! a little boy of about 3 years old was sitting on the pavement outside Sundrive park with a bundle of rags tied to a stick with string obviously running away from home: The little boy was me! your Father, and he ran away from home many more times after that, but he always returned!
    Until we meet again Son stay well I would love to be with you on your Adventures!!

  3. Provenance like fate can't be avoided somehow. you are with me, and I thought I got this wanderlust only from ellen. theres a poem by Robert Service called 'the men that don't fit in' which starts

    There's A race of men that don't fit in,
    A race that can't stay still,
    So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
    They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain's crest,
    Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don't know how to rest.

    ill find the rest and post it up on fb