You know, I'm going to be honest here. We've featured a lot of crazy adventurers on The World through the years.
Some of these folks get in tiny boats and, you know, try to row across the Pacific or something. Others try to walk ridiculous distances through barren, dangerous landscapes.
Some do it for love, others for money, and others for charity. This is the story of three English guys who are doing it for soccer.
As with more than a few brilliant ideas that have a whiff of crazy about them, this one starts in a pub. "The Little Guy" in Sydney, Australia, to be exact.
Three young Englishmen, best mates far from home, like to get together there regularly and cook up ideas.
All three also happen to be big fans of English soccer, and of their national team's bid to win this year's World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.
And so, a while back, after one too many pale ales, they got to chatting.
“We said, ‘There must be a way we can go to the World Cup,’” Adam Burns says from Sydney.
But, Burns insists, he and his pals Dave Bewick and Pete Johnston didn't just want to take a vacation to Brazil. Instead, they wanted to make a real adventure out of it. And after a few more pale ales, Burns says they went online and started shopping for web addresses.
“We bought quite a few URLs, different URLs. And then in the morning woke up and said, ‘Hey, did we buy a whole bunch of URLs about the World Cup last night?’” he adds.
Yes, they did. And one of the URLs happened to be walktotheworldcup.com.
“We started researching what it would take to walk to the World Cup,” Burns says. “Then we came up with the idea that 1966 was the last time England won the World Cup, so that’s a significant year for us as English football fans, even though we weren’t born yet.”
Actually, 1966 is a distant memory for many England fans, and suffice to say that there’s been a lot of World Cup heartbreak since then.
So, in a move both symbolic and potentially stupid, the lads decided to weave 1966 into the "Walk to the World Cup" plans.
They settled on Porto Alegre, Brazil in the south as their final destination. From a friend, they bought some tickets to World Cup matches that will be held there.
And then they started looking for destinations 1,966 kilometers away. Get it: 1966, the last year England won soccer’s greatest prize.
Adam Burns says that led them to Mendoza, Argentina.
“It’s a very good wine region,” Burns notes with a laugh. “That’s one of the main reasons we wanted to go.”
The plan is this: the three set off from Mendoza on March 1, hoping to reach Porto Alegre on June. 8 One hundred days, 80 for walking, and 20 for "rest and relaxation." There will be some camping, and some couch surfing along the way. The guys are hoping to kick a soccer ball around now and then, Dave’s back permitting.
But Burns says that soccer's only part of the story here.
“The World Cup draw was in Bahia, and you have to think that FIFA spent millions on that, and there are locals that won't see any of the benefit of that. We feel that as England fans, we'll be enjoying the hospitality of the Brazilian people, and we want to give something back,” he explains.
And so they've teamed up with J de V Arts Care Trust, a British charity that is helping to draw attention to the fact that Bahia is suffering through its worst drought in decades.
Farmers in the region have lost crops and cattle. Millions of people have been affected.
Adam Burns and his friends want to help in a simple way: raise enough money through sponsors and donations to build a well in a Bahia community that needs it.
It will take about $40,000. So far, they've raised about a quarter of that.
Burns assures me that none of that money collected will go toward their World Cup travel or ticket expenses.
They're asking anyone who wants to help out, either with a bit of cash, or by joining them in their South American trek.
Via a video on Facebook, they've launched a Walk to the World Cup fan search. All you have to do is post a video of yourself pretending to score the game winning goal at the World Cup.
So, if you fancy a 1200-mile walk through Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, you know what you have to do.