Days 176-181: Time Is Running Out

Day 176: The Apology 25.06.09: This is getting beyond a joke. Today was spent in a frantic state of despair as the Micau actually came into port (amazingly). I was worried that it would bugger off without me (and the fishing boat) so I set about trying to find Mito, without success. In the end, a guy named Val said that he’d help me out, but I really can’t get across to you how damn dodgy everyone is around here – it’s a bloody nightmare. Anyway, as you have (possibly) already guessed, the Micau wasn’t going anywhere, so I needn’t have worried. That night, I met a girl named Ines and she, bless her cotton socks, actually apologised for the rather rotten way that I’ve been treated here in Cape Verde. The first! She had been living in Italy for a number of years, so maybe…

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Odyssey Videos Are Back!

The Odyssey videos are back! Whoo-hoo!!!!!! The most recent one available is posted on the home page of my website, and all of my previous Odyssey videos can be viewed on my video page - whoo-hoo!!!!! Remember...I'm doing it ALL for WaterAid, so if you haven't already donated, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do  so at www.justgiving.com/theodysseyexpedition. 2.5 Billion people need YOUR help. Head on over to my 'WaterAid' page for more info. Thank you.

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Day 175: Tomorrow Never Comes

24.06.09: The boat did not come in last night. It will not be leaving today. It’s been three weeks since I arrived here. Three weeks out of the fifty-two that I have to get to every country on Earth. Should I just give up? Come home? Is there any point in going on? I’m not going to get to the remaining 110 countries in the time I’ve got left. But I’m beyond the point of no return. I’ve got no choice but to go on. A fruitless task. Tilting at windmills. Maybe I’ll write my memoirs of this journey and call it THE EPIC FAIL. Maybe that’s what we should call the television show. I’d make more money for WaterAid climbing into a bath of baked beans. Nobody knows what I’m doing, I couldn’t even capitalise on the fact I was arrested and the media coverage…

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Day 174: This Is A Low

23.06.09: Last night, I met with a really lovely girl from North London called Pricilla. She’s been working for UNICEF in Guinea-Bissau, one of the more worrying countries I have to visit. The President was assassinated back in March and one of the candidates for the ensuing election has also been murdered. The elections are due to take place next Monday I think. To make things worse, West Africa is now full pelt into rainy season, when the rivers are flooded, roads impassable and malaria is rampant. My timing couldn’t be worse. But that’s something to worry about once I leave. Which, according to Mito and the captain of the Micau will definitely, definitely be tomorrow. The boat will come into port tonight and leave tomorrow afternoon. I have Mentor phoning me every day, the fishermen (whose livelihood depends on getting their fishing boat back) are…

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Day 173: In Praise Of Science

22.06.09: Did I really expect to be leaving today? I am that stupid? The Micau is still out there in the water, bobbing up and down and laughing at me. Not going anywhere. Last Saturday, I met a captain of another ship, The Manx Lion, which was heading to Banjul in Gambia. He said he’d give me a lift but I (stupidly) took a punt on the Micau actually leaving. I could be halfway back to Africa by now. I had a bit of a Thomas Tantrum and a bit of a cry, and then my thoughts turned to my blog, which while stranded on Calypso’s Isle here may as well turn in a sort of newspaper column that nobody in their right mind would ever publish. So the topic of discussion today will be religion. Ha! Only joking! Yeah, not a great idea when I’ve…

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Day 172: In Defence Of Downloads

21.06.09: So I’m still here in horrible Cape Verde. My boat SHOULD be leaving tomorrow, but to be honest I’m not holding my breath. Today, I whiled away my time at Café Sofia, met some lovely interesting people, played a game of chess (and won!) hung out with Mito’s friend Nilsa and ended up at 3am in a hotel room with a whole bunch of American Peace Corps types getting so drunk on the local grog (YES IT’S CALLED GROG!!) that when I awoke the next day I was surprised I could still see. In keeping with my last two blogs, I thought I would use this opportunity to bleat on mercilessly about a subject close to my heart. So today you (lucky lucky blighter) are going to hear my thoughts on technology and the way the establishment just DON’T GET IT and never will –…

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Day 171: Architecture and Morality

20.06.09: Yesterday, I waxed lyrical about the (lack of) British film industry, and now while I’m stuck in Cape Verde, I’d like to draw your attention to a series of parallels with the unbelievably arrogant and idiotic world of architecture. Luddites With iPods In a recent survey carried about for the BBC’s excellent ‘Restoration’ series, they asked bods in the street whether they preferred old or modern architecture. The overwhelming response was, predictably, the old stuff. This is not because we are a bunch of crazy luddites who can’t see a good thing when we see one, if the question had been ‘do you prefer iPods or cassette walkmans?’, the response would have been firmly on the side of the clever, shiny and new. The reason why so many people love and are willing to fight to preserve old buildings is because they are simply better…

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Day 170: The British Film Insanity

19.06.09: I think my boat is going to leave today, but I still don’t know. At the moment I am sitting outside Café Sophia using Mito’s laptop and I’ve got nothing better to do, so I thought I would entertain you with my thoughts on the British Film Industry, or as I prefer to call it, the British Film Insanity. Hollywood depresses the hell out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the films they make, and a week doesn’t pass by without them releasing at least one movie that is worth watching. My favourite films – Star Wars, Sullivan’s Travels, His Girl Friday, The African Queen, The Apartment, Ghostbusters, Back To The Future (I could go on all day) have all been produced by the Dream Factory in over there in La-La Land. No problem with that! The reason Hollywood depresses the hell out…

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Day 169: Are You Still Here?

18.06.09: Are You Still Here? asked a kid this morning as I walked down for breakfast at Café Sophia. I told him my boat would be leaving tomorrow. That’s what you said last week, he said. I shrugged. Anyway, I went over to see Mito at the office (Christ he must HATE my guts by now!) and spent the morning chatting to Mandy online, which was nice. After lunch, Mito and I went back to see the Captain of the Port for one last bit of needless bureaucracy, only to discover that he now wanted twenty euros processing fee or something. Well, I think(!) it’s all sorted now, but it doesn’t look like the boat is going to leave until 10pm tomorrow (they just can’t bear to see me leave), so there might be time to watch the new Star Trek movie before I leave. And,…

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Day 168: Take A Deep Breath…

17.06.09: Woke up, excited and invigorated. The Odyssey is back on the road!! All I have to do is pay the shipping guys and get my passport back. LET’S GO!!!! I grabbed a bite to eat at Café Sophia and headed over to the office to meet Mito. Then we went to see the shipping guys, got a letter off them saying they wished to take the pirogue and were giving me passage, then went to see Maria the Lawyer, got a letter requesting (demanding) that they let me take the boat, went to the port office, got told to come back with a copy of the boat’s ownership documents, went back to Mito’s office, got in touch with the fishermen and got them to fax the ownership documents over to Maria, made a number of calls to my STUPID bank who have locked my telephone…

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