Fri 15th May;
A few of you have asked for an update on how it’s all going and what craziness I have planned for the future.
So here you go…
It’s 15th May 2009. I’ve hit 84 of my target 200 countries. I’m eight weeks behind schedule. This is not as bad as it sounds! If I was on schedule, I’d be in Australia by the end of July! The schedule has a lot of leeway in it to accommodate things stuffing up (as they invariably will!).
HOWEVER, my back is really up against the wall now due to not being allowed to step foot in Algeria or Libya – this is not a good turn of events, and doesn’t bode well for some of the other African and Middle Eastern countries I was planning to pull that ‘Border Hop’ trick in (don’t look at me like that! It worked in Suriname, Panama and Haiti!).
The Next Bit…
I’ve got to get from Morocco to South Africa overland in less than a month – including boat trips to Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but doable all the same.
Then, I’ll be heading up to Djibouti (Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Mauritius all have to be ticked off the list). I’m giving this leg six weeks because those four islands are going to be a NIGHTMARE!
After Africa, it’s all pretty much Terra Firma (with the exception of the Maldives) until Australia – the Middle East, The Sub Continent, China, SE Asia – all overland or scheduled ferries.
After Oz, I have twelve pacific nations to get to. Whether it’s going to be possible this year is, honestly, debatable – cyclone season starts the beginning of December, which will make it damn hard to hitch a lift.
Having said that, I intend to plough on regardless – cargo boats run all year – they can race around cyclones in a way that yachties can only dream of.
The biggest overland obstacle is going to be visas. I’ve got two passports but even so, places like Equatorial Guinea and Bhutan do NOT like visitors of any shape or form.
The thing is, nobody has attempted this before, so even if it does take me more than a year it’ll still be a world record – but to make it a real achievement I’d like to spend Christmas with my girlfriend in Melbourne with 200 countries under my belt!
So is the Odyssey still achievable? Hell yeah, you better believe it baby – it’ll take more than The Caribbean to stop this cat from dancin’…