Day 518: Midnight At The Oasis

02.06.10: I was planning to do my hop over to Yemen today, but looking at the bus schedules I thought better of it.  I could get the 9:30am bus there, but getting back would be a nightmare… there very well might not be a bus back until Friday.  So I figure I’ll stay in Salalah and keep scouting around for ships going to Eritrea… or The Seychelles. I headed off to the Port to speak to the contact I had made yesterday, Robert Phillips.  Unfortunately he was stuck in meetings, but he suggested I speak to the wonderful Cyril Van Der Merwe, the owner of the Oasis Club and Salalah Port’s own resident Yoda. The Club was just closing after lunch, so I went up on the rocky bluff that overlooks the port and enjoyed the cooling sea breeze that is heralding the start of the…

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Day 517: Salalalalalalalalalalalah!

01.06.10: OMAN: Last night I travelled through The Empty Quarter – the rather large swathe of the Arabian Peninsular that is, as the name suggests, emptier than Paris Hilton’s noggin.  I could try to remark about how unremarkable it was, but that would do it a disservice.  Let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t driving the bus. This morning I arrived bright and early (7am on the DOT!) in the wonderful city of Salalalalalalalalalalah (to be henceforth sung like Trolololololololololo) in Oman.  I had myself a usual Hughesy mooch which involves marvelling that my compass watch actually works, then heading off in the cardinal direction that will validate my Lonely Planet map.  Soon enough I was touching the Indian Ocean for the first time since I arrived in Tanzania ALMOST SIX MONTHS AGO.  Damn – this Odyssey is taking a quite frankly rude amount of time.…

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The Final Forty

Only forty more countries to go!!  But as you can no doubt see, I wasn’t joking when I said that the leaps were going to get harder!  This time last year I had been to a whopping 89 countries.  So far this year I’ve been to just 27... and there is no sign that things are going to speed up any time soon. With the impenetrable African fortress of Eritrea still to visit, not to mention The Seychelles, Maldives, Bhutan, North Korea (if it still exists by the time I get there) and – heaven forefend – the dozen nations of Oceania, I still got a looooooong way to go before I’m safe and warm back in the arms of the woman I love. But that’s no reason to get despondent.  It took Odysseus ten years to get back to Penelope and it took the current…

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