Day 1,431: Carry On Nairobi

Sat 01.12.12: So after a night of almost no sleep I find myself in Nairobi, ready to get this 6am bus to the border. For some idiotic reason only known to the Kenyan government, all international buses leave from the area of Eastleigh, aka ‘Little Somalia’. When I was hear three years ago, the roads were all dug up like you would not believe. Some were just massive holes as though they were operating some kind of ‘cut and cover’ operation for a new subway system. Glad to say things have changed massively since I was last here. Oh no, they haven’t. The roads are just as insane as ever. The rest of the city is actually quite respectable. Why they chose to locate there national and international transport hub here of all places is quite beyond my programming. Perhaps they just really want you to…

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The Return of The Ging!

PIER HEAD, LIVERPOOL: 2.45PM SAT 22 DEC. BE THERE! If you didn’t already get the memo, I will be returning home to Liverpool in time for Christmas, arriving on the famous Ferry ’Cross the Mersey at 2.45pm on Saturday 22nd December. After hugs and kisses and handshakes and how-the-hell-are-you-still-alives, we will be heading off to a secret location for an evening of booze and depravity (I hope!). Everybody reading this is welcome to attend, bring your friends and family, the more the merrier. Say you’ll be there via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/376044069148554/

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Day 1,430: Call My Bluff

Fri 30.11.12: Up at 7am and down to DHL for 8.30pm. Passport – avec Ethiopian visa – in hand (praise be to Lindsey!), I bought a ticket for the bus to Nairobi, leaving at 11am. Well, kind of. After finding out what time the bus left I shopped around the bus station for a better deal, timewise – this bus would get into Nairobi at 11pm. I thought it better to get an overnighter. However, I had been told that the buses north from Nairobi to the Ethiopian border left at 6am, and all the other buses I could find left at 7pm this evening, arriving Nairobi 7am tomorrow: my schedule would be all skew-if. Last time was in Nairobi, since I spent the morning getting my Ethiopian AND Djibouti visas (something that would be double impossible now), I was told that the big bus had…

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Day 1,429: Exiting 201

Thu 29.11.12: It was 5am and I was up and showered, ready to begin my long journey back to the UK. Remarkably, in terms of physical distance, Durban to Khartoum in North Sudan is 3142 miles and Khartoum to Liverpool is 3244 miles, so I should be halfway there, but if only things were that easy. All things being equal I could jump in a car (or a boat if I was feeling fruity) and head on up the White Nile to Khartoum. From there it’s just 10 hours (if that) to Wadi Halfa on the border with Egypt. If there was a road crossing the border (clue: there isn’t) it would be a few more hours by bus to Aswan and an overnight train journey to Cairo. I could be ready to get the ferry across the Med in less than three days. I could…

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Day 1,428: The Same Thing We Do Every Night Pinky…

Wed 28.11.12: I was supposed to be heading back to Uganda this morning at butt crack o’ clock, but it wasn’t to be. I just had way, way too much work to be getting on with. The last couple of nights had been spent in Aengus’s company compound, a collection of small self-contained apartments spread out around a central eating and drinking area. Bedecked with decent wi-fi, it proved a fantastic base camp for dealing with all the requests for interviews and stuff that Casey and I were receiving. I would have liked to have spent today hanging out with Josh, perhaps going down to the River Nile for a beer, but last night, just as theodysseyexpedition.com site was finally getting the kind of visitor figures I feel the old girl deserves, a concerted spam attack, courtesy of those dastardly Russians (who else?), shut down the…

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Day 1,427: Ain’t No Fat Lady Singin’…

Tue 27 Nov 12: IT’S NOT OVER YET!! I’ve still got to get from here in South Sudan back to my hometown of Liverpool. And if you think I’ll be flying home, think again because THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THEY’LL BE EXPECTING ME TO DO!! Nah, in the spirit of the adventure thus far, I shall be headed homeward overland, without flying (of course). This presents a number of obstacles, which I shall list for you here: 1. I can’t go directly north as the border between North and South Sudan is closed. And a war zone. 2. I can’t go east and take a ship from Mombasa in Kenya because of Somali pirates. 3. I can’t go west because the borders are either closed or dangerous. In any case there are no roads. 4. My ONLY option is to go South Sudan > Uganda > Kenya…

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