Day 287: The Slog

14.10.09: The big event of today was crossing the border into Tanzania, which is a little like Tasmania but with different letters. Nation 121. I've got to a whopping EIGHT countries in just ten days and I was (understandably) feeling rather happy about the current turn of evens. What I less happy about was my seat on the coach. Sat in the middle of the back row and with no back window, there was no way I could see – much less film – any of the exciting Tanzania stuff that was no doubt whizzing past. I was also less than impressed by the fact that – once again – the nation had just decided to embark on a whole new programme of road building just as I show up, turning a projected 12 hour journey from the border into a 20-hour slog. I contacted my…

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Day 286: Zam, But No Beer

13.10.09: Jason was a Peace Corps volunteer for a couple of years in Malawi (luck of the draw I guess) and decided to stay on and set up a business here, and why the hell not, eh? Malawi is a remarkably great place, landlocked, sure, but at least it has roads (wouldn't that be a fine thing, Guinea?) and electricity (oh Nigeria, you tickle me you really do). We chewed the fat for a couple of hours in the morning over (rather excellent) coffee. After getting him out of bed at some ridiculous hour last night, it would have been infradig not to. The question was how on Earth I planned to get over the border to Zambia and then catch the overnighter to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. It all seemed so simple... there was a bus later that night that left at 7pm. It…

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Day 285: The Lilongwe Round

12.10.09: Ah, well you see it's like this: I've been kicking myself (literally, you want to see the whelks on my ass) about Algeria and Libya. Not because Libya sounds like an area of the female genitalia and I haven't cracked a joke about it yet, but because of this: WHY DIDN'T I JUST BRIBE THE BORDER GUARDS?? This notion has spread like an itch all over my body and I can't help every time I look at that bloody map on the Odyssey Home page but wince over the fact that Algeria and Libya, those two vast swathes of North Africa are still coloured in white – white goddamnit! WHITE!! I never crossed those borders. For those of you who are joining in The Odyssey a little late (bless you I need all the support that I can muster) you might not know what happened,…

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