Day 1,420: Who Wants To Be A Trillionaire?

Tue 20.11.12: After grabbing a whole three hours of sleep, it was time to SLAM DUNK DA FUNK and hit the road once more. NORTH MISS TESCHMACHER!! Janine, being the great sport that she is, agreed to drop me off at the local train station through some rather horrific traffic jammage. The bus for Lusaka, Zambia, departed at 0900. By 0830 we were still miles away, stuck in traffic and my chances of making the coach was looking slimmer than Victoria Beckham after I drive over her with a steam roller. We arrived at the train station at 0840. It takes 10 minutes to get to Park station from where the buses left. After hugs and see-you-agains, I ran inside. The next train was at 0848. I rushed down to the platform, pacing like that’s going to help. On the train it was all I could…

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Day 1,419: We Advance At Dawn

Mon 19.11.12: It was 0600 when my wake-up call came through from the third officer, but he need not have bothered: I was already wide awake. Giddy with that I-can-believe-this-is-actually-happening vibe, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. From now to South Sudan there is an open road: no ships to organise, no visas to be purchased in advance, from the moment I step foot on African soil it will be go go go to the end of the Odyssey Expedition. I’ve been doing this for nigh on four years. In less than a week I’ll have achieved the impossible. Or at least something that nobody has ever done before. By 0700 I was posing for photos with the crew, ready to depart with Alfred, the ship’s agent. I was getting off at the same time as second engineer Jay from The Philippines. By 8am…

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Days 1,411-8: The Maersk Sebarok

Sun 11.11.12 - Sun 18.11.12 I was up an’ at ’em! by 8am, and by 8.30am I was on the bus back to Port Louis. I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to Arno, but not to worry, I’ve a feeling I’ll see him again some day. I was met at the old Post Office by my driver who would be taking me through immigration and then to the port gates. The immigration officer was incredibly friendly (Mauritius is a very friendly place) and he happily stamped me out the country. And then it was through the port gates (the officials nodded me through) and onto the minibus that took me across the port to THE SHIP: The Maersk Sebarok. Wow. When I say this ship is BIG. Understand: this ship is BIIIIIIIIG. Check out these stats: Length: 336 metres Width: 40 metres Height: 25…

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“Graham’s World”: My Very Own TV Show Starts Tuesday!

Okay, Odyssey fans... this is it, the television show documenting my travels is being shown every TUESDAY at on the Nat Geo Adventure Channel, which is available in 40 countries across Asia and South America.  If you can get it, great.  If you can't, you're stuck with my YouTube videos until it gets broadcast on the BBC (fingers crossed) early next year!! The eight episodes of season one cover the first 133 countries of The Odyssey Expedition - my journey from Uruguay to Egypt, starting on 1st January 2009 and finishing on 31st December 2009. EPISODES: 1. From Argentina to Guyana 2. Caribbean Castaway 3. From Cuba to Tunisia 4. Arrested In Africa 5. African Rough Road 6. Congo Chaos 7. Africa Island Hop 8. Pyramids Or Bust As for the final 67 countries... (including Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea) Lonely Planet TV have just bagged first refusal on the second series... WATCH…

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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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Day 284: Zambezi-Peasy

11.10.09: But at 5am, I was up an at 'em, kicking ass all the way up to Tete on what was admittedly a dreadful bus journey. All I wanted to do was SLEEEEEEP, but the music was set to BEYOND max and the rugrats on the bus were as unhappy as I was about the situation – screaming and bawling like their lives depended on it. Although the devil in me found itself musing whether their displeasure was caused by seeing themselves in a mirror lately – my word these kids were UGLY. Wow. One looked the spit of George W. Bush. Which would have been bad enough had she not been a girl. Yes, yes I'm sure beauty is only skin deep, but I don't swing with no ming, it's not the way I ride. I don't care if their two years old or eighty-two…

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Day 283: Back in Aff

10.10.09: Yep, back in Aff all right, back in Aff. First up, buses in Mozambique are not allowed to run at night (no street lights + drunk drivers = too dangerous), which is why the bus left at half-four in the morning (my taxi driver was even less than impressed than I). Secondly, the roads in Mozambique are in that kinda half-built stage that all African roads seem to be in north of the Tropic of Capricorn. What was particularly amusing was the fact that responsibly for building roads in Mozambique (like the Empire) lies in the hands of the regional governors. Which means you'll be hurtling along a lovely strip of Asphalt at 100 miles an hour when suddenly WHAM you cross a state boundary and suddenly you're up to your bits in dust and cattle. This is what it was like all the way…

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Day 282: Havin’ a Mozey

09.10.09: You know when you should really be getting up but you just really can't be bothered? That was me this morning. Feeling a little bad for waking Lilianna with my snooze alarm every 15 minutes from 5am, I eventually elected (after several recounts) to rise from my slumber somewhere around the wrong side of 7. Lilianna drove me down to the minibus park and before I knew it, I was whisked away back from whence I came to the crossroads town of Manzini. There, I caught another minibus to Mozambique, Nation 117, feeling like I've arrived at the party a little late. But to be honest with you, even if I had left Durban on Wednesday, I would have only got to Mozambique yesterday, and the buses up north go VERY early in the morning, so I would have been stuck there until this morning…

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Day 281: Hey Ya!

08.10.09: Staggeringly early bus to Swaziland, but I needn't have bothered. Let me explain; I rose at the butt-crack to get my ultra-early bus across the border into Swaziland, which is a bit like Switzerland only with different letters. I rode right on through the city of Manzini, the crossroads to Mozambique – maybe I should explain why... because I had heard a nasty rumour that Mozambique was no longer giving out visas at the border like Father Christmas, you had to go get that pesky stamp WHICH THWARTS ALL MY DREAMS in the nearest capital city, in Swaziland's case, that would be Mbabane. So I got another bus, not to Maputo, but to Mbabane. Strange, but true. There, I met the delectable Lilianna, my couchsurf contact. Lilianna's from Portugal and she's one of only two Portuguese teachers in the country, which kind of makes sense…

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Day 280: …And Nothing But The Tooth

07.10.09: Being a massive four months behind schedule now, I don't really have time for dossing about, but today I really needed to get things done. Jeans and teeth where the order of the day. If people are donating me their clothes, then it's a surefire sign that my Levis ain't lookin' the besht. Also, given that the filling I had done in by the dentist in Spain fell out within two days, I thought it would be smart to get my tooth fixed before my high-sugar diet did any more damage to my pearly off-whites. So off I plodded to the nearest dentisht, getting an appointment for 11am, all is good. Then I headed towards the city, with an eye on getting a taxi. Did I mention how difficult it was to get a taxi in South Africa? I should have done. They just don't…

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