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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Day 1,426: Day of Days

Mon 26.11.12: Well then. I made it. It would not be unfair to say that my entire life has been leading up to this point. This day. This moment. This photograph: The final vindication of my hopes and dreams, my determination, my spirit, my grit and my stubborn refusal to give up no matter what. +++++++++++++++++++++  I DID IT +++++++++++++++++++++ At 0814 this morning, the 1,426th day of The Odyssey Expedition, I crossed the border from Uganda into South Sudan. After queuing for an hour to be stamped in, it was official. Some may do the same thing in the future, and they may well do it faster, other may scoff and think the whole thing ridiculous, but NOBODY can ever take this achievement away from me. I am, and always will be, the first person to visit every country in the world without flying. A FEW…

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Day 1,425: The Impossible Dream

Sun 25.11.12: The coach arrived at 9am in an strangely subdued Kampala. Where the hell was everyone? Then I realised it was Sunday and it all kinda made sense – they be at church being told how homosexuals make Baby Jesus cry and therefore should be put to death. The bus office next to the buses back to Dar was advertising overnighters to Juba, South Sudan, leaving at 9pm. I bought a ticket with a strange sense of calm elation. I’ve learnt time and time again not to get too excited about ANYTHING on this journey, just in case something goes horribly wrong. I set off to find myself a cash machine, a SIM card, some camcorder tapes and Internet access. Only the ATM was forthcoming, everywhere was shut. After wandering around Kampala for a bit too long, I was pointed at the direction of the…

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