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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Day 1,390: The Costa Living

Tue 23.10.12: The two days at sea passed like some velvet morning (when I’m straight). For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to be less of a fat bastard using a novel invention I like to call ‘the beer diet’. It’s nice and simple: you just drink beer and don’t eat anything. Honestly, it works! Magic!! However, on a cruise upon which I can’t afford to drink and the food is UNLIMITED and FREE, my great diet plan has been turned on its head. Now all I have to stop me stuffing my face with cheese and prosciutto is my own willpower. ARRRRRRRRRRGH!!! On the Tuesday we crossed 0° latitude, that magic invisible line of red that seamlessly circumnavigates the planet. Why is it 0°? Because that’s the angle of Polaris, the North Star, in the sky relative to the horizon at this exact point…

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Day M181: How The South Pacific Was Won

26.03.12: The Pacific, south of the equator line, is now complete. Yes, there were a handful of territories – Niue, Tokelau, French Polynesia, Pitcairn & Easter Island – that I skipped, but if the purpose of this adventure is to have great stories to tell the grandkids, I need to finish this quest so I can work on spawning future generations of argumentative scouse dingbats to tell the aforementioned great stories to in the first place. Happily, I did get to visit the French territories of New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna (both of them!) and the US territory of American Samoa, bringing my ‘territory tally’ up to 9. Here’s a rough map I knocked together of the route I took, including ships and dates. Clicky for biggie. MASSIVE THANKS must go to the cargo kings of the Pacific Ocean - Swire, Neptune, PDL, PIL, Reef and…

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Day 722: He Got Made, He Got Wewak’d

23.12.10: Up early as Jan wanted to get to the border the moment it opened. Mike and Harald had left in the wee small hours, so I checked out on their behalf (thank god there was no minibar!!) and hit the road in a shared taxi. The drive to the border was surprisingly slick, I was expecting worse and we arrived in good time.  The was the usual formalities, but nothing went wrong and nobody asked us to pay an imaginary ‘fee’, so that was good. I’m now in the 184th country of The Odyssey Expedition: Papua New Guinea.  One of FOUR Guineas spread out all over the world (the others being Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea: and all of them utter basketcases, sadly enough).  Even though West Papua is culturally very similar to PNG, you are left in no doubt whatsoever that you’ve crossed a…

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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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Days 539 & 540: Back In The Red

23.06.10-24.06.10: We had to be at Baaboud Shipping for 7.30am, and, once again, Turki took time away from the office to take me there.  The level of hospitality and sheer generosity I’ve received from Turki has really knocked me for six.  I owe this guy BIG.  Like many other Odyssey Heroes I really have no idea how I can possibly repay him short of declaring a Wookiee Life-Debt.  The only thing I can do is spread the love and do everything in my power to help my fellow wayfarers along the way after I finish this adventure.  And you can hold me to that. We presented Ahmed with his dates and he responded with a pot of authentic Sudanese green bean coffee.  The ship would be leaving this afternoon and we had to be at the port for 10am.  Ahmed gave Turki the phone number of…

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Days 494-500: No Dice

09.05.10-15.05.10: Well then, it should all be over, shouldn’t it?  First thing Sunday morning I hurried down to the copy place to pick up my shiny happy visa, only for the guy to pull it out of the drawer with a despondent look on his face. You need to get the visa in London. I took a deep breath, nodded, smiled, exited and screamed an obscenity to the sky that would have woken Rip Van Winkle. No visa.  No dice.  What now? I rang Eric who has become my unofficial Kuwaiti Yoda, he said he could get my passport DHLed back in the UK for just a fiver through his company.  Thus began my week of visa madness. On the Monday morning I was invited back to the British Embassy to see if they could musta some ‘wusta’, the word for influence around these parts (and…

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Day 2: Mostly Harmless

02.01.09: Arriving at some ungodly hour in Posadas, we took a taxi over the Paraguayan border.  And back.  I would love to tell you how much fun and how interesting Paraguay is, but I can't.  It isn't.  They may as well put posters in travel agencies that say 'Paraguay: Forget it'. So as soon as possible we headed out of Posadas on another coach, arriving at Resistencia a few hours later.  Only when I got off the coach, I forget to pick up my GPS tracker which I need to keep you all informed where I am each day!  Horrified by my rampant stupidity, Carlos came to my rescue and got the coach company to ring the driver (now on his way back to a place called Corrientes) and retrieve the GPS.  Which they did, and had it driven back to Resistencia on the next bus.…

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This is THE ODYSSEY!

The Odyssey is an epic adventure, a world first, a race against time, a year (or two) of living dangerously!! Scouse film maker Graham Hughes' barking, madcap adventure TO EVERY COUNTRY IN THE GODDAMN WORLD!! 300,000 kilometers, 200 sovereign states, 5 continents, 1 man and no flights! The Odyssey will be a marathon trip like no other. In an attempt to break the world record of the fastest surface journey to every nation on earth, The Odyssey is the amazing documentary of film-maker Graham Hughes and his insane trip around the world. As well as the 192 member states of the UN, Graham will also attempt to step foot in the likes of Taiwan, Kosovo and Palestine, bringing the grand total up to 200 territories; which means less than two days per country and an average of 150 miles travel a day, every day for 52…

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