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Day 302: The Road Ahead

My entire route for The Odyssey is mapped out in my head and has been for years so I never bother looking at the route plan; but just for giggles and as I’ve just hit 300 days on the road, I had a peek at the Odyssey Itinerary that I drew up for Lonely Planet last year. I had to laugh at my ludicrously over-optimistic plan for getting around The Caribbean (it’s been easier getting around the Indian Ocean!) and the allotted six days for getting to Cape Verde and back (try six weeks, baby).

But, you know – I had set a month for getting around Europe and I did it in 23 days and that included wasting six days in Tunisia. I also accurately set five days to get to Sao Tome and back – which, to be fair, is how long it took – only I didn’t figure on having to wait three weeks in Gabon before setting sail!

In fact, if you deduct the four weeks that I spent struggling to get to Cuba, the week and a half in Halifax, the six weeks I spent in Cape Verde, the three weeks in Gabon and the week and a half wasted in the Congo’s, I’d be here, now, heading to Mauritius three and a half months ago – that’s over a hundred days – in fact, I wouldn’t have even broke the 200 mark yet – I’d still be on target for getting this damn foolhardy adventure finished this year. Ha!

The bad news is that if I make EVERY connection in my original plan (I won’t), it’s going to be 100 days before I reach Australia (and that’s once I get back to Africa, which may not be for another three weeks from today). And given the fact that I’ve still got to get to Algeria we’re looking at possibly Day 425 before I arrive in Oz (nation 188), and that’s without anything going wrong.

The good news is that after The Seychelles, there’s only one bitch of an island to get to before Australia and that’s The Maldives, which I’m going to attack from India.

But then after Australia… gee whizz; I still have to somehow find my way to PALAU, MICRONESIA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, NAURU, KIRIBATI, THE SOLOMON ISLANDS, TUVALU, VANUATU, FIJI, TONGA, SAMOA and, finally, NEW ZEALAND, the 200th (and last) nation on my list: we’re talking a week to get to each, if I’m lucky… that’s twelve weeks, or 80 days – damn you Fogg, must you mock me so?

Makes me wonder why I asked Stan to book me a ticket for next year’s Glastonbury Festival.

If I get to Oz by March next year, I’ll be a merry man. If I get there in time for my 31st birthday at the end of February I’ll dance a f–king jig.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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