So, I have fifty countries left to visit, and then I’m done. I can go home, put my feet up, stuff my face with Anzacs and have a nice hot cup of tea.
But like Sam in the last episode of Quantum Leap, I ain’t going home any time soon – in fact, the leaps are going to get harder. Much harder.
The final fifty include some of the most difficult places on Earth to step foot in. I’ve still got to (somehow) get into Turkmenistan (the North Korea of Central Asia), Eritrea (the North Korea of Africa) and North Korea (the North Korea of… oh). Add to that The Seychelles, Maldives, Taiwan and – gulp! – the Pacific Island states, I’ve really got my work cut out.
So, where next? Well after Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, I’ll be heading into Iran. Now the original plan was to go from there to the Gulf States of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Yemen – taking a boat from Yemen over to Eritrea and back (easy!) then hitching a ride back on the DAL Madagascar from Oman to The Seychelles (finally!).
There is a cruise ship leaving for The Maldives from India in about three weeks time. It will be the last cruise of the season, and taking a cargo ship to/from the Maldives is going to be *breathes in sharply through teeth* tricky to say the least. Now it’s going to be cutting it finer than a sheet of quarks, but if (this is a big IF) I can get my Turkmenistan visa quicker than usual (it usually takes 10-20 days) I might –might- just be able to make it. I’ll need to pick up visas for Pakistan and India while I’m in Iran and thunder down there.
I’ll worry about the Arabian Peninsular, Eritrea and The Seychelles later.
Madness, I know, but this is The Odyssey. Hi!
Here’s a list of the FINAL FIFTY:
8. United Arab Emirates
15. Sri Lanka
22. North Korea
23. South Korea
36. East Timor
38. Papua New Guinea
39. Marshall Islands
40. Solomon Islands
50. New Zealand
…wish me luck!