Today THE ODYSSEY EXPEDITION gets its skates on again. Living up the traditional Odyssey brand, I’ve been waylaid for far too long – but thanks to some clever editing, I’m sure nobody watching series two of Graham’s World will notice that 9 months has passed between episodes 6 and 7. No doubt state-of-the-art CGI will be employed to reduce my ever-expanding beer gut to reasonable standards.
I’m chipper, feeling good, motivated and excited about the next chapter… one that will, if all goes well, take me halfway across the world and back again. Even after I finish the South Pacific islands, I still have to pesky Palau… and I have to (somehow) get back to Taiwan to get there. Even then there’ll be four countries left to tick off the list: Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles and South Sudan. So from Taiwan I’m going to have to return to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and catch a ship from Malaysia to Sri Lanka. A return journey to the Maldives would be a treat, but even then getting to the Seychelles from the Indian subcontinent is going to be nigh-on impossible – pirates baby, pirates.
My best bet would be a cargo ship to Madagascar, but as the pirates extend their reach across the Indian Ocean, that too might prove impossible. If necessary I’ll have to take a ship to South Africa and fight my way back to Madagascar via Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Comoros AGAIN, then charter a yacht from Nosy Be to one of the more southerly islands of the Seychelles (something I should have done yonks ago).
But even then it won’t be over! South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, beckons. This adventure will not be over until I reach Juba. So that’s back (again!) through Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia… and then, and only then will it be over.
I’ve not worked for almost three years and I got stiffed by the (word deleted upon legal advice) at (name of company deleted upon legal advice), so not only do I have to do all this mad stuff, I’ve got to do it for no money whatsoever.
Kudos to Mandy for standing by me through all this and letting me sully her house for the last few months. She has the patience of a saint. I should also mention Rocco’s awesome cooking (and dirty sense of humour) which I’m going to miss like you would not believe. A huge shout out to my fellow Britishers — Sarah, Gemma, Hugh, Simon and Adam — for some of the best nights out I’ve had while stuck on this rather silly island continent on the edge of the known world.
DING DONG! Once more into the breach dear friends…