Thursday, January 12, 2017

Perhaps Penultimate Hurrah

Just in case somebody finally figures out a way to destroy the internet, I decided to print out everything I had written so far on this puny little blog.  It came to over 800 pages.  And this is including the reality that I've more recently gotten tired of the whole process, and didn't write about either my 12,000 mile drive to Labrador and Newfoundland last summer or the Atlantic cruise that Maureen and I took in 2014 from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona by way of the Cape Verde islands and Gambia/Senegal.

But, speaking of processes, I'm now in the process of implementing one of my most difficult journeys yet.  Namely the one from Nigeria to Namibia.  Who does that?  Especially somebody who has reached my advanced age.  And who hasn't been feeling all that terrific lately to boot.  What about Gabon and the Congos (Brazzaville and the DNC)?  Are there even roads?  Isn't a war going on somewhere?  Further (if you know about such things), how does one get a visa for Angola, which famously (among people who know about such things) doesn't give visas to anyone?

Ah, but that's the beauty of it.  For, assuming that I successfully get from Nigeria to Cameroon, I can then fly over to the island of Equatorial Guinea, one of the harshest dictatorships of the world, but which for some reason exempts US citizens (and only US citizens) from needing visas.  Then I can fly to the almost totally unheard of island nation of Sao Tome.  Which, because it--like Angola--used to be Portuguese, has an Angola embassy which actually does give visas.  Then a flight to Luanda and buses down to the border with Namibia.  Which is kind of like a suburb of South Africa. Which means that it has ATMs and cars to rent and all kinds of neat things like that.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, if you've ever been to Africa you already know that just about everything always does.  Nonetheless, after much travail I've gotten my Nigeria visa.  I've found someone who can get me tickets on the impossible to find on the internet airline that flies to those two islands.  I've found a cheap source for Malarone, the best anti-malaria drug.

Although, truth be told, you can still easily catch malaria even taking those anti-malaria drugs. Which I did back in 2005 on the first trip chronicled on this blog, the one from Casablanca to just short of Nigeria.  Which you can read about if scroll a-l-l the way back to the beginning.  Not that I expect you to.  Although, if I may say so, it would be a pretty good read if you did.

And you should certainly keep checking up on this upcoming trip.  After all, it might be the last one, if for no other reason that I might not make it back alive.  Not that I'm expecting this to happen.  After all, my energy usually triples as soon as I hit the road.  Anyway, God wouldn't let ME die, now would He???  And in reality, as with almost all travel short of to downtown Mosul, the biggest actual danger will always be getting into a traffic accident.

But what will have happened at the end of this is that I will then have done a pretty much unbroken overland trip from Northern Morocco all the way around South Africa and back up to Northern Ethiopia.  And there won't be any strings of countries left in the world that I haven't been to except North Africa between Egypt and Morocco.  And since Libya looks like it's never going to be stable in this lifetime, there might not be any more insane adventures to chronicle.

Or to put it another way: Except for 19 islands and a few more outlier African countries like Chad and South Sudan, there will then be only three countries in the entire world that I haven't been to: Bhutan (which charges too much), Saudi Arabia (which doesn't let tourists in), and North Korea (which does let tourists in, but sometimes sentences them to twenty years of hard labor).

Anyway, all of it then will have been a pretty neat lifetime achievement, eh?

 And I wasn't even a millionaire.