The story today takes place in the city of London, 90 countries later...

They Charged Me with Murder

They Charged Me with Murder

“They Charged me with Murder” -Live transcript of my friend Mr. P. s a kid I was quite into boxing, trying to pursue that and fitness…constantly going to the gym.  But it didn’t really tweak with me that I’d never really have the dedication.  But I knew what I was doing.  I went to the gym and I’d been training for a long time. I went on a night out with me friends.  It got to the point where we’re...

Lonely Planet Soul Devourer

Lonely Planet Guide Soul Devourer

Lonely Planet Guide Soul Devourer – Pros and Cons The Lonely Planet guide-books are your primary travel safety net.  That safety net is also a devil that devours travel souls.  The Lonely Plant is the most powerful source in the world for completely sucking and absorbing real life out of anything it features, be it a village, a hostel, a restaurant…or by directing travelers to an ex-pat owned bar in town. But, Lonely Planet (or a similar guide from one...

Rock and Roll to the Rescue

Rock and Roll to the Rescue

Rock and Roll to the Rescue -The Rocco Valentino Live Transcript: friend and I were driving out in the bush one day and we decided we wanted to leave South Africa to go and see the world.  Both 21, listening to The Doors and doing a few other things.  Driving out there and we were deciding, “Well, where should we go?  Should we go to the States?  Should we go got Australia?” and we thought, “Australia is like South Africa. ...

I Fought a Dirty Cop for my Life in Tanzania

I Fought a Dirty Cop for my Life in Tanzania

I Fought a Dirty Cop for my Life in Tanzania -Live transcript of my friend Mr. P. was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and wanted to do the Kilimanjaro climb.  Really looking forward to it, and then I saw how much money they want for it, fees and park fees and all that guide shit.  I would’ve done it on me own, cause it’s only a hike, and I’m that type of person.  I would’ve just walked it myself.  But,...

Iron Maiden, Download Festival.

Iron Maiden, Download Festival – Day 3

Iron Maiden, Download – Day 3. June 12 It was pouring rain when we left Dan and Emma’s house in Nottingham. Sunshine would be unreasonable at Downland Festival anyhow… Whatever… We were ready to get into it again!  We had garbage bags in our pockets for extra-dryness covering.  Dan and I jumped on the bus to take us to the festival.  To say traffic was backed up would be an understatement.  A thirty minute bus ride from Nottingham became two...

Black Sabbath, Download Festival.

Black Sabbath, Download Festival – Day 2

Black Sabbath, Download – Day 2. June 11 Dan made breakfast for Emma and I and then Dan’s contact came through with two weekend passes for Download Festival that we could have for a £60 donation.  I sure wish that had happened yesterday before I blew £190 on my pass.  Then once Dan and I made it to the festival a girl was standing beside the box office to give away an extra weekend pass she had for free…. And,...

Rammstein, Download Festival

Rammstein, Download Festival – Day 1

Day One – Rammstein, Download Festival.   June 10 I was up at 06:35 to get ready for the day.  It has been over a month since I was near a time like that.   I caught my 08:30 bus to Nottingham to meet my friend Dan.  Download Festival.  I have wanted this festival for five years now… Nottingham is free of the shackles and the extortionate prices of my monster, London.  And believe me, I love my London, but it...

ACDC nee Axl/DC

ACDC aka Axl/DC in London

ACDC nee Axl/DC in London At 15:00 I rushed out the door to meet Karel at the Ritzy in Brixton and from there we headed for the London event of the night…AC/DC nee Axl/DC nee Axl/AC/DC! I have twice before watched ACDC during the ‘Rock and Roll Train’ tour in 2009.  Their show was totally amazing both nights, but I felt like I have been there and done that when the upcoming European tour was announced.  Then news hit that...

Shin Kicking World Championship

Shin Kicking World Championship in Cotswold

The Shin Kicking World Championship.   June 3 Convincing a 20 year old to get out of bed at 10:30 is no easy feat… It turns out that playing Slayer really loud at 10:45 will make the transition happen!  Now you know… We got out of the house at about 11:00 and caught the underground to Heathrow to pick up a rental car.  Just the thought of driving on the left side of the road through 12.5 million Londoners to...

The crowd, the stage, and the hair. Wow, I love this place!

Musical Candy – The Camden Monarch

May 1 I had flown across two continents for it, just to be a part of this night… England.  London.  Camden.  The Monarch.  Metalworks. It would be old bag of tricks in a new shirt. *In retrospect, I can say for sure from the evening that my lifestyle does not permit me to own a white shirt. I met Mike just after 18:00 and we went to a small establishment called Spiritual Bar to drink beer and catch up.  Justin...

African country hopping SIM collection.

Ethiopia to London – I am ‘Home’!

April 30 I arrived in my lovely and wonderful London at 07:00. My ‘London home’ feeling. The immigration man was typically English witty.   ‘STAMP’! Fundon, I am home.   London…Baby, I am so glad to be here.  Everything about you is exciting.  Getting on the Tube is exciting.  Using my British bank card with no foreign fees is exciting.  Blending in as a typical white person is exciting.  White women are exciting.  Falling love 15 times in the 2...

I have never seen anything quite like this.  There is still hair on that skull...

Genocide and Poverty in Ethiopia: Addis Ababa

April 29 I woke up at 11:00.  I did not want to get up then, but sleeping is no excuse for wasting the only day I have in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I talked to the guy at the front desk of Global Hotel and asked him how to get around the city.  He told me outrageous taxi prices.  I asked him if there is a local convi-taxi.  He said there was.  I told him, “I have been in Africa for...

Johannesburg.

Capetown to Addis Ababa

April 28 It took me forever to get my things together this morning.  But, that was sort of a convenience as I was waiting on wet clothes to continue drying.  The idea of arriving in London two days later and unzipping my backpack to pull out soggy clothes seems pretty unpleasant. Dani and I hung out for the day and went to a shopping mall in search of a haircut for me.  I am very specific on this…  I want...

Screenshot_2016-05-02-12-03-10

Capetown Table Mountain

April 27 Dani was moving at 08:00 so I pulled myself totally out of a slumber as well to get ready for the day. Big idea – Hiking up Table Mountain – the geological and spiritual heart of Capetown.  We had plans to meet Dani’s friends at 10:00 to conquer the mountain on foot, but it started raining which put out everyone’s fires.  However, I needed to see it so I just took the cable car up the mountain for...

Yea, a train for kids around the Capetown waterfront with fake smoke billowing out.

Capetown Waterfront and Muizenberg

April 25 I feel like I am turning into a jerk.  I do not mean to be, but my honesty is for sure more than most people are used to. Maybe it is more than most people can handle.  I often feel guilty after I have said something so profoundly honest, and I wish I would not because it is just honesty, but people usually mean well.  But, any tolerance I have for small errors in being a reasonable person...

Hanging out with Dani B.

Capetown Winos

April 24 Dani and I went out for breakfast and I indulged in a chocolate fudge cheesecake milkshake to start the day.  It is not exactly the cornerstone of nutrition, but it was damn good!  I do not regret it. Because I barely interacted with white people for the past six months, I forget about things we do, like growing really stupid mustaches that twirl and curl at the ends.  I saw a man with such a stache at the breakfast...

Look at those enthusiastic faces.  Remember those days when birthdays were the best things in the world and going to bed at 20:00 was the worst thing ever!  Send me to bed at 20:00 now.  Please...!

Capetown: Seeing Dani B

April 23 I slept really well in my reclining bus seat and did not even wake up until 08:30.  Sweet!  A good night of rest…  Those are rarities right now. Around 14:30, the bus pulled into Capetown, approximately 0:45h ahead of schedule.  Weird.  Not African style at all!  I sent a message to my friend Dani B who I spent two years working with in London to tell her that I was an early arrival.  She sent me a message...

The Fish River that snakes through the canyon.

Fish River Canyon, a Club, a Bus

April 22 I was up at 05:30 to get to the Fish River Canyon viewpoint before sunrise.  On the drive, a herd of zebras ran across the small roadway in front of me.  Africa is special… The Fish River Canyon is the second biggest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  I now have seen them both and Fish River is equally beautiful.  The colors are magnificent.  And the depth of the canyon, cut by the river…incredible. ...

That moonrise...

Keetmanshoop: Never Underestimate a Determined Man

April 21 It drives me crazy how much plastic is wasted in Africa.  There is a serious lack of education on how destructive its destruction is as they can not seem to waste enough of it on this continent.  If you go into a supermarket in Namibia and you buy a juice, the people working will put it in a plastic bag if you do not stop them.  If you buy one banana, plastic bag.  Can of coke, plastic bag. ...

A visually fascinating shell of a town.

Kolmanskop Sand Filled Ghost Mining Town

April 20 I got lucky this morning.  I wanted to go to Kolmanskop, the site of the original Diaz Cross Ghost Mining Town, but there is no access to the place without one’s own transport.  I was going to have to hire a taxi to take me there and then wait for me for 100 Namibian dollars ($7.05).  That is not much money for an 11 kilometer drive and a driver that will wait one hour for you to be...

Lüderitz is a decidedly German town. Look at the buildings.  Look at th eletters they use to spell Lüderitz.

Hitchhiking from Sossusvlei to Lüderitz

April 19 Up at 04:48.  Two mornings in a row pre-05:00 is about as horrible as taking a medicine that is certain to make you throw up… I heard my friend Willam get up about five minutes after I got moving.  He was going to make sure I did not sleep in and miss my ride.  Wow, there are good people in this world!  I folded up the blankets and packed away the mattress I had slumbered on. I have...

Dune 45.  People-ants in a row.

Sossusvlei Sand Dunes National Park

April 18 Getting up at 04:01 to meet a German family at 04:30 is unpleasant.  Wait, let me reword that.  Getting up at 04:01 is unpleasant.  The German family was great! They…Christian, his wife Steffani, and six-year-old, Konstantin, from Dortmund…came into my life last night while I was having dinner at the lodge.  They were at the next table over and I asked them if they were going to the Sossusvlei in the morning.  I needed a ride and I...

Alejandro, looking at the scene, and wondering what had happened.

Solitaire: The Car Accident

April 17 I was up at 06:42 to get ready, made my goodbyes to Lala and Francois Loubser, and was on the highway by 08:30 to try to thumb a ride to Sossusvlei…about a six hour drive away.  I have had a very easy time hitchhiking around Africa.  Namibia has decided to take a different pattern and it was not kind in supplying rides.  I stood on the side of the road in the same place for three hours.  I...

Dune climbing in a pretty cool modified machine.

Walvis Bay 4×4 Off-Road Challenge

April 16 The ‘Walvis’ of Walvis Bay is ‘whale’ in Afrikaans.  Awesome… I went for a walk around Walvis Bay in an attempt to try to find a tent.  I failed in the tent quest, but really came out ahead because I stopped at a business called Namib Off-Road, that was closed. There was a sign on the door that explained their closure was due to a 4×4 Desert Challenge behind Dune 7.  I asked a cabbie where Dune 7...

Francois and Lala Loubser.  I love these people!

Back to Walvis Bay: To Psychoanalyze

April 14 I woke up in the car in a gas station, though I am not really sure where it was when I started off for Walvis Bay this morning.  I think a sign said that I was 56 kilometers from Swakopmund when I hit the road while it was still dark.  My third sleep in a car in three nights.  I do not live a comfortable life, but it sure is interesting. A cool thing about Namibia…they put up...

Yeah, I see you too big fella.  And I will remember you too.

Etosha National Park and Hoba Meteorite

April 13 I think it was around 01:30 outside of Etosha National Park when I went to sleep in the car and it was 02:17 when I woke up to knocks on the window and flashlights shining.  When I really woke up, I realized that there were cops everywhere, with shotguns, surrounding my car (I would later count 18 camouflage-uniformed cops). I had been sleeping in the reclined driver’s seat just outside of the western gate to get into the...

It seems like someone painted this.

Skeleton Coast National Park – Lions and Testing Idiocy

April 12 I had a pretty restless sleep, but considering it was in the back seat of a very compact car, I should be respectful enough to qualify it as a ‘good sleep’.  It was 07:17 when I checked the time and as soon as I moved, there were three Namibian police officers standing not far from my car and they watched me get dressed.  They seemed to have nothing better to do.  It annoyed me that they were so...

Skeleton Coast National Park Ugabmund Gate.

Skeleton Coast National Park – Shipwreck and Oil Rig

April 11 When I woke up, breakfast had been prepared for Julia and I on the terrace outside of the rooms by Lala, who runs Loubser’s Bed and Breakfast.  Awesome!  Julia and I ate and then I kissed her goodbye before she raced off to catch a flight to Bali.  I started getting myself ready when my rental car arrived.  Yes! Now, I had been to Avis, and they had a car for me for 552 Namibian dollars ($37) per...

Walvis Bay.

Walvis Bay: Opposite Day

April 10 Lala woke me up at 08:00 because she had prepared breakfast for me.  Julia, right behind her, had a nice morning shine and sat with me for breakfast. Today would turn out to be Opposite Day!  Awesome Opposite Day. Play this while you read.  I heard this today.  It has been years since I heard this song.  Somehow I forgot how great the Bellamy Brothers were.  This is a beautiful song… Well, today went down like this… I...

Walvis Bay flamingos.

Walvis Bay Flamingos

April 9 It has been nice to be a little bit lazy.  I feel super comfortable at Loubser’s Bed and Breakfast.  I have my own room, Lala the older woman running the place acts as my mother and her husband Francois gives me fatherly advice.  They are very sweet and it feels like I am a part of the family here.  I do not really want to go.  Today Lala found me a car to rent from one of her...

Walvis Bay pier.

Walvis Bay: Comparison

April 8 Brushing your teeth with cologne is terrible.  I seem to experience this about once every 10 days. My toothbrush and my cologne are both in my shaving kit (among other things of the sort).  I am not sure how it happens really.  All I know is that it does happen… and seemingly often.  Somehow in my shaving kit, a sift of cologne comes of out the spray nozzle of the bottle and ends up on my toothbrush.  Unbeknownst...

The contrast....

Otjiwarongo to Walvis Bay: Hitchhiking a Train

April 7 I was up before my friends and I wanted to write my blog in the morning, but by the time I got out of the shower, Tosh and James were away and outside of the tent.  Tosh was smoking.  He told me, “I try to quit every morning!”  This morning seems to have been another failure. Tosh and James told me they had second thoughts about travelling all over Namibia with me.  Money is a bigger factor than...

Jukebox and catalog on the wall next to it.

Grootfontein to Otjiwarongo: The Last to Evolve

April 6 The Meteor Inn fed me a huge breakfast today and then I got into contact with two local friends, Tosh and James, who I had met yesterday in Tsumeb.  They asked me to wait for them because they said they wanted to travel with me.  I ended up catching a taxi from Grootfontein to Tsumeb to meet them.  On the way, a fellow rider asked me if I was travelling alone.  When I confirmed I was, he asked...

A neighbour of Andy's who came to visit in the morning.  Her little girl was terrified of me, and hid her eyes behind her hands.  If she could not see me, I was not there!

Botswana to Namibia: Was I Cursed Today?

April 5 I am starting to have weird flashes of headaches and earaches.  These are things I never have in my life, ever.  Sometimes I have a weird nerve-jolt of pain go through my eyes for a nano-second.  I am wondering if this is a side effect of being on malaria medication for nearly four months straight?  I can not wait to get away from putting this medication garbage into me… I am going to attribute that to the amount...

Trying to Remain Sane as a Writing Travel Blogger

Trying to Remain Sane as a Writing Travel Blogger

April 4 I really love writing on this website.  I enjoy all of this so much…being a writing travel blogger… I have been doing this for 11 years now, though only about 12 months of it is on this website.  But, I have about 10 other years of daily writing that is just like this, as I have travelled and roamed the planet. It is a heavy load to try to run this website and keep on moving.  It was...

Transport Botswana.

Maun to Shakawe: Sleeping on a Taxi Drivers’ Floor

April 4 I checked out of the Old Bridge Backpackers this morning and decided to get out of Botswana.  I made it to the bus station and trying to find a bus to Shakawe, a border town with Namibia on the Botswana side.  Two lovely local ladies walked me to the right bus.  It would be a seven hour journey.  I got a front seat so that I could see out the window as we drove. Botswana is very dry...

Copy-zebra. I climbed a mound to have a look at this zebra and it climbed a mound to have a look at me. I should have patented the move.

The Okavango Delta of Botswana

April 2 Getting up at 06:02 is not easy when you prefer to howl at the moon.  Once you are up, it is not so bad. Making that initial move to get yourself out of the warmth and comfort of a bed that you could surely use more time in…that is the tricky part.  I am certain we are too far into the future to have to wake so early anymore. I was waiting at the reception of the Old...

Crocodiles!

Maun: G-Mix’s Rotten Tomatoes

April 1 I changed places to sleep today and made my way to The Old Bridge Backpackers where I had spent my time yesterday.  I was pretty comfortable where I was, but I needed a hostel where they could accommodate my desires to see some of the Okavango Delta, which is right here! On the walk, there was a really nice looking dog having a nap on the side of the road.  He awoke when I got close to him. ...

At Old Bridge Backpackers.

Maun: Relaxation After Body Interrogation

March 31 48 hours ago I was in Lesotho…  Right now, I am near the top of Botswana.  I can really make miles when I need to get somewhere.  It is hell on my body, but I can cover the ground when I feel like I need to. I have been really stiff all day.  My body is tired of my behavior so I really took the day to relax. It was my way of saying thank you to all...

My homeless resting spot in Ghanzi.

Gaborone to Maun: Being Botswana Homeless

March 30 I have not had a towel for a little over a week now and I have been looking for one to buy or waiting for one to steal from a hotel or hostel that I did not like.  This morning that ship came in.The guesthouse I ended up in last night was far too expensive. The girl, who was preparing breakfast this morning, was miserable and incapable of smiling.  That was enough to justify it.  New towel! I...

Just outside of my lodge. it sure is pretty.

Lesotho to Botswana: A Three Country Day

March 29 Another three country day.  Those are pretty big days…  And rare days, though I have had two of them in about a week… I was up early at the New Oxbow Lodge and out on the road by 08:00 to try to hitchhike my way out of Lesotho.  I do not want to leave this country at all.  Lesotho is this perfect little sweetheart that does nothing wrong and only makes you happy.  The people are wonderful.  People...

Lesotho, fully traditional.

Sani Top to Oxbow: The Lesotho Time Machine

March 28 I got up at 05:45 for the sunrise.  The people at the Sani Mountain Lodge had been raving about it.  I prefer to curse the sun to howl at the moon, but sometimes a man needs to tackle a sunrise.  Nature here had convinced me so. It was cold.  Like a-sweater-is-not-enough cold.  But, while it is cold for me, the Lesotho’s really take it hard.  They were wrapped in blankets, coats, hats and gloves as if it was...

I befriended her on my walk. And then she gave me this pose. This is her rondavel, including satellite dish accessory.

Drunk Diaries – Sani Top Lodge, The Highest Pub in Africa

March 27 Usually, I think I am pretty sharp and a victor (or at least an equal against the competitors in the game of life)…but I was incapable of counting money about three minutes ago. The bartender was laughing at me.  Math is one of my strong suits.  I could not make my bills add to 30, and then when I tried to overcompensate that, I made them add to 70.  The bartender wanted to help me.  I told him,...

This is Lesotho.

Across the Middle of Lesotho to Mokhotlong Village

March 26 I decided to check out of the village Roma and get deeper into Lesotho to get as real as possible.  I feel like I sort of cheated Swaziland by only seeing just a small corner of a small country.  So, this morning, looking at a map, I noticed a fine line that represented a road that went right across Lesotho to the other side.  It was not a thick line so I knew it was not much of...

The Middle Finger Laugh.

Roma: The Middle Finger

March 25 You know when you hit something of a lull in your travels and you start thinking that maybe it is time to wrap this up, and then you have a magical day and you are just like, “Holy!  And I was thinking about turning in for a bit!?”  Today was one of those days.  It is like the travel spirits do not want me to stop. I got up at the house where I was staying and had...

"You can have a virgin wife for 18 of me."

Swaziland: Trading Cows for Virgins…The Bride-Prize

Last night in a hostel in Mbabane, Swaziland, I ended up in a fascinating conversation with a couple of locals, Denzel and Anna.  According to Swaziland tradition, a bride-prize is required to marry a virgin here (virgin often defined by “not having children” rather than “not having penetration” in Swaziland). A “Bride-Prize” is 18 cows that you must give to the father of the girl you want to marry.  If she is a princess, the price is 35 cows.  I...

Kids are made out of rubber.  Could you imagine sleeping like that?!

Swaziland to Lesotho: The Renegade Bus

March 24 Swaziland, a country where your mini-bus driving 80 km/h uses no signals to pass a police car in a 40 km/h zone.  Actually, we nearly rear-ended the police car because we were driving so fast… No issues.  No second guessing… I have met a guy here who has never ever heard of McDonald’s.  That is amazing.  That is beautiful! Swaziland is a safe country.  They still have the death penalty here, but hearsay is that no one has...

Bulembu, the asbestos mine houses.

Bulembu: Abandoned Asbestos Mining Ghost-Town

March 23 Swaziland is far more developed than I ever would have guessed.  It sort of feels ahead of South Africa, though it has its crazy, charming traditional ways that it hangs onto.  I was expecting grass skirts and grass huts here.  Instead, it is huge supermarkets, strip malls and restaurants that could be in Europe.  Yea, in Swaziland.  I know.  It is weird for me too… Oh, and another weird thing for me is how people call money “bucks”...

Just sitting here, wasting away.

The 43,000 Year Old Iron Ore Mine in Ngwenya

March 22 Here, try this.  Here is a handy-dandy set of helper words if you are about to arrive in Swaziland! It was misting all day, but I really wanted to get out of the hostel and see some of Swaziland, so I made a decision to catch two different minivan taxis to a town called Ngwenya where the oldest known iron ore mine in the world exists.  People have been mining from the mountain for 43,000 years.  That is...

Hooves.

Johannesburg to Mbabane: Trying Witch-Doctor Potions

March 21 I said goodbye to Maritza in the morning and then Toby drove me into the center of Johannesburg.  The city is a massive, sprawling, urban area built of clusters of suburbs.  There are huge areas of population and then there are green areas with a forest. Then, another patch of city. The, more forest as you blast through it all on a freeway at 120 km/h.  Johannesburg is a very pretty. .Toby and I went to “The Museum...