844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Backtrack Fever (Sumatra, Indonesia)

For a revised version of this post, go here.

July 4th, 2009 - Time to backtrack. I never should have come this far north when I knew there was a possibility that a jungle trek might be waiting for me back in Kerinci National Park. But no, I just had to push on and now I must drive a good eight hours in the opposite direction. Super. I could just press on but there is a guilt factor involved. The guide that brought me up Mt. Kerinci has just spent three days in the jungle surveying our intended incursion area.

He did this because I told him I wanted to do a jungle trek. It would be unfair to him if I bailed out now. I did not know that he is only available from the 6th to the 10th. After that he has to travel and will not be able to do an extended trip. I had planned on spending a few days in this area (I am now in Bukittingi) and then heading south again to meet him but the best laid plans of mice and men. Not that I do not want to do this but it is so hard to go back the way I came, at least psychologically. However, this is my chance to do some real jungle trekking with an experienced guide who also happens to be an interesting guy. How the hell can I pass that up? I really can't. I'd be an asshole to skip out.

It feels a little like I am going to meet an old friend, not some guy I am paying to take my silly ass into the jungle. I sense he is as excited to go as I am. Again, that is such a rarity that I feel I must take advantage of it. What will probably happen? The trip will probably suck and fate will take a big dump on the Richman. I'll end up soaked to the bone for three days with leeches boring into every crevasse of my body. The animals will play hide and seek, the forest will make me rue the day I set foot in it, and En (my guide) will hire three friends to beat the ever loving piss out of me while I sleep. It's all about the right attitude. At least I have that going for me.

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim