Men come no more intrepid than adventurer Karl Bushby, formerly of Hull. In 1998, feeling like undertaking the mother of all challenges, he set out from Punta Arenas, Chile, with the intention of literally walking around the world: all the way home.
Thus, he walked north through South America, Central America and North America, completing the American leg of his epic walk in Fairbanks, Alaska. Then, reluctant to fly over the Bering Strait to Russia, he crossed the strait with Dimitri Kieffer… on foot!
That was back in March 2006.
Unfortunately, due to setbacks concerning Russian bureaucracy, Karl is still waiting to make progress into the country. Dispirited at being turned back, he is currently sitting out the summer in Fairbanks, biding his time before attempting to re-enter Russia.
Since obtaining the required permission to enter from the Russian authorities in March of last year, he is now preparing - both physically and mentally - for the second leg of his Goliath Expedition.
When Karl does eventually make it back onto English soil he will have walked a staggering 36,000 miles. In due course, he will have become a true man of the world. Given that his diaries were published in 2005 under the guise of Giant Steps, he's already a bestselling author to boot.
In light of his 'down-time' in Alaska, Steve Rudd hastened to catch up with Karl via e-mail, proceeding to quiz him about the journey so far, not to mention what lies ahead…
Hi Karl, how are things?
Challenging! One might say in a number of ways that this is the most difficult period we have had.
We are faced with overlapping challenges that have us under pressure.
These range from the political situation (visas and special permits), environmental (
limited to winter travel on the arctic tundra), and financial (barely able to fund
the expedition with the high cost of moving in and out of Russia plus normal living expenses).
The expedition's own rules impose very tight restrictions on what I am willing to do and how it's done.
The above combination is proving extremely hard to synchronize. Personally, I see this as nothing more than the job at hand. The very real challenges I face are the ones people don't get to hear about.
I get back to Fairbanks, Alaska, to find I have finally lost my seven year battle to hold on to the woman I should have married. I lose my best friend of three years here in Alaska, and communications with my son are all but non-existent. A faltering personal life obviously applies a greater pressure at this time.
For most people who aren't already aware of who you are and what you are doing, you hail from Hull, you used to be in the army and you are currently in the process of walking all the way home from the tip of South America. Did the idea to undertake such an enormous challenge come to you in one single lucid moment, or did a multitude of different reasons provoke you to hit the road?
A large number of elements stretching back to my childhood can be seen as bricks that built this house. Having said that, perhaps the greatest influencing factors stem from my life in the Army. During this time the idea was born, nurtured and shaped, but ultimately it was the actual challenge. The more people tell you it cannot be done, or that you're not the man who can do it, the greater the incentive.
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