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Kiwi world record breaking travellers progressing

Kiwi world record breaking travellers tick off last handful of countries before next week’s homecoming

Two New Zealanders setting a world record for visiting the most countries in the world in 160 days are ticking off the last handful of nations before next week’s homecoming.

James Irving and his cousin John Bougen left New Zealand at the end of August and have been in more countries in the world on a single journey than anyone else.

They have unofficially set a Guinness Book of Records which will have to be ratified on their return to Auckland around the middle of next week.

``We are into the more tedious and predictable leg of our All Nations Quest around the Pacific,’’ Bougen said today.

``English is spoken, currencies are either Australian or US and the price of accommodation and drinks are dropping by the day.

``Airline schedules are so infrequent that we have been forced to spend many days in complete isolation in the central South Pacific.

``Guam looked roughed up following a recent devastating typhoon, whereas Tarawa in Kiribati is simply a rubbish dump poised just above their polluted and uninviting lagoon.

``All throughout the world we have heard stories of government and leadership corruption, but the hair-raising tales of mismanagement that proliferates in some Pacific nations beats them all.’’

Only two countries out of the total of 193 mandated by the Guinness Book of Records have eluded the Kiwi pair on their epic and sometimes perilous quest.

Both Sao Tome and Principe (one African nation) and Afghanistan could not be visited simply because of full flights and infrequent schedules.

This leaves the door open for someone else to beat Bougen and Irving’s record in both terms of number of nations visited in a single journey and the time taken to do same.

The Guinness Book of Records has told them no record exists of anyone visiting the most countries in a single journey.

To date the pair have been going non-stop for 158 days and have visited 182 nations.

They have travelled 234,485 km, used 97 airlines, been on 52 different types of planes, boarded 229 different flights, and travelled 278 different plane, bus, train and taxi journeys.

They have entered 182 airports and spent 387 hours in the air but a total of 555 hours (more than 23 days and nights), waiting in airports or stations.

They have crossed the equator nine times since flying out of Auckland on August 28.

Their journey has been undertaken in some of the most tense security times the world has ever seen in recent times.

Their trip cost them $nz350,000 which met themselves and through help from the Flight Centre, Zoom, Vodafone and Mike Henry Travel Insurance.

Irving was born in Christchurch and his home is in Brisbane. Bougen was born in Timaru but has spent most of his life in Auckland.

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