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Kiwis Approach Halfway Mark In All Nations Quest

Media Release November 12, 2002


Kiwi Duo Approach Halfway Mark In All Nations Quest


Two New Zealanders trying to visit every country in the world in 160 days are approaching the halfway stage of their epic and at times perilous journey in Africa.

John Bougen and his cousin James Irving have ticked off more than 87 countries in 75 days.

They are seeking to set a world record of entering all 193 recognised nations in 160 days. They are expected back in New Zealand in February.

``As we approach the half way mark of the Quest, we are right in the territory where Save the Children do most of their good work.

``If anyone in Australasia feels that their life is tough, then they should spend five minutes in the streets of Conakry, to realize just how lucky we all are.

``Here the system is simple. If you don’t work you die and even if you work the chances of death are high.’’

Bougen said the queue at the front of the main hospital in Conakry was as big as the crowd at the rear who were waiting for the release of their relatives from the morgue.

The Kiwi pair are on track to complete the halfway point largely as planned. Their 96th nation should be Togo.

By then they will have been in 92 different airports, over 38 different types of planes, over 47 different airlines, been in the air in excess of 11 days and nights on 105 flights, stayed in 58 different hotels having travelled over 100,000km.


Bougen said they would like to have spent more time in the ancient city of city of Morocco but never wanted to go back to the country of Cape Verde.

Their future worries are considerable. Today they are in Guinea.

Peace in Cote d’Ivoire has deteriorated on account of the death in Abidjan rebel leader’s brother. Iraq of course continues to be a concern.

Their biggest recent disappointment was wasting a day in Casablanca to sort out our air tickets, thereby missing out on walking and touring the famous city.

The intrepid duo are supporting Save the Children charity as they attempt to travel 200,000km, spend 400 hours in the air and move in and out of 200 different airports.

Their route is South America, through North America across Iceland to Europe and eventually through Africa and Asia.

They plan to arrive back in New Zealand on February 1.

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

Ends

Media Advisory: In the photos John Bougen is the taller of the two men

Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media NZ , 03 374 5426


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