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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Walk Around the World About to Resume

Goliath ExpeditionBushby expects it will take at least two years for him to walk across Russia.
He survived in the Andes for three days on a banana. He barely escaped with his life when the ice cracked beneath his tent one night on the Bering Strait.

But Russian border guards proved too much for Karl Bushby, 37, the former Royal Marine who had been walking around the world until he turned up in the far eastern Chukotka autonomous district.

On Thursday, all of his documents now in order, Bushby will pick up where he left off nearly one year ago -- just short of the half-way point in his 57,600-kilometer journey.

"It's been a long time. It'll be good to get going again," Bushby said by telephone from Fairbanks, Alaska, where he has been based since being ejected from Russia last April.

Bushby plans to fly on Wednesday night with Dmitri Keiffer, a cyclist who will accompany him across much of Russia, to Anadyr.

"There is definitely some apprehension when we go back for the second time," Bushby said.

Bushby and Keiffer were forced to leave Russia after Federal Security Service guards discovered that they had entered the country via an unofficial entry point and subsequently failed to register. The two crossed a frozen stretch of sea from Alaska into Russia. As Bushby's father, Keith, put it: "You can't just walk into Russia." (Compounding their difficulties was the fact that they had a gun on them when they entered the country.)

The long delay has meant Bushby must change his route.

He had planned to be back in Russia by Christmas, which would have permitted the duo to walk from the village of Uelen to Magadan, once a transit hub for prisoners headed to nearby Gulag camps. Alas, with spring having arrived and the ice sheets having melted, Bushby must skip Magadan and head straight for Yakutsk.

After Yakutsk, Bushby heads southwest toward Irkutsk. From there, it's a straight shot to the Ural Mountains, European Russia and, eventually, Ukraine. Bushby is apparently skipping Moscow and St. Petersburg. He plans to spend a total of two years in Russia. It will take another two or three years to reach Britain.

Bushby's passage through Russia should be smoother this time around. "He has his visa, and if everything is fine with the permits, I don't see any trouble whatsoever," FSB spokesman Vadim Shibayev said.

Last spring, things didn't look nearly so peachy.

At that time, Shibayev said Bushby's and Keiffer's lives had actually been at risk, and there was talk of them spending time behind bars.

Bushby escaped the maximum five-year prison term by agreeing to leave the country and reapply for his visa -- after appealing to Chukotka Governor Roman Abramovich for help.

Whether Abramovich got involved is unclear. A Chukotka regional administration spokesman would only say: "The expedition has the full support of the Chukotka regional administration."

Bushby, a native of Hull, in northern England, set off in November 1998 from the southern tip of South America.

Over the course of seven years, he made his way up through Latin America and North America, reaching Alaska's Cape Prince of Wales in March of last year.

On March 17, Bushby, now joined by Keiffer, set out via the Bering Strait for Russia. A few weeks later, having made it to Russia and befriended a few locals, the FSB picked them up.

Luck, perseverance and the help of others have carried Bushby along.

From Hereford, near the Welsh-English border, Keith Bushby has provided logistical support -- editing his son's travelogue, which he then posts on a web site, and finding sponsors for the expedition. A book deal with Time Warner has provided Bushby with critical funds.

Bushby added that many people he had met along the way have also helped.

Near the town of Maquegua, in Peru, he developed a serious stomach illness. A family he encountered at a gas station came to rescue, and for two weeks Bushby was under the care of the only doctor for miles around.

"He's dead jammy," Keith Bushby said. ("Dead jammy" is English lingo for "very lucky.")

Bushby has high hopes of meeting similarly generous souls in Russia. "From what I hear, Russian people are very hospitable," he said.

While Bushby expects food and clothing supplies to be dropped off for him at specific points in Russia, he doesn't have much spending money. "When we hit the ground in Russia, we're basically broke."