As is the Holgate tradition, we filled the same symbolic calabash – this time with Indian Ocean sea water – before starting this 18-month expedition.
In Africa, we dodged landmines in Mozambique, walked the Kruger National Park, and traversed the dry, wildlife-rich Kalahari Desert and the ancient Namib by Land Rover.
In South America, the Capricorn expedition took us through the jungles of Brazil and Paraguay, across the high Andes through Argentina into Chile and then to the Atacama Desert – the driest place on Earth – to finally reach the Pacific Ocean.
In Australia, the authorities initially said it couldn’t be done: ‘It’s too dangerous, mate’. But we did it, battling the solitude of the great parallel sand ridges of the Simpson Desert and the vast red dunes of the Gibson, before seeing the waters of the Indian Ocean.
Next was a tough trek across the breadth of southern Madagascar – on foot, by bullock-cart and even dugout canoe, through dense tropical rainforests – before finally returning to very place near Inhambane on the Mozambique coast, where we had started this crazy world-first adventure 18 months before.