Long distance voyage - to Suffolk
ROUND the world in 49 years – that's the feat of celebrated traveller and writer André Brugiroux, who has visited every country on earth.The modern day Marco Polo with a Suffolk link has visited 248 countries, travelling hundreds of thousands of miles on what he dubs not a world tour, but a tour of mankind.
ROUND the world in 49 years – that's the feat of celebrated traveller and writer André Brugiroux, who has visited every country on earth.
The modern day Marco Polo with a Suffolk link has visited 248 countries, travelling hundreds of thousands of miles on what he dubs not a world tour, but a tour of mankind.
Starting in Scotland and ending in the Kingdom of Mustang in the Himalayas, it has been an incredible journey which has seen him nearly killed, jailed seven times, and taken him through the most stunning landscapes on the planet.
But after the beauties of mountain ranges, oceans, vast deserts and huge cities, tomorrow he is at Bredfield village hall, where he is giving a talk and showing a film about his travelling experiences.
His step-daughter Natasha married Bredfield man John Pilgrim, a linguist, and Mr Brugiroux, 66, is staying with John's parents Mike and Ann Pilgrim.
His first trip took in 135 countries, 250,000 miles – the distance from earth to the moon – and he hitch-hiked all the way.
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"When I left at 17 to go travelling, with ten francs in my pocket, I didn't think it would be 18 years before I returned home again!" said Mr Brugiroux.
In the first few years the Frenchman concentrated on learning languages, staying two years in each country to learn English – his first port of call was Scotland where he worked as a waiter – Spanish, German and Italian.
"I decided I would hitch-hike – everyone was hitch-hiking in those days, on the road to Kathmandu people would queue to be picked up! – and live on just a dollar a day.
"I always have a sleeping bag with me and I have never stayed in a hotel.
"Travelling so light and cheaply means I have to live on the streets, with the real people, buying food from the markets. That's how I meet people."
n The film at Bredfield village hall takes place at 6.30pm tomorrow . Tickets are £4.50 (under 12s £2), including refreshments. More information on 01394 382773.