Day 262: Circumnavigation for the nation

5 April 2011

Day 262: Circumnavigation

High point: Hitting our second antipode which means we’re even closer to completing full global circumnavigation, oh yeah!

Low point: Waking up freezing and convinced our tent was going to blow away in the gale force winds

No point: Why do Mehul and Steve keep speaking to the bewildered locals in French?  Who is Delboy and who is Rodders?  “Mange tout Rodney, mange tout”.

Quote of the day: ‘Merci beacoup’

I’m a big fan of camping but my four seasons sleeping bag just doesn’t cut the mustard, on top of that the wind howling all night and rattling the tent didn’t make for the best sleep I ever had, but I mustn’t grumble.


Today was a big mileage day and a huge milestone for FTFE!  We had to find the antipode, which is a big tick on the road to full circumnavigation. Norris McWhirter (founder of Guinness World Records) and Sir Francis Chichester had the foresight early on to recognize that the cleanest and most efficient way to measure a circumnavigation by any means of propulsion was for the track to pass through at least one pair of antipodal points; two places on the surface of the globe that are diametrically opposite to each other.  We hit our first antipode in Auckland, New Zealand at Mount Eden but our second antipode was going to be a bit more tricky to find…

The antipode was actually on a farmer’s land in the middle of the beautiful Spanish rolling countryside.  As the roads to get there got narrower and narrower, the feeling we were being watched increased with every mile off road we took.  Eventually reaching the dirt track on which we were to find our special co-ordinates, we felt we could be chased off by a disgruntled farmer with a gun at any moment (not that we’re paranoid or anything).  Once on the track the exact co-ordinates took a bit of finding, there was a lot of shouting out numbers while James walked slowly in circles doing a chicken impression (I’m not sure how this helped) while holding the sat nav to make sure we got the exact co-ordinates 36.87806725151357, -5.23553654551506.  After a short ceremony involving the FTFE flag, much hand shaking and high fives it was time to hit the road again.  When I say road, we weren’t expecting whole chunks of our route to be missing, as though they’d been bitten off by a huge tarmac munching monster, it made the drive a bit more interesting.

Antipodes tick, distance tick, equators tick.  So as long as we make it back to Greenwich on Sunday in one piece, we’ve got full circumnavigation in the bag, HUGE!

After another long day we finally we got to El Chappoael to meet new crew member Matt Haynes at 1am in the morning.  Early start tomorrow to meet the Mayor of Torreveija, welcome to FTFE Matt!


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2 Responses to “Day 262: Circumnavigation for the nation”

  1. Sue Jackson(Rob's mother in law!) April 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    You might think we’ve all gone to sleep here back in blighty but we’ve followed you every step of the way!!! What an amazing achievement, really looking forward to seeing you in Greenwich,any special requests?
    After surviving Sophs’ and Rob’s wedding then driving round the world in Martha what’s for next year Steve? xxxx

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