The Most Traveled
Man on Earth

by Lew Toulmin
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Most Traveled Man




British Medals of the Napoleonic War, Crimean War, and China Opium War.
British Medals of the Napoleonic War, Crimean War, and China Opium War.


Lew sailing the Reve in the Grenadines in 1975.
Lew sailing the Reve in the Grenadines in 1975.


Logo of the University of Wales at Bangor, where Lew took his Junior Year Abroad.
Logo of the University of Wales at Bangor, where Lew took his Junior Year Abroad.


Meeting between John Clouse (right) and Charles Veley (left), the two contenders for the title of Most Traveled Man
Meeting between John Clouse (right) and Charles Veley (left), the two contenders for the title of “Most Traveled Man”


Papa Doc Duvalier, President for Life of Haiti.  Note the Colt .45 in the lower right.
Papa Doc Duvalier, President for Life of Haiti. Note the Colt .45 in the lower right.


The entire population of Pitcairn Island waves to the M.V. Discovery from their longboat.
The entire population of Pitcairn Island waves to the M.V. Discovery from their longboat.
Contents

Section 1 The Most Traveled Man on Earth

The Most Traveled Man on Earth
  He’s been to all 300+ countries and sovereign territories on earth; he’s the Golden God   of Travel. I’ll catch him yet................2

The Best and Worst of the World, from the Most Traveled Man
  Ever asked these questions: What is the best restaurant on earth? Best hotel? Best   beer? Best country? Here are the answers................9

The Other Most Traveled Man on Earth
  This new guy hit 317 “countries” in just four years of traveling. More   competition!................11

And the Winner Is…
  Guinness definitively says this individual is the most traveled................17




Section 2 A Kid in Paradise

Papa Doc and His Colt .45 vs. My Papa
  My father meets Dictator-for-Life Papa Doc of Haiti and almost gets shot by him for   advocating good government. I decide to save the poor people of the world from   corruption and poverty................20

Swimming in Green Goo, the Mother of All Mudholes, and the Citadel of Haiti
  At age eight I ride a horse up a mountain to the Citadel in Haiti and get stuck in a   mudhole in the Haitian jungle................25

Daddy, Daddy, There’s a Kamoy in My House!
  When I am twelve, a burglar sneaks into my own little house in Thailand, wakes me up,   and steals my stuff. I reconsider my decision to save the poor................31

Jubilee! Where the Seafood Jumps onto Your Plate
  Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, fish are jumpin’—right into your lap................34

The College Chapel and the Golden Calf
  A college chum climbs to the top of the chapel and ties an eighty-pound Golden Calf to   the spire. We all bow down and worship................38

An American Named Llewellyn, Ya!
  A year in Wales shows me that Llewellyn is no “girl’s name.”................41

Llewellyn, Duke of Abyssinia:
  A Prince of Ethiopia offers to make me a Duke................46




Section 3 Hollywood vs. History

Sailing a Tall Ship Across the South Pacific in Search of the Real “Bali Ha’i”
   Michener’s real island paradise from Tales of the South Pacific: home of downed World    War II fighter planes, pig killing and cargo cults, cannibals and    volcanoes................53

Out of Africa: History vs. Hollywood
   A trip to the home of Isak Dinesen in Kenya reveals that Robert Redford needs a    history lesson................74

“Oh Dear” The Strange Life of HMS Bounty Descendants on Pitcairn Island
   After the end of the movie, everyone lived happily ever after, right? Nope. The     mutinies had just begun................77

Paradise Lost: Sex Verdicts Wrack Lonely Pitcairn
   Paradise or hell on earth—you decide.................85

The Real Story of the Bridge on the River Kwai
   The famous World War II bridge in Thailand, and what really happened on the Railway     of Death................90





Section 4 Boats, Ships, and the Sea

Sailing to Robinson Crusoe Island: “The Most Romantic Island of All”?
   Richard Henry Dana called this island the most romantic island on the planet—who am     I to argue?................94

Life of a Lady Leg-rower
   Leg-rowing in Burma—done nowhere else; twice as fast as paddling. Floating islands,     planted with tomatoes, that sink if it rains too much.................100

Bill Pinkney: The Amistad Captain’s Incredible Journey
   Captain Pinkney was the first black American to circumnavigate the world solo under     sail via Cape Horn. Now he is the captain of the re-created Amistad. This is his     story................106

Amistad: Four Days Before the Mast
   Cruising the Gulf of Mexico aboard the slave ship Amistad is like sailing through a     washing machine: half the crew is seasick, and one is vomiting blood. The Chief Mate     risks his life to lower the gaff in a storm................111

Bar Crawling with the Schoonermen
   A bar crawl through Old Mobile with the Amistad crew involves drawing on the ceiling,    wrestling on the floor, and a passionate ninety-minute frozen clinch................117

A Perfect Day Sailing Aboard Jeanie Johnston
   The original of this Irish emigrant sailing ship crossed the Atlantic 16 times and never     lost a passenger—an incredible record................122

Cruising Up the Shannon Through the Forty Shades O’Green
   Taking a self-drive motorboat for a week up one of the lovliest, most historic rivers on     the planet................127

Fire When Ready Aboard Olympia
   The unknown ship that made the United States into a world power................134

USS Intrepid: Home Is the Sailor, Home from the Sea
   Story of the famous World War II carrier, now moored off Manhattan in the Hudson    River................137

Sailing Through Five Thousand Years of History
   Steaming backwards through the mud, up the Nile. Nefertari, Queen of Egypt, 3,200     years old and looking fresh as a daisy................141

Lock onto One of the World’s Seven Wonders
   Transiting the Panama Canal during an international crisis................152

Sri Lanka to Kenya: Indian Ocean Odyssey
   Sri Lanka to Mombasa. Lions mating every twenty minutes for ten days—    whew!................156

A Cruise from Petra to the Topkapi Dagger
   How the world’s biggest party wrecked the finances of the Suez Canal. Making plans    to steal the famous Topkapi Dagger. The staff of Moses—found.................164

Fifty-seven Voyages in Five Years
   World’s most loyal cruise line customer? Eleven months a year on the same     vessel.................177

Captain Erik Bjurstedt: Giant of the Cruise Industry
   This captain towers over the industry, in size, stature, and     experience.................183

QE2: Royal Treatment at a Pauper’s Price
   A fast Atlantic crossing on the grandest lady of them all................188

QM2 = WOW!
   The Queen Mary 2 is the largest, tallest, widest, and most expensive cruise ship on     earth................194

Dew from Heaven
   Is this a stewardess or an angel?................199





Section 5 Clients and Other Disasters

Bustin’ the Gamblin’ at the Sunrise Bar and Pool Hall
   In my first job I am forced to join a police raid on an infamous bar in South Miami. Big    mistake.................205

The Wedding Cake and the Sliding Snake
   Two weddings and a rattlesnake................209

Weekend Getaway: East Timor
   I am the first tourist into destroyed East Timor.................214

Ballerina, Spy, First Lady: The Story of Kirsty Sword Gusmão
   Profile of the new First Lady of the newest country on earth—Timor     Leste................221

Seeing Guam the Hard Way: Twenty-Eight Years in a Hole
   A Japanese sergeant fights World War II until 1972, just miles from Japanese tourists    sunning themselves on Guam’s beaches.................226

The Most Annoying Country on Earth: I “AS NO VISSA”
   Beautiful Bangladesh refuses to let me into their marvy country, and I get to sleep on    the floor of the Dhaka airport. Yippee.................233

World’s Worst Traffic Jam?
   Fourteen hours stuck in the middle of India—only bribery can clear the    mess.................237

Uncle KGB Wants Me
   A KGB officer tries to recruit me with an offer of “free trips to nice Caribbean islands.”    Hmmmm.................240

Gypped in Gypped: Horsewhipping and Bumping Stomachs
   The Minister of Communications horsewhips his male secretary in a formal meeting     with American dignitaries. Bumping stomachs at the phone company.................243

The Scrumptious Flying Cows
   Who says you can’t feed the world’s poor? Just fly in some steaks…................249

Disasters: History, Impacts and Myths
   Think that the Feds will rescue you in a major disaster? That crime rates will go up?    That fast disaster relief is always good? Wrong, wrong and wrong.................251





Section 6 Adventures in Genealogy

The Greatest Hobby on Earth
   I catch the genealogy bug and push our family tree back to 448 AD.................264

The Search for Brian Boru, High King of All Ireland
   I track down my 29th great-grandfather, called the greatest Irishman of all    time.................271

Crimes Against Genealogy
   Who committed the worst offenses against genealogy? General Sherman by burning     southern courthouses during the Civil War? Julius Caesar? Chairman Mao? The IRA?     Prepare to be surprised.................282





Section 7 The Great Race: Classic Cars Rally Across America

Vroom! Vroom! The Great Race is Coming
   This is the oldest, richest, most exciting and most precise classic car rally in the     world—and you doubtless never heard of it.................301

1968 “Bullitt” Mustang: The Essence of Cool
   Surveys in the US and UK show that this car, chase and movie are the most     memorable in film history.................305

Let’s Go Great Racing—Part 1
   Great Race competitors can shatter their shoulders, blow up their engines, or drop     their drivetrains—they’ll still keep on going.................311

Let’s Go Great Racing—Part 2
   The winners of the Great Race are punctual to within 7 seconds per day for 15 days.     In the Bullitt Mustang we don’t do quite so well.................316

The Daring Darrin Duo and Their Delectable Kaiser Darrin
   A 1950s fiberglass sports car with sliding doors? Impossible? Think    again.................324

The 12-Year-Old Genius Great Racer
   This kid starting racing in diapers, and now he scares the pants off his     competitors.................329

Total Focus for Fourteen Days Straight
   Show me the money! says this fierce competitor with his 94-year-old racing    machine.................335

Hail to the Chief: The Studebaker President
   From the bottom of a riverbed to a cross-country beauty—this car and its team are     pure miracles.................340

Band of Teenagers Rally a Ford Four Times Their Age
   Who says the younger generation is a mess? These youngsters took hundreds of bits     and pieces, created a fully restored car, and are rallying it 4000 miles to earn college     tuition.................344





Section 8 Pink Belly

Revealed: Beauty Secrets of Exotic Thailand
   Lose fifty pounds through massage and creams? Unbelievable? Not in     Bangkok!................349

The World’s Pinkest Pink Belly
   Wanna lose weight? Slap your belly twenty thousand times.................355





Section 9 This Sceptred Isle

A Cozy Castle in Cornwall
   Rent a three-story castle fifteen feet wide on the Bristol Channel in King Arthur    country? No problem.................360

Sailing with the Royals
   Chartering at Cowes Week off the Royal Yacht Squadron clubhouse—a castle built by     Henry VIII. Church service with Prince Phillip. 364

Clouds of Glory
   Finding and collecting the great medals of Britain................368





Section 10 It’s A Wild Wide World

Running with the Bulls: The Inner Game
   Only two hundred people know what is really going on at Pamplona.................381

The Great Vietnamese Dwarf Hunt
   A troupe of Vietnamese dwarfs conquers all through hard work and rock ’n’     roll.................387

Mongkut: The King of Fruits You Never Heard Of
   Japanese millionaire businessmen go to Thailand for mongkut, golf, and sex, in that     order.................390

Knights Templar: Royal Tour with a Noble Purpose
   I become a Knight Templar and hobnob with royals.................394





Section 11 Six Countries in Six Hours

Swimming from Andorra to Zimbabwe
   Swimming pools of the world, unite!................401

Classic Car Rally Around the World
   Around the world in eighty days in Rollers, Bentleys, Packards, Jaguars, and other    classics. The greatest rally ever held, and no one heard about it.................403

Breaking the Hundred-Country Barrier: If It’s Two O’Clock, This Must Be Sharjah
   I visit six countries no one knows in six hours and gain (and lose) the Holy Grail of    Travel: The 100 Countries Award.................411

Appendix: The International Travel News, Travelers’ Century Club, and Charles Veley Lists of Countries
   Various lists of “countries” on earth, so you can count up your score.................421

Credits
   Credits for photos and previously printed stories.................438