British adventurer Jason Lewis on Saturday arrived in
southeast London, ending a 13-year round-the-world trip using only
the power of the human body.
The 40-year-old completed the final leg of his 46,000-mile
(74,000-km) odyssey by pedaling his 26-foot (7.9-m) boat Moksha up
the River Thames.
The last effort into London followed a 3,000-km bike ride from
Turkey through Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Germany to Ostend in
Belgium, where the boat was waiting for him.
During his circumnavigation, he capsized in the North Atlantic
Ocean, broke both legs, was chased by a crocodile in Australia and
arrested on suspicion of spying in Egypt and threatened with a
40-year prison sentence.
Bearded and looking tired, a clearly emotional Lewis crossed the
Greenwich Meridian line at the Royal Observatory by carrying his
boat with the help of supporters and cheering well-wishers.
Lewis set off from the same spot bound for Portugal in July
1994. The 16-leg journey also included hiking, kayaking and
"It feels fantastic. I came over the line and I was choked. I
blubbed like a baby," he told reporters.
"Everything I've been doing for the last 13 years has been in
some way connected to this trip and tomorrow that will be no
Among the welcoming party was Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, the
Duke of Gloucester, who is patron to the Expedition 360 adventure
and who named Moksha in 1993. The name means "liberation" in
Lewis said his lowest points had included breaking both legs
after being run over by a car while crossing the United States on
rollerblades. Doctors told him at one point he risked having his
left leg amputated.
Other lows included being thrown in jail in Egypt on suspicion
of spying after illegally crossing the border from Sudan.
But he said the highs more than compensated.
"To be honest, it's always good to reach the other side of an
"The 'why?' question changed over the years. I started
circumnavigating the world ... but it became more about using the
expedition as an educational tool to enhance children's learning
experience in the classroom."
Lewis, from Dorset in southwest England, said he planned to rest
this weekend before embarking on a career organizing
"mini-expeditions" for young people and giving talks about climate
(China Daily October 8, 2007)