Expedition in critical need of a sponsor
The Goliath Expedition in critical need of a sponsor.12 years, 36,000 miles, 4 continents, 25 countries, crossing a frozen sea, 6 deserts, 7 mountain ranges
Submitted by www.tonymangan.com
The Goliath Expedition
The tenth anniversary of the Goliath Expedition has arrived. Ten long years my friends! During that time we have defeated every obstacle, natural or man made, placed in our path in the pursuit of a clearly defined objective. To forge a continuous, unbroken footpath from the southern most point of South America back to London. The expedition is defined by its two self-imposed rules.(1) In advancing the Expedition I cannot be assisted by any form of transport other than walking, (or swimming when required).(2) I am unable to return to the UK other than on foot, making it a continuous endeavour.No-one on Earth has the time to sit and listen to all the tales of adventure I could tell. It’s been awesome, and then some. Beyond my wildest expectations certainly.
However, despite having successfully negotiated our most challenging geographical obstacles, the Darien Gap and the notorious Bering Strait (the latter only a theoretical possibility on the day I began walking), I still face seemingly insurmountable challenges.I feel confident I can handle the physical stuff! But Stage Five of this expedition (the ‘Northern regions’, from Fairbanks in Alaska to Yakutsk in Russia) has forced the expedition into un-charted waters. I never wanted to become a businessman and spend my days fretting over finances, Politics, business plans and strategy. But reality has me by the throat. This Expedition, never overburdened with cash, could finally succumb to financial shortfall. We have lacked a sponsor for over a year now and the timing couldn’t have picked a worse time.I’ve been hard up before. For the four and a half years / 10,500 miles it took me to cover the length of Latin America we had no sponsors. I survived whichever way I could, but I always knew I could make it. You can get by with a pocket full of rice in Latin America and its tropical climates. In the Arctic and Sub Arctic, you cannot. The demands of these northern environments require a detailed understanding, special and extensive equipment and logistics. These factors combined with worsening political restraints in Russia, the travel, time and money that it all necessitates have finally caught up with us. We are, at present, trying to obtain a visa waiver from the Russian authorities that will allow me to walk for a longer period than the now standard (instituted last year) 90 days. Obviously, a 90 day restriction causes all sorts of problems. With our the present financial restrictions I may be able to make only one return journey to where I planted my flag in Bilibino, Far North East Russia. By this time, the plan was to have been in Stage Six, back on the road, headed for Russia’s Southern border with China, or even into Stage Seven. We could not have foreseen the delays faced over the last four years.This, however, is a grand odyssey in the 21st Century, and these are the challenges one faces. It would be a mistake to think this is just a simple walk. This Expedition has made history, broken new ground, it cannot be classed with any other. Therefore, the nature of the challenges faced will also be different. I would have never believed we could have come so far only to stumble due to faceless bureaucracy and funding.Earlier this summer things looked slightly more promising. There was a chance we could develop a most extensive sponsorship package with a company from the United Arab Emirates. This would have secured the expedition well into the future. But in the latter half of 2008 the financial and business world changed in a sudden fashion. Also this summer a group of friends, professionals from the business sector, began developing a management and development team that would invest in the expedition. Again, the timings have been very unfortunate. A financial crisis gripped the world just as the Expedition finally looked like it was getting its act together. Unfortunately we now find ourselves in the same boat as everyone else.To allow the expedition to continue in the challenging environment of Far North East Russia, the expedition has to be funded to some degree. We are therefore seeking companies or individuals with whom we can develop a business relationship.The fight goes on, nothing has changed. We take the struggle in whatever direction is required to achieve our objective. That is to one day stand on the coast of France, looking across the English channel at those white cliffs, where a young paratrooper once stood. His gaze fixed on the continental shore, as he tried to imagine what it would be like to one day arrive on the other side. Trying to imagine the fight well fought.
October 31st, 2008 | Category: Updates | 13 comments
The ‘visa dance’ continues
The ‘visa dance’ continues, though there was always going to be this period of ‘downtime’ while Karl waits for winter. The area in Chukotka which Karl will have to walk through on the next leg is a mass of large rivers and swamps and virtually impossible on foot in summer. Walking in winter is the only realistic option. We are, at present, trying to obtain a visa waiver from the Russian authorities that will allow Karl to walk for a longer period than the now standard 90 days. Obviously, a 90 day restriction causes all sorts of problems. Karl will also been making his way to Mexico before the end of August, when his US visa will expire. He will probably remain there for some time before eventually returning to Alaska and then Russia at the start of the winter.
August 19th, 2008 | Category: Updates | 8 comments
A Brief Update
Just a brief update on the expeditions standing.
I am currently in Fairbanks Alaska taking stock of the situation, getting reconnected with every one and events over the last month or so on this side of the expedition. After regrettable delays with the Russian visa yet again this winter, some had questioned whether it was worth the expense of a return to Russia for the short window of opportunity this spring. I say absolutely! Any given opportunity should be taken. Progress is progress and is the priority.
One of the expeditions top priorities right now is resolving or improving our ability to progress in Russia. This is largely a visa issue right now. Inquires by my father in the UK have lead us to a contact with the Russian authorities who have explained their regret for the current situation but cannot help any more regards the visa situation. However, there is talk of the possibility of obtaining Russian residency as a way to circumnavigate the visa issue. This now becomes our priority. the unfortunate poor relations between the UK and Russia at this moment where also commented on, and clearly don’t help our situation.
So I like to think of these delays as nothing more than that, just delays. The expedition is posed like a coiled spring right now. As soon as the solutions to these challenges are found, we lead forward on the home run. The worst case scenario, meaning we are unable to secure residency, simply means we are forced to demonstrate patience persistence and fortitude. In the mean time we turn problems into solutions and adapt to our circumstances. We are going home people, don’t doubt it, don’t question it and don’t lose faith. Securing residency means we are granted first three and then five years in country, in a two phase process. Clearly resolving the current problem.
I am posed to strike for the Kolyma Highway or ‘Road of Bones’ connecting me with the net work of roads and paths that take me home, removing the environmental constraints.
On this side of the pond. I would like to welcome ‘5.11 Tactical’ onboard who have offered to sponsor the expedition and we are working on those details at this time.
My good friend Ramey Wood, who has been committed to the expedition for three years and has helped in countless ways, and im sure many of you know personally, is taking a break from the expedition to put more time into personal developments. We thank him for his outstanding commitment to the expedition and hope to see him back soon. To that end, I will be taking over those commitments and dealings of the expedition from Ramey. So I will be contacting you all soon to touch base and I hope we can ease into this with the minimum pain. Again, if anyone has any concerns or questions give me a call on the above phone number.
I will keep you all abreast as the details develop.