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A Wizard Is Never Late

June 2015

I wasn’t expecting to still be here on Jinja Island. But I told you the “three lies of Bocas”, right?

1. I’m leaving tomorrow
2. Just one more drink
3. I love you

Yep, guilty as charged on all three. Although in my defence, I really meant the last one. I love this town. I was only supposed to be in Bocas for a year, but here I am, having negotiated a loan to buy out the rest of the island, setting up to make Jinja my permanent residence for the foreseeable.

But before that can happen, I need to return to the magical city on the hill that appears for just a few days every midsummer, and then promptly vanishes again, lost in the early morning mist. I’m talking, of course, about GLASTONBURY!

This would be my 12th Glasto, having been to every single one since 1997 if I was in the country at the time. If you hadn’t already noticed, I tend not to do things by halves.

Well, if I was going to jet off back to England for a few weeks, I wanted to leave my island in capable hands, that being the case, I asked my Canadian friends Carmen and Chantelle if they wouldn’t mind looking after Campo, and the chickens, my boat and, well, the island itself.

 

In order to show them how everything works, it was imperative that I introduce them to my lovely neighbours. By going to Rana Azul and getting rather squiffy.

Later that week, Max, one of the owners of Mundo Taito, organised a barbecue on Wizard’s Beach on Bastimentos Island for us merry band of reprobates.

One last epic day with the Bocas gang. Hell yeah!

We traipsed the jungle trail from Red Frog beach to Wizard’s beach. This part of Isla Bastimentos is notoriously dangerous – not because of the jungle per se, but because of the robbers that like to relieve tourists of their worldly possessions, sometimes at gunpoint. We were in a big gang and we made our way from Red Frog beach, avoiding the trail from Basti town that the world and his dog had warned us not to take. However, we did have a massive cooler box filled with booze, so a fast getaway wasn’t really on the cards. Thankfully, we didn’t need to make one.

One last night out in Bocas before I skedaddle? Don’t mind if we do.

And then, far too soon afterwards, it was time to leave my island – and Campo – for Carmen and Chantelle to look after.

Don't do anything I wouldn't!

I hoped Campesino wouldn’t miss me too much.

Bye old boy. Be good x

Tony from the UK kindly took me over to Almirante, and from there I took the overnight bus to Panama City, arriving hilariously early, with nowhere to go and nobody to make me breakfast. Once the sun had risen and the left luggage place opened, I left my suitcase behind and headed off to check out the Panama Canal. After all, this was my very first visit to Panama’s capital… but it wouldn’t be my last.

And, just like that, I was flying home via Amsterdam. Thanks KLM!

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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