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Jinja Island Guests

(Couch) Surf’s Up!

August 2014

August came around as it invariably does. Lots of thunderstorms but also some amazingly sunny days. Not one for hiding my light under a bushel, I gave my seventh TED talk at 2014’s TEDxLiverpool, and my first proper interview from Jinja Island itself.

If you’d like to see my other TED Talks, click here.

Meanwhile, I started really getting to grips with the whole “responsible for an entire island” malarkey. Bill and Janis have been wonderful with their advice and wise council – there’s so much to do! Solar panels, plumbing, gardening, building, fettling the boat etc.

Being on my own is a bit weird, I’m defo not cut out to be a hairy hermit.

A week into August, my friends Dave and Victoria came over to stay on Jinja Island. Dave helped me with the chicken house that was a little worse for wear…

Good, eh? Thanks Dave!

With the chicken house sorted, the flush toilet installed and coconuts polished, it was time to declare Jinja OPEN FOR BUSINESS!! However, the first visitor to the island wasn’t *quite* what I had in mind…

NB: I was a lot further away from the pelican than this footage makes it look!

Well that was unexpected. Never seen one close up before. I had to (slowly) chase her off though — she looked perfectly capable of causing Campesino a serious mischief with that killer bill of hers. There were also little chickens running about the island — chickens that, given the size of her, she could no doubt gulp down in one.

A few days later, a guy called Max took me up on my offer of staying on a private island for free – my first proper CouchSurfer!

Max from Amsterdam: Jinja Island Surfer #1!

On my journey around the world I CouchSurfed with dozens of people – I quite simply would not have been able to complete my journey without their help, and now it was time for me to pay off my CouchSurf karma… pay it forward so to speak.

Next I found myself hosting Felix and Steffi from Germany.

And then Conrad from the UK…
Who was joined by Timothée from France…
And finally, at the end of the month, Guillaume and Emeline, also from France.
We stayed up late, drank Panama beer, played cards, talked bollocks and marvelled at the starry starry nights that only come from living on an island 9 degrees north of the equator.

Seriously though, this owning-an-island thing is BOSS.

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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