The price of travel these days can be prohibitively expensive.
Yesterday, one of my kidneys fell out of my back passage when I was informed of the cost of a single train journey between Glasgow and London.
But as the fates would have it – who was on hand to help me reconfigure me innards? It was none other than Contour D. Tour, a man who knows how to Globetrot on the cheap.
“Fine kidney you’ve got there Fightback – sold one of mine in India to buy a Honda Goldwing. Crashed the damn thing outside Mumbai. But, if you run out of cash body parts always fetch a tidy sum.”
He thrust a copy of his book – Tetanus Jab? Your Having A Laugh! – in my hand. It is a short volume that recounts a number of his free adventures around the world.
Here, we abridge his recent journey to Chile. You may find some of the methods useful when planning your next family holiday.
Day 1 – London Paddington – Board the Plymouth train early and ticketless. Locked myself in a toilet. Hang an Out of Order sign on the door. If anybody knocked I made out I was Voodoo. Soon scared ‘em off.
Day 1 – Plymouth Docks – Smuggled myself onto a Mackerel fishing boat. Plymouth has a great maritime history Drake, Pilgrim Fathers, Columbus, Kontiki, St Patrick, Britney Spears and the Canoeists from the opening credits of Hawaii 5-0 have all sailed from here.
Day 2 English Channel – As a stowaway on a Mackerel ketch there is not much to do. I while away the time singing a few Shantys. Airs such as “There’s A Maiden With Scurvy Waitin’ For Me In Nantucket”, “Break Out The Grog For Johnny’s Tinkle” and “I’m Not Chesty Nancy Just Got A Touch O’Consumption”, ease the passage of time.
Day 4 – Bay of Biscay – Jump ship. I bobbed in the Bay for a day or two. A Portuguese man-o’-war kept me company. Friendly little thing. Word of advice though. Don’t stroke one! I refuse offers of rescue from several passing cargo ships and a slightly camp Armenian gun smuggler - for South America is my destination!
Day 5/6/7 – Still bobbing in the Bay.
A Great Place To Bob
Day 8 – Finally picked up! The SS Abomination sails under the flag of Liberia and is steaming toward Montevideo with a cargo of head lice to be sold at auction. The Captain (a Breton bereft of eyebrows with a deep attachment to the music of Barry White) invites me to honour the Walrus of Love each night. Happy to oblige as I too am a fan.
Day 17 – Arrive Montevideo – itching to buggery and shorn of all hair. Quarantined for two weeks whilst the lice debacle is resolved. Locals hurl tins of corned beef at us. We hurl nit combs. I shout “Graf Spee” at them – that settles their collaborating hash!
Day 31 – Find out that Uruguayans have no immunity to head lice – half the population wiped out within 72 hours. I jump into the River Plate and bob in the briny waiting for a friendly Argentinean steam packet to carry me to shore.
Day 32 – Picked up by Argentinean tea towel smuggler Osvaldo Kempes who once inadvertently sniffed Diego Maradona’s crotch. Nice man Osvaldo – he gave me food and shelter; I gave him nits and a fine toothed comb.
Day 33 – Buenos Aires Central Station – There are no trains to Santiago. Damn. Seek out Bus Station. Find bus bound for Santiago. Disguise myself as a luggage rack.
A True Red!
Day 35 Chilean Border – The Chilean Border Guards are suspicious of my claims to be a luggage rack. They describe me as “El Scabby” or even more worryingly “El Leper”. To assuage their concerns I play them “Elvis – The Pan Pipe Years” from my trusty IPod. “Return To Sender” goes down a storm. I gift the IPod to them! As simple peasants they are grateful for any gift from a white man!
They wave me through, with hugs and pats on the back. I look back to see them in the earliest stages of scalp mange.
Day 36. Thank heavens Chile is, in geographical terms, anorexic. I have arrived!
Price Comparison – YOU DECIDE!
London Heathrow – Santiago
British Airways – £920 (including taxes)
Time – 22 hours 50 minutes
Tight Fisted Traveller
Free (including taxes)
Time – 864 hours 17 minutes
We think you will agree that TFT’s approach is a bargain!
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