As the expedition to become the first recorded person to walk the entire 4250 miles of the river Nile draws near to completion, Captain Levison Wood, aged 32, of Forsbrook, is now close to Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, en route to the Mediterranean Sea at Rosetta.
The following article is partly taken from his own personal diary and also includes comments from his parents and their perspective on what he has achieved. Day 258 Monday 18th August 'On the Road to Cairo' "Since leaving Luxor the road to Cairo is an endless hike along a modern highway.
"Mile after mile without much to marvel at apart from similar mud bricked buildings and a stream of shuffling people going about their daily business makes this a rather tedious stretch.
"However just occasionally I have come across things to smile about. Yesterday I saw a local tuk tuk taxi with a union flag painted across the rear window which made me think fondly of home.
"Since leaving Forsbrook last November I have had wonderful dreams about a pint at the Huntsman or one of dad's special roast beef dinner's.
"Perhaps there are times when I take home far too much for granted.
"For certain travel broadens the horizon yet England does have so much going for it.
"Without a break it has taken sixteen days along this mind numbing part of the river to cover 570 klms and in a daily temperature that exceeds over 40c, making me long for a drop of rain and the cooler temperatures of an autumn back in Staffordshire.
"Still the thought of getting closer to the finish line now being less than 300klms away makes each step a joy. Next stop Cairo." Waiting patiently at their Cheadle Road home in Forsbrook the former paratrooper's parents have been following his trek and recently spoke to The Post & Times.
His father, also called Levison, and mother Janice said: "We are so proud of what he has achieved.
"It has always been a lifelong ambition of his to become a recognised explorer and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and to do what many others have been unable to do.
This is some achievement.
"Walking a minimum of fifteen miles per day for nine months and often more just to take a short break, takes a great deal of determination but from our view it was never in doubt.
"As a child he always marvelled at his Victorian explorer heroes such as Livingstone, Burton and Speke, so when we asked him 'where would you like to go on holiday? ' his reply was almost predictably unusual 'the Sahara desert or on safari'. "It came as no surprise then that he has dedicated his life to Africa and the plight of the endangered animals that are so desperately in need our help. Elephants are his passion.
"Thus after completing his A levels at Painsley High School in Cheadle he announced that he wanted to go travelling. "Levison tried the usual student route to Australia but found it rather tame, so off he went to Cambodia and Laos instead in search of adventure.
"Since then he has never looked back really.
"Over ninety countries later and to some of the most difficult places on earth, he came to the conclusion that he wanted to set himself the ultimate challenge; and that's how this trek came about.
"It has taken a long apprenticeship however just to get this far.
"He hitchhiked to India many years ago through Russia, Iran and Pakistan, almost starved while travelling through Nepal during the revolution that included the assassination of the Royal family there and more latterly drove two ambulances to Malawi with his best friend John Copeland from Blythe Bridge, to donate them to a children's hospital following the death of an army colleague.
"He has done all of this without our help and on a shoestring financially.
"He's slept and lived in the most awful conditions but lived a life many others can only dream about.
"Many is the time we have been worried about him and what he is doing.
"I suppose the worst time was when he was in Afghanistan with the Parachute Regiment, fearing that awful 'knock on the door', we had many sleepless nights.
"Thankfully he has been very lucky and we will be so grateful to see him back home again.
"We know that it will not be long before the next great adventure where to, who knows, but he will be off to somewhere." Levison undertook this amazing challenge to raise money on behalf of four key Charities; they include THE TUSK TRUST, The ARMY BENEVOLENT FUND, The AMECA TRUST in Malawi and SPACE FOR GIANTS.
If readers have enjoyed the trek with him though these pages, lived his highlights and low points and would like to help by making a small donation to Walking the Nile he would love to hear from you.
This can be done online at www.virginmonetgiving.com/walking the Nile or by writing to his parents at Bramdean, Cheadle Road, Forsbrook, ST11 9AX