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Walking the Nile with Captain Levison Wood - Saying Goodbye to Boston

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: June 07, 2014

  • Friend, companion, interpreter and local guide Boston Beko

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Over the last few months Captain Levison Wood, aged 31, of Cheadle Road, Forsbrook, has been undertaking a record breaking walk along the 4250 mile length of the River Nile with his local interpreter and guide Boston.

Throughout this time they have shared many adventures together which have been reported in this paper.

With great sadness their time together has come to a close and we share Levison's thoughts recorded in his diary. Starting the journey at the source of the Nile, Rwanda.

"Boston and I had been travelling together for four and a half months.

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"Day in, day out we had never been further than a few metres apart – something which I can't say about any other person in my life.

"His quietly spoken manner and endless warm smile has made the trip shorter by many miles.

"Proffering advice when asked, I always knew I had someone covering my back in times of danger.

"Boston had seen me angry, sad, hungry, elated, exhausted, stripped of my dignity and most of the time downright bloody filthy.

"We'd been through swamp, savannah, city and jungle together.

"Negotiated and navigated some of the toughest terrain I've ever been through.

"He'd become more than a guide and constant walking companion. He'd become a friend.

"Boston looked after me when times were tough, woken me up on more than one occasion when we were running late and needed to get walking – when that was the last thing I wanted to do – and had been a brilliant guide.

"But as his period on the expedition was drawing to a close, the time had come for us to go our separate ways and say goodbye.

"Boston had never been to Sudan and doesn't speak Arabic. "Furthermore I was heading into a war zone and I didn't want to take responsibility for his safety, especially since he's got a wife and two small children to consider.

"It's one thing taking risks yourself but I couldn't ask him to come with me onto the front line, even though he desperately wanted to.

"There's no easy way to disappoint someone so I told him my decision in Terrekeka in South Sudan not long after we crossed the border.

"In some respects the decision had already been made for me as his South Sudanese visa was about to expire and he couldn't get a visa for the Republic of Sudan without going back to Kampala in Uganda anyway.

"He was so upset and told me that above anything else he wanted to finish the expedition and see the pyramids in Egypt, his childhood dream.

"Although he was badly disappointed he choked back the tears I could see welling in his eyes and accepted the inevitable. "We spent an emotional night reminiscing about our adventures, we laughed and cried about the scrapes we had got ourselves into and the countless memories that we will share for the rest of our lives.

"Like a chapter closing in a book the end came quickly.

"The very next day he boarded a lorry travelling south and he was gone.

"I made sure he got back okay and we've been keeping in close contact ever since his departure.

"For me, the prospect of heading off into the wilderness alone was daunting, if not terrifying, but I'd begun this expedition alone and I had to see it through.

"I was now at the mercy of fate and everything the expedition was capable of throwing at me.

"From now on the journey would be an entirely different beast.

"I knew I'd miss Boston, his tales of misadventure from the Congo as a rebel leader, his history of Africa from an African's eyes, his wildly inaccurate conspiracy theories and not to mention, his dead eye pigeon hunting.

"For sure I'll miss his enthusiasm and zest for new experiences, he's not a bad cook either (although he uses way too much salt!) but I am happy to know he's safe at home and that we will be friends for life. I have no doubt I'll see him again very soon.

"So God's speed my friend. You occupy a big place in my heart. Until next time."

Readers may wish to follow Captain Wood's further adventures on 'Walking The Nile Channel 4' or on Facebook/Twitter.

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