AN intrepid Australian spent £20,000 on an incredible two-and-a-half year odyssey from Oz to London – without once using a plane.
Ty Dalitz left home without any firm travel plans and winged his way for 60,000km (37,000 miles), diving out of the way of trains and bribing immigration officials along the way.
The 29-year-old also was shipwrecked in an Indonesian village, endured hours of grilling by police in Minsk and the grabbed the steering wheel of a Bulgarian’s car after realising his driver was drunk.
The former farmer says the death-defying adventure started off as a drunken joke, but he was forced into completing it after being egged on by pals.
Ty, who lives near Melbourne, has no regrets even though he could have got to London in under 24 hours for as little as £1,000.
He set off from Australia’s Northern Territory on 31 July 2014, and arrived in London last Wednesday, 846 days later, after zig-zagging across tropical seas, Asia and Europe.
His “route” took him by yacht to Indonesia, then to Malaysia and on to Thailand. After riding a motorbike across Vietnam, he took the Trans-Mongolian railway through China, Mongolia and Russia.
He reached Europe in July 2015, and admits he got distracted, spending a year and a half travelling in loops around the continent on various modes of transport, before ferrying across the channel.
But after finally reaching the UK, the 29-year-old adrenaline junkie isn’t planning on stopping here, and plans to yacht across the Atlantic in the new year.
Ty said: “I first planned the trip a few years ago, it started off as a joke on some drunk nights. I spoke about it too much, and committed myself.
“Before this trip I travelled for three years in a van, farming, which was where I built the passion for a nomad life.
“There was no real planning, just a rough route of knowing I wanted to go through China at some point. Getting out of Australia was the hardest I’d never sailed.
“I saved AUS $30,000 (£20,000) before the trip I tried to budget AUS$1,000 (£600) a month, but spent a little more than that, and towards the end I had to do a lot of wild camping, and hitchhiking.”
He added: “In Italy I was walking through the dark in what I thought was an abandoned train tunnel trying to get an elusive nude beach to wild camp on for the night while hiking some of the Cinque Terra trail.
“Turned out a section of the tunnel was still in use, made a last minute decision to jump into a cut out on the wall. Next thing a train was flying past my face.”
Ty admitted sailing to the Indonesian island of Bali was “a bit touch and go”.
“It was the first time I actually started to feel a bit scared on the water of what could potential go wrong,” he said.
“The generator stopped working. Without the generator we had no longer any way to make fresh water.
“We found a small village that probably never has any visitors and managed to get a little more fuel – 40 litres which was again only just enough in perfect conditions.”
The Aussie also spoke about his drunken drive in Bulgaria.
He said: “In Bulgaria, when hitchhiking at night, I ended up in a car with a really, really drunk local. Not the wisest move in hindsight but I was already in the car but time I realiesd the situation.
“He spoke no English, I spoke no Bulgarian. He was swerving all over the road, at some points I was grabing the wheel keeping us on the road.”
Talking about his dodgy dealings with immigration officials, he said: “When I visited unoffical Transnistria (in Moldova) I had to bribe the border offical for them to let me leave.
“I could see this bribe coming but it was pretty imtimidating being dragged off the local bus and taken into a small interrogation room by gun holstering types.
“In Belarus I thought I might have to break the no flying rule when we messed up our check in procedure for our visa. Ended up spending around 5 hours in the main police station in Minsk, talking about us getting deported and a huge fine.
“Thankfully we had a nice couchsurfing host who skipped work for the afternoon and played translator to sort it out. we got away with a 65 euro fine each and a slap on wrist after a fair bit of pleading and sad faces.”
Speaking about the next leg of his trip, he added: “I’d love to get up to Scotland, it looks beautiful, but I need to get to the canaries by January because that’s when they stop sailing across the Atlantic. I’m looking for a yacht and have already applied for a work visa!”
Ty asks that anyone who can help him source a yacht contact him on his ‘Lost Aussie’ Facebook page.