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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Briton completes 13-year odyssey
Jason Lewis crossing the English Channel (Copyright Expedition 360.com)
Jason Lewis made his final journey along the Thames
A 40-year-old adventurer has completed a 46,000-mile round-the-world journey, which has taken 13 years.

Jason Lewis, from Dorset, has travelled over five continents, two oceans and a sea to be the first to circle the globe on human power alone.

After dodging crocodiles and breaking both his legs, he travelled up the River Thames in his pedal-powered boat.

On Saturday, an overwhelmed Mr Lewis carried his boat over Greenwich's Meridian Line, where the quest began.

I came over the line and I was choked
Jason Lewis

He said he thought it was "never going to happen", but was "overwhelmed to have returned in one piece".

"It feels fantastic. I came over the line and I was choked. I blubbed like a baby," Mr Lewis said.

"Everything I've been doing for the last 13 years has been in some way connected with this trip and tomorrow that will be no more."

The former cleaner, from Askerswell, received a royal welcome from the Duke of Gloucester when he finally crossed the Meridian Line from east to west at London's Royal Observatory with his trusted Devon-built 26ft (8m) Moksha.

Among the hundreds of onlookers was his father Col Sebert Lewis, who helped his son with the navigation, "sleeping with a paper and pen in case of emergencies".

He said: "It has been like one long military exercise lasting 13 years.

"I felt like I was on the expedition."

Jason Lewis in Belgium (Copyright Expedition 360.com)

The Duke of Gloucester - who is the patron of "Expedition 360" - launched and named the craft in 1994.

Mr Lewis went on to say the "low points" had included breaking both legs in the USA and being arrested by Egyptian authorities, who thought he was a spy.

He added: "There have been many high moments. To be honest, it's always good to reach the other side of an ocean.

"But if it was just about the physical challenge I would have got bored.

"The 'why' question changed over the years.

"I started circumnavigating the world ... but it became more about using the expedition as an educational tool to enhance children's learning experience in the classroom."

Rest planned

Mr Lewis, who completed the journey in 16 legs and stayed at various points around the world in-between, also made the trip in kayaks, mountain bikes and in-line skates.

He was 26 when he began his 46,000-mile (74,000km) journey on 12 July 1994, with his colleague, Steve Smith, who decided to leave the expedition in Hawaii in 1999.

Mr Lewis arrived in Britain at 2100 BST on Sunday, 30 September after spending a day crossing the English Channel from Calais, France, on the 16th and final leg of the trip.

He said he planned to rest on Sunday, before starting a career organising "mini expeditions" for young people and giving talks about climate change.

The Moshka will now be put into retirement as he takes his well earned rest.



SEE ALSO
13-year journey reaches Channel
30 Sep 07 |  Dorset

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