For the past few weeks I've been traveling in the Middle East (Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai, Oman). It's been a remarkably easy, rewarding trip, not at all what I expected. Visas for all of these countries are available upon arrival at the airports, and travel costs are very reasonable.
Yesterday I was strolling along the Muscat Corniche when I happened to bump into Bernard Cloutier, one of the world's great travelers. I hadn't met Bernard before, but I recognized him from the photo on his website as soon as he told me his name and said he was from Montreal.
Bernard's international travels began in 1954 when he hitched south from Canada to Acapulco. Later he rode the rails all around the United States, something you can't do so easily anymore. Since 1954, Bernard has visited 211 countries - more than anyone else I know. I'm still a ways behind at 188 countries.
Bernard's website www.berclo.net carries around 7,600 photos he has taken in 199 countries. This trip he has been to Portugal, Sao Tome (south of Nigeria), Congo Brazaville, Cameroon, Chad, United Arab Emerites, and Oman. He bought his onward ticket to Kuwait and Cairo last night, and hopes to arrive back home sometime next month. There's a photo of Bernard and I together in Muscat at the very bottom of his Oman photo page. Have a safe trip Bernard Cloutier.