Sat 21 Feb
I wake in Lisbon in a shoebox hotel, tucked away in the narrow backstreets. I've been bitten all night, but not by mosquitoes. I'm covered in itchy bumps and my antihistamine cream is a long way down my big rucsac. I didn't expect to need it this early in the journey.
Despite my early start, it's mid morning before the plane finally takes off. Above the clouds it's sunny; it always is. I'm heading for Africa, starting in the Cape Verde Islands; I plan to cross the continent to Eritrea and the Red Sea. From west to east; from green to red.
I shall journey through the vast arid region they call the Sahel using public transport wherever possible. I've allowed just 10 weeks; not long, I shall have to keep moving. I guess it will be a while before I see those clouds again.