Raymond Lee had been traveling the world by bicycle for two years when COVID-19 erupted and he suddenly found himself stranded in the West African nation of Guinea.
After cycling through Europe and then across the Sahara, the 33-year-old South Korean was in Guinea, heading south, when the government shut the borders in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
“When I was in Guinea, this thing became really serious,” said Lee, a former flight attendant.
He was repeatedly turned away from hotels in the capital, Conakry, in what Lee described as a prejudiced reaction to the pandemic.
“They didn’t let me in because I am Asian,” he said by telephone, explaining that he was turned away from seven or eight hotels.
“It was pretty messed up,” he added. “I personally never experienced any racism in my entire life — this is the first time.”
Lee began asking around on the street for a place to stay — only to be swindled by a man who agreed to host him for US$55 per month, but who vanished with the money.
With nowhere to stay and living off savings, he found a room in an upmarket hotel that he could not afford for long.
After a plea on Facebook, somebody eventually put Lee in touch with a guesthouse that agreed to take him, and where he estimates he might have to stay for months.
Lee said that Conakry is full of good people and that far worse could have befallen him during his round-the-world odyssey.
“I wasn’t shocked,” Lee said.
“We expect so many unexpected things,” he added, referring to nomads such as himself who pedal around the world.
His predicament is preferable to a traffic accident or serious illness, he said, both of which are real possibilities when on the road.
Lee started his journey in New Zealand in March 2018 — where he started a YouTube video diary — before flying to Australia to work and save money, and then on to Europe.
“Bike traveling is the best way to travel the whole world,” he said, explaining that he could stop whenever and wherever he liked.
After struggling over mountains in Italy and Spain, Lee cycled into Morocco and then into the vast desert, where, despite harsh conditions, the cycling was smooth.
“In the middle of the desert it was nothing but endless horizon for days, weeks, months,” he said.
Lee is whiling away his days at his Conakry guesthouse, but when the restrictions are lifted, he plans to continue to Ivory Coast.
“I just want to go to as many countries as I can,” Lee said. “I’ve been traveling for two years and I don’t think that is enough.”
A British skier crashes through wooden fencing on a downhill corner and slams into a pole, breaking his leg. An American hits an icy patch at the bottom of a hill and crashes into a fence, breaking one ski and twisting the other, also breaking his leg. Another American, training before a biathlon race, slides out on an icy corner and flies off the trail into a tree, breaking ribs and a shoulder blade, and punctures a lung. These were not scenes from high-speed Alpine or ski cross events. They happened on cross-country ski and biathlon tracks made with artificial snow.
The Australian Border Force is investigating whether Novak Djokovic incorrectly declared he had not traveled and would not do so for two weeks before his flight to Australia, in the latest twist in the tennis star’s visa cancellation saga. Questions have been raised about the declaration completed by an agent for Djokovic, with social media posts seemingly showing he was in Belgrade on Christmas Day before flying to Australia from Spain on Jan. 4. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday received a call from Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabi, in which he sought to manage the diplomatic fallout of the overturned visa
COURT BATTLE: The world No. 1’s appeal is that the revocation was not based on the health risk he might pose, but how he might be perceived by anti-vaccine protesters Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government yesterday revoked his visa for a second time, the latest twist in the ongoing saga over whether the world No. 1 would be allowed to compete in the Australian Open, despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19. Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said that he used his ministerial discretion to cancel the 34-year-old’s visa on public interest grounds — just three days before play begins at the Australian Open, where Djokovic has won a record nine of his 20 Grand Slam titles. Three hours later, Djokovic’s lawyers began
World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka’s Australian Open preparations were in tatters on Tuesday when she self-destructed for the second week in a row and was almost unable to serve at an Adelaide warm-up event. A week after her delivery deserted her at the first of two Adelaide lead-in tournaments, Sabalenka suffered the same fate as she was stunned in three sets by world No. 93 Rebecca Peterson 5-7, 6-1, 7-5. Sabalenka dished up 21 double faults and was reduced to serving underarm in the second and third sets in a desperate effort to get the ball into play. She took so much