A football fan will be using the ‘Hand of God’ today as he sets off to hitch-hike – to the World Cup in BRAZIL.
Andrew Grady, 36, will trek through Siberia and the Amazon Jungle as he tries to thumb a ride to the soccer tournament which starts 22,000 miles away in June.
He is embarking on a journey which will take him across 18 countries including Germany, Russia, Alaska, Canada and Mexico.
His aim is to hitch-hike from his home in South Shields in Tyne and Wear to the World Cup where England play their first game on June 14 – even though he hasn’t got a ticket.
But the mammoth free-ride is nothing new to engineer Andrew – previously he’s hitched to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and from Australia to the London Olympics in 2012.
He said: “I’m a massive football fan – but the emphasis of this journey is what you encounter. It’s an reminder that the world is a beautiful place.
“I’ve always travelled in crazy creative endeavours around the world. This idea just came to me in the pub.
“I got obsessed with the idea and then it’s developed and developed. It’s the biggest challenge – it’s the longest, it’s the hardest.
“I haven’t got a clue how I’m going to do it but I’m going to get there.”
He added: ”I’ve done some basic planning on Google Maps but the whole premise is not to plan – just to shut my front door and head off. You try and average 200 miles a day.
“But you’ve just got to keep ploughing on and hope for the best.”
Andrew will try and hitch by road where possible and when he needs to cross water he will go to a local marina and asks for a lift.
The former engineer, who is now a musician, said: “In the last four years I’ve literally had a brilliant, topsy turvy, time.
“There are revelations on the road – the things you learn are priceless.”
During previous trips he was nearly arrested in Kazakhstan for hitch-hiking, almost died in Australia during a storm and played alongside Blues artists in Mali.
To help fund the filming of his final trip he has launched an appeal for ?45,000 with crowdfunding website Kickstarter.
If he can’t afford a cameraman, he will be going at it alone, filming his trip and editing it for the documentary once he gets back.
He said: ”The really beautiful thing is that even if the country doesn’t know what hitch-hiking is they will help you.”