Thursday 16 October 2014


£436. That's how much I just had to pay to get through security. See, while people online and in the various visa advisory centres are happy to remind you that you can get into Brazil visa free, they neglect to mention that if you don't have a visa, you have to have an onward flight. So yep, last minute flight from Rio -> Buenos Aries = not the best start to my holiday.

Still, the Alitalia salesperson was very genial about it, and helpfully bought me one I can cancel after I arrive, so hopefully my ignorance will cost me less than £80 once it's all said and done, but if anyone else is following, please heed my advice and check with the embassy of the first country you fly to! You'd think I'd know that.

I had a lovely couple of days here in London, meeting up with old friends in a Tottenham pub, and enjoying an excellent Jazz and Blues band last night in Islington. Reminded me of all the things I enjoyed so much about London.

And also, Heathrow has one of those paywalled free wi-fi's that are very easily accessible, and as I promised I'd do a brief how to on getting around these, here it is:

You will need:
-Mozilla Firefox (get it here: )
-If on Windows, PuTTY (get it here: )
-A server in a location that is not blocked

If you are running OS X or Linux, you won't need PuTTY, and step one is to open up Terminal (on a Mac it's under Utilities) and type:

ssh $your-username@$your-server -D 9999

This opens up a dynamic port forward to your server on port 9999. For me, the command looks like this:

ssh [email protected] -D 9999

If you are running Windows, you'll need to follow these steps here:

Now that you have your port forward set up, open up Firefox and go to the top right, where the settings button is, it looks like three lines in a row. Click on Preferences, then Advanced, and then Network. Under Network, click 'Settings...'.

Choose 'Manual Proxy Configuration', and under 'SOCKS Host', type in, and then set your port to be 9999. This will tunnel all traffic through port 9999 over your earlier SSH connection and will pass all internet through this. You see, while most Wi-Fi's will block all access, some will only block port 80 and port 443, allowing you to use SSH to bypass it! Select 'Use Remote DNS' to bypass DNS blocks as well, like those used in certain countries...

Save and quit the preferences, and try and load It might be a little slow, but you'll be passing all of your traffic, encrypted, to your own server. Convenient eh?

Well, time for me to go look for my gate and try not to weep over the state of my credit card bill. See you all in Rio!


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