13 December 2012


Starting in January 2013, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek will set out from Africa's Great Rift Valley on a seven-year, 21,000 mile journey, tracing the main path of ancient human migration all the way to Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America (see map above).  He will travel alone, carrying all his supplies and needs on his back.  He anticipates making the entire trip on foot, except for crossing the Bering Strait.

Here is his interview (both video and transcript) with the PBS Newshour's Hari Sreenivasan.  The concept is riveting.  Salopek is no stranger to strenuous travel, having ridden a mule across Mexico, and run the Congo River in a canoe.  He will be providing reports at regular intervals, with an emphasis on the human stories he encounters ~ especially stories which provide local solutions to larger problems.

This trek has a potential for drama and insight comparable to the 1947 trans-Pacific voyage of the Kon-Tiki, with the added benefit of contact with all the cultures along Salopek's route.  I hope I'm still around when the trip is completed, and National Geographic produces a film of his journey.

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