In early December 2015, British adventurers Dave Cornthwaite and Leon McCarron set off on a foot journey circumnavigating the heart of the Middle East from Jerusalem to Mt. Katherine in the Sinai desert.
They will walk the masar (‘path’ in Arabic) collecting stories of what they find; meeting the people that live along their route and immersing themselves in awe-inspiring landscapes.
In the press the Middle East has been dominated and defined by the confusion and conflict of current geopolitics, and perhaps no areas have suffered from this more than the regions through which Leon and Dave are walking.
The intention of the Walk The Masar journey is to look beyond the struggles and tensions; to fill a current void in the global media by focusing on the other side – the people, the stories, the communities, and compassion that comes with travelling on foot.
Both Dave and Leon are equipped with a Water-to-Go bottle each to tackle questionable water sources they meet on the way. They are hoping to complete their journey in 3 months.
Leon McCarron is a Northern Irish adventurer, filmmaker, writer and motivational speaker. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and specializes in long distance, human-powered expeditions. In 2012 Leon crossed 1000 miles of the Empty Quarter desert, roughly following the route of explorer Wilfred Thesiger. With Tom Allen he recently produced the film Karun, documenting their adventure following Iran’s longest river from source to sea.
Dave Cornthwaite is an adventurer, author and motivational speaker. Since quitting his life as a couch potato in 2005 Dave got busy, so far completing 11 non-motorised journeys each over 1000 miles. He has written 3 books, entertained audiences on 6 continents, broken 9 world records, made hundreds of short films, completed countless quirky projects and is the founder of potential-fulfilling brand SayYesMore.
We caught up with Dave a week into their journey:
“Hello from the West Bank!
I just wanted to drop you a little line now we’ve stopped for a day off (finally!). The Water-to-Go bottles are treating us well!
Leon and I have been walking for the best part of a week now, Leon and I took the first steps of our 1000 mile walk when we left Jerusalem a week ago. Since then we’ve been progressing north through the West Bank, feeling a warm welcome from Palestinians and also hearing stories from their ongoing conflict with Israel.
Our aim remains the same as when we started, to share a different side of the Middle East to the one we’re used to through the eyes of the Media, and we’re really thankful to you for playing a part in making this journey successful.
We hope you enjoy following our journey as much as we do carrying it out. Seven days down, three months to go!”
You can follow this epic adventure at www.walkthemasar.com