Loneliness of the long-distance traveller

Thursday 5th April 2018 2:00 pm
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Leon McCarron who spoke to Royal School pupils about his treks in the Middle East ()

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A THOUSAND miles on foot through the heart of the Middle East, was the subject of a motivational talk by Northern Ireland-based adventurer and storyteller Leon McCarron at Haslemere’s The Royal School.

Mr McCarron told senior students his ‘Masar’ walk, an Arabic name for path, took him from Jerusalem to Mount Sinai.

A Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and the Abraham Path Initiative, and a specialist in long-distance expeditions, he made the trek at the end of 2012, when he crossed 1,000 miles of the Empty Quarter desert, following the route of explorer Wilfred Thesiger.

Part of the walk, was through a gorge rumoured to be the ‘Valley of the Shadow of Death’ to Jericho – referenced in the Bible – reputed to be the oldest city in the world, and home to Mount Quarantania, allegedly the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus was said to have resisted Satan.

In May 2012, he concluded a six-month, 3,000 mile expedition walking the length of China, from the Gobi desert in Mongolia to the South China Sea in Hong Kong, a journey which was featured in a four-part TV series by National Geographic.

Other journeys include cycling 14,000 miles solo and unsupported from New York to Hong Kong, a folding bike trip around the British Isles to climb the Six Peaks, and a descent of the longest river in Iran, the Karun.

Mr McCarron was presented with the RGS Neville Shulman Challenge Award last year.

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