What started as an aim to walk 1000 miles in a circumnavigation of the Heart of the Middle East ended without ceremony after just 160 miles, when I suffered a stress fracture in my left foot and tibia.
For the first time I had to pull out of an Expediion1000 journey before it had reached that golden figure of 1000 miles, but although this obviously wasn't ideal my walking buddy Leon McCarron still continued with the walk, and I'm grateful for the experience I had on the Masar Ibrahim in Palestine.
The aim of this journey was a simple one, to walk the masar ('path' in Arabic) collecting stories of what we found; meeting the people that lived along the route and immersing ourselves in the awe-inspiring landscapes.
The Middle East has (at least in the press) been dominated and defined by the confusion and conflict of current geopolitics, and perhaps nowhere has suffered from this more than the areas through which our journey passed.
Our intention was to look beyond the struggles and tensions; aiming to fill a current void in the global media by focusing on the other side - the good people, the uplifting stories, and the community, connection and compassion that comes with travelling on foot. Both on Leon's fuller journey and my, sadly shortened one, we fulfilled those aims.