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Charley Boorman e Ewan McGregor sono i simpatici protagonisti di una doppia serie televisiva trasmessa nel Regno Unito da Sky.

La prima serie, realizzata nel 2004, è intitolata Long Way Round e narra le peripezie dei due motociclisti e della loro troupe lungo il tragitto Londra - New York. Nella seconda serie, intitolata Long Way Down, i due amici si ritrovano per un viaggio che li porta dal punto più a nord della Scozia fino a Capo Agulhas, in Sud Africa.

From 14 April 2004 to 29 July 2004, Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, motorcycle riding cameraman Claudio von Planta, along with director/producers David Alexanian and Russ Malkin, travelled from London to New York City via Western and Central Europe, the Ukraine, Western Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia and Canada, over a cumulative distance of 18,887 miles (30,396 km). The only sections not undertaken by motorcycle were the 31-mile (50 km) passage through the Channel Tunnel, 580 miles (930 km) by train in Siberia to circumvent the Zilov Gap, several river crossings and a short impassable section in eastern Russia undertaken by truck, and a 2,505-mile (4,031 km) flight from Magadan in eastern Russia to Anchorage, Alaska.

The riders took their BMW motorcycles through deep and swollen rivers, many without functioning bridges, while travelling along the Road of Bones to Magadan. The summer runoff from the icemelt was in full flow and the bikes eventually had to be loaded onto passing trucks to be ferried across a few of the deepest rivers.

The journey passed through twelve countries, starting in the UK, then through France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Canada, and the USA, ending in New York City.

The team stayed mainly in hotels while in Europe, North America, and the more populated parts of Russia, but frequently had to camp out in Kazakhstan and Mongolia. They visited various sights and landmarks en route, including the Church of Bones in the Czech Republic, the Mask of Sorrow monument (described as the "Mask of Grief" in the show) in Magadan, and Mount Rushmore in the USA. They arrived in New York on schedule, and rode into the city accompanied by a phalanx of bikers including McGregor's father Jim and the Orange County Choppers crew.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Way_Round

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Nazionalità: Scozzese

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Africa, America del Nord, Asia, Europa, Russia,

Mezzo di trasporto: Motocicletta, motorino

Riferimenti complementari: McGregor, Ewan, Charley Boorman, and Robert Uhlig. Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World. New York: Atria Books, 2004.

ID: w2267

Internet: www.longwayround.com 

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q165518

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Francis Edwin Birtles nel 1905 percorse in bicicletta Fremantle – Melbourne, mentre tra il 1907 e il 1908 andò a Sydney, via Brisbane, Normanton, Darwin, Alice Springs e Adelaide e di nuovo a Sydney. Nel 1909 pubblicò Lonely Lands, che contiene anche le sue fotografie. Nello stesso anno stabilì un nuovo record in bicicletta per la Fremantle - Sydney, mentre tra il 1910 e il 1911 percorse il perimetro australiano.

Nel 1911 stabilì un nuovo record tra Fremantle e Sydney in 38 giorni. Prima di passare alle avventure motorizzate, nel 1912, aveva totalizzato 7 traversate e 2 percorsi completi del perimetro continentale. Tra le tante avventure che realizzò, nel 1928 Birtles diventò la prima persona a percorrere in automobile la tratta da Londra a Melbourne, un viaggio di nove mesi a bordo del mezzo chiamato “The Sundowner”.

Across Australia Records

Perth > Melbourne       
1937; Hubert Opperman: 11 giorni

Perth > Sydney
1896; Arthur Richardson: 31 giorni
1899; Donald Mackay: 40 giorni
1911; Francis Birtles: 31 giorni
1937; Hubert Opperman: 13 giorni
1981; Gabrielle Smith: 84 giorni

Around Australia       
Febbraio 1900; Arthur Richardson: 243 giorni
Marzo 1900; Donald Mackay: 240 giorni

 

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Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Australiana

Nascita-morte: 1881-1941

Riferimento geografico: Giro del mondo

Mezzo di trasporto: Diversi

Riferimenti complementari: -

ID: w1716

Internet: http://www.nma.gov.au/collections-search/display?irn=37917

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q5480241

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All'età di 17 anni Arthur Burgess si avventurò nella traversata Providence-San Francisco. Lo fece in occasione della Panama Pacific Exposition del 1915.

Boy Scout hikes on  Leaves here for coast after walking from Providence.

Arthur Burgess, chief of the Boy Scout patrol of North Providence, R. I., walking to the Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Krancisco, left New York yesterday. He arrived here Saturday night, but had to wait over until yesterday to get the necessary seals on his paper. He is seventeen years old and started his walk April 16 with Arthur Lean Hopper, who quit because of sore feet on reaching Washington, Rhode Island, April 18. Burgess hope to cover the distance in five months.

New-York Tribune, 27.04.1915

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Nazionalità: Americana

Nascita-morte: -1898

Riferimento geografico: Stati Uniti

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

Riferimenti complementari: -

ID: w1750

Internet: -

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Jean Béliveau è partito il 18 agosto 2000 con l'obbiettivo di fare il giro del mondo a piedi. L'impresa è stata coronata dal successo: 75'000 km e 54 paia di scarpe dopo la sua partenza, è rientrato in Canada nel corso del mese di ottobre 2011.

Peace for the children of the world

On August 18th, 2000, at 9:00 am, Jean Béliveau left Montreal, Canada. His goal is to walk around the planet to promote "Peace and non-violence for the profit of the children of the world". He is travelling alone with a three-wheeled stroller that holds a bit of food, his clothing, a First Aid kit, a small tent and a sleeping bag.

Jean plans to walk across the continents, from North America to South America, then across to South Africa, up to Europe, then the Middle East, South and Eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand and finally back to Canada.

This 11 years journey is in support of the United Nations proclamation: 2001-2010 - International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World

http://wwwalk.org/en/


(Ollie Smith, www.expertsure.com)

 

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Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Canadese

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Giro del mondo

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

Riferimenti complementari: -

ID: w1699

Internet: http://www.wwwalk.org/

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q2562469

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Slavomir Rawicz fu un ufficiale polacco condannato a 25 anni di lavori forzati in un gulag siberiano. Nel 1941 fuggì a piedi con altri 5 compagni, raggiungendo l'India dopo un percorso di 6'500 km. Non vi sono attestazioni concrete sul reale compimento del viaggio, descritto nel romanzo Tra noi e la libertà.

THE WAY BACK: fuga dalla Siberia. Verità o bufala?
Con un inspiegabile ritardo di due anni, esce venerdì 6 luglio nelle sale italiane “The Way Back” di Peter Weir, un film con una fotografia seducente e location spettacolari (di cui parlo su Panorama Travel di luglio, in edicola).

Il regista si è ispirato a una storia vera: quella di Slawomir Rawicz (1915-2004), prigioniero polacco in Siberia nel Gulag 303, da lì fuggito nel 1941 con alcuni compagni e  – dopo un viaggio tanto avventuroso quanto incredibile di 6500 chilometri a piedi – approdato nell’India britannica, dopo aver varcato l’Himalaya. La sua storia è narrata nel libro The Long Walk (1956), riedito in italiano da Corbaccio in occasione dell’uscita del film con il titolo Tra noi e la libertà.

La visione del film mi ha suscitato una serie di domande. Malgrado Weir abbia fatto del suo meglio per rendere la fatica e lo spossamento fisico di questi uomini, è davvero possibile percorrere 6500 chilometri in quelle condizioni, dal freddo estremo siberiano al calore e alla siccità desertica, e poi di nuovo le nevi eterne dell’Himalaya? Si trattava di giovani uomini, certo, ma comunque logorati dalla fatica del gulag e da un’alimentazione scadente e scarsa. E fuori dal campo di prigionia, nessuno era disposto ad aiutarli, come il film The Way Back mostra bene. Come si fa a percorrere 6500 chilometri mangiando per lunghi tratti cortecce di betulla e vermi? E come si fa a trascorrere giorni nel deserto del Gobi senza scorte d’acqua? Per non parlare dei piedi e della condizione delle scarpe!

Qualcuno obietterà che gli uomini da secoli viaggiano per migliaia di chilometri lungo le rotte carovaniere. È vero, ma le percorrono con i loro animali e con adeguate scorte di cibo e di acqua. Chi nel deserto termina l’acqua, arriva a bere il sangue del suo cammello per sopravvivere. Questo gruppo di fuggiaschi non ha avuto nulla su cui contare fino all’arrivo a Lhasa (dove ha ricevuto ospitalità e cibo dai locali). Quanto all’ultimo tratto – l’Himalaya attraversato durante la brutta stagione e senza una guida – ha dell’incredibile. Non ci sono certe di famosi cartelli gialli e blu del Club Alpino Svizzero a indicare destinazioni e distanze sui sentieri!

Dubbiosa, ho fatto un giro sul web. Per scoprire che in effetti, ben prima di me, altri avevano messo in dubbio la veridicità del racconto di Rawicz. Come scrive Patrick Symmes su Outside Magazine, non mancano le perplessità. Alcune legate anche a passaggi molto naif: come l’incontro con due yeti durante il tragitto sull’Himalaya (che Weir ha intelligentemente omesso)! Secondo gli archivi russi, invece, Rawicz sarebbe stato liberato dal gulag nel 1942, e dunque non avrebbe mai compiuto questa rocambolesca fuga.

Verità o bufala? Difficile dirlo. Mi sono goduta il film, e per curiosità affronterò anche il libro, per farmi un’idea di prima mano di un bestseller che ha catturato generazioni di lettori, che hanno comunque voluto credere al suo autore. Esattamente come anch’io, vedendo il film, sono stata sedotta da questa storia. E vorrei davvero che questa fuga verso la libertà, che mette in gioco coraggio, forza di volontà, solidarietà, resistenza fisica dell’essere umano, sia accaduta davvero.

http://mariatatsos.com/blog/the-way-back-fuga-dalla-siberia-verita-o-bufala/

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Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Polacca

Nascita-morte: 1915-2004

Riferimento geografico: Asia, Russia

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

Riferimenti complementari: Rawicz, Slavomir. 2011. Tra noi e la libertà. Milano: Corbaccio. Ne è stato tratto un film The Way Back, girato da regia Peter Weir nel 2012.

ID: w2403

Internet: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%82awomir_Rawicz

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q563218

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Roberto Regini è un "uomo senza casa" appassionato di trekking. Ha avuto la fortuna di praticare questa attività in tutti e cinque i continenti.

Come un antico esploratore

Quarantanove giorni di cammino in tre regioni, Terra del Fuoco, Aysén e Patagonia, per un totale di 700-800 chilometri in solitaria e 3.100 euro di spesa complessiva. Roberto Regini (41 anni), l’intrepido viaggiatore originario di Empoli che ha deciso di dedicare buona parte della sua vita a “esplorare” il mondo, è appena rientrato dalla sua ultima avventura con lo zaino in spalla (www.robyexplorer.net).
“Sono partito lo scorso 31 gennaio, scegliendo come al solito un periodo fuori stagione per evitare i grandi afflussi turistici, le spese elevate e soprattutto per avere l’occasione di vivere più intensamente i luoghi che attraversavo”.

Se non sbaglio, hai camminato “al contrario”…
Sì, anziché seguire il tradizionale percorso da Buenos Aires a Ushuaia, ho fatto esattamente l’opposto, dal sud verso il nord. Siccome non era il mio primo viaggio in quelle terre, questa volta ho scelto di visitare le zone meno conosciute e questo, insieme al fatto che la stagione turistica era ormai terminata, mi ha permesso di immergermi completamente nella solitudine che cerco: in alcune traversate non ho incontrato nessuno per giorni, in altre ho avuto rari scambi con escursionisti come me. Anche le notti in cui ho avuto qualche tenda accanto alla mia si contano sulle dita di una mano.

E per rifornirti?
Mi appoggiavo ai vari villaggi, che in quelle zone distano anche centinaia di chilometri l’uno dall’altro, mentre ricorrevo agli ostelli familiari per la doccia e l’igiene personale. Facevo la spesa nei supermercati locali, dove ho avuto modo di notare qualcosa di molto curioso: nonostante l’abbondante costa affacciata sull’oceano, i banchi del pesce sono rarissimi in Cile e Argentina. La maggior parte del pescato viene destinata all’esportazione.

Rispetto ai tuoi viaggi precedenti, hai avuto conferme?
La prima riguarda il clima: ho avuto la fortuna di trovare un’estate splendida, con temperature fino a dieci gradi sopra la media stagionale, mentre quelle zone (la Patagonia in particolare) sono note per le condizioni meteorologiche estremamente variabili e per il forte vento. Se questo è stato propizio per il mio stile di viaggio, cioè il trekking, d’altra parte mi ha confermato il drammatico problema del surriscaldamento climatico. Un’altra conferma riguarda la gente, straordinariamente ospitale.

C’è differenza tra cileni e argentini?
Forse lieve, ma esiste. Il popolo argentino è più diretto e gioioso, mentre quello cileno appare più freddo, anche se molto accogliente.

Oltre all’isolamento, immagino che la problematica principale di questo viaggio sia stata la difficoltà di reperire mezzi di trasporto.
L’aspetto positivo di Cile e Argentina è la loro sicurezza, tanto che non è raro incontrare persone che la notte riposano tranquillamente con la porta aperta. In compenso, però, gli spostamenti necessitano di molta pazienza, perché i mezzi di trasporto hanno frequenze piuttosto sporadiche, spesso a distanza di giorni. Per esempio, oltre al gommone turistico che permette di raggiungere l’isola di Navarino e la sua Puerto Williams, la cittadina di circa duemila abitanti più australe del mondo, per il ritorno esiste un traghetto che parte una volta la settimana verso Punta Arenas.

Lo hai preso?
Sì e sono sceso, nel mezzo della notte, nella baia di Yendegaia per intraprendere una traversata a piedi, camminando su un terreno difficile e privo di qualsiasi sentiero, dove l’ultimo turista era passato tre settimane prima. Per il resto, mi sono affidato all’autostop, strappando un passaggio prima a tre pescatori e poi a tre camionisti, che mi hanno anche regalato pane, formaggio, prosciutto e persino un bicchiere di vino, visto che ormai ero rimasto a secco. Più a sud ci si trova, meno mezzi di trasporto si incontrano: tra i villaggi, i collegamenti non sono quotidiani come siamo abituati nelle nostre città.

Incontri particolari?
Nella baia di Yendegaia, ho incontrato gli unici due abitanti: il gestore di un rifugio, Josè, gaucho cileno, con la sua compagna, una donna belga che da sei anni ha lasciato il suo paese – dove gestiva un centro estetico – per vivere di “natura”. È stato lui a fornirmi preziose indicazioni per i miei spostamenti, raccomandandomi di seguire le impronte dei cavalli ferrati anziché quelle “senza ferro”, che appartengono ai cavalli selvatici. Quando gli ho chiesto quanto tempo pensava di rimanere laggiù, mi ha risposto semplicemente: “Non lo so, forse un mese, forse tutta la vita. Vivo alla giornata”.

Una scelta estrema.
Assolutamente sì. È impossibile esprimere a parole quello che si prova incontrando queste persone, che hanno scelto una vita “antica”. Nella regione dell’Aysén ho conosciuto anche Ramon, che mi ha offerto mate, una tipica bevanda del sud, e ha cucinato per me un salmone appena pescato. Anche lui preferisce vivere lontano da tutto e da tutti, rinunciando al benessere cittadino. Spesso, nei miei viaggi, incontro queste persone straordinarie, felici e realizzate nella loro semplicità e devo ammettere che mi capita di pensare che, se un giorno dovessi stancarmi dei viaggi, mi piacerebbe diventare come loro. La scoperta straordinaria è che non sono l’unico a pensarla così.

Hai incontrato altre persone alla ricerca della semplicità?
Sempre più spesso incontro europei stufi del loro stile di vita consumistico e materialistico, che vanno in giro per il mondo con pochi soldi in tasca e tanto entusiasmo – molti in bici, anche per molti mesi – alla ricerca di ambienti genuini. La filosofia comune è che si può essere molto felici con poco.

Come sono i paesaggi?
Cambiano in pochi metri di quota: in basso ci sono boschi ricchissimi di vegetazione, tra cui l’albero dell’Araucania, una pianta che cresce solo in questa regione; più in alto c’è pieno deserto, grazie alle eruzioni dei vulcani Lonquimay e Tolhuaca. Una varietà straordinaria.

Sei rientrato da pochi giorni, ma hai già in mente una nuova partenza?
Sì, normalmente verso la fine di ogni viaggio penso a cosa mi piacerebbe vedere nella prossima “puntata” e stabilisco ambiente, persone, percorsi e cultura che vorrei incontrare. Tra pochi mesi toccherà all’Asia centrale, con cui proseguirò questo mio desiderio di trasformare la passione per il viaggio in un lavoro e uno stile di vita. Ho già controllato i voli aerei e sto valutando le questioni burocratiche da risolvere. Tutto resto è nella mia testa!

http://www.luomoconlavaligia.it/robyexplorer-come-un-antico-esploratore.html

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Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Italiana

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Africa, Asia, Europa, America del Nord, America del Sud, America centrale

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

Riferimenti complementari: Cavalleri F., Zaino in spalla e via, Roberto Regini: l’uomo senza casa ci racconta il suo mondo di viaggi, La Regione Ticino, 11.07.2013

ID: w2412

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Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz fu la prima donna a circumnavigare il globo in solitaria. Partita dalle isole Canarie il 28 febbraio 1976, vi fece rientro 401 giorni dopo, il 2 aprile 1978.

Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz (born 15 July 1936, in Poland) was the first woman to sail single-handed (i.e. solo) around the world, repeating the accomplishment of Joshua Slocum. She sailed from the Canary Islands on 28 February 1976, and returned there on 21 April 1978, completing a circumnavigation of 31,166 nautical miles (57,719 km) in 401 days.

Pseudonimo: -

Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Polacca

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Giro del mondo

Mezzo di trasporto: Barca, nave

Riferimenti complementari: -

ID: w1786

Internet: -

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q6439809

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Autrice del volume Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, in cui narrano le sue vicende personali lungo il Pacific Crest Trail. Dal suo libro è stato tratto il film Wild (2014).

 

Pseudonimo: -

Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Americana

Nascita-morte: -1968

Riferimento geografico: America del Nord

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

Riferimenti complementari: Strayed, Cheryl, e Mondadori. Wild. Milano: Piemme, 2012.

ID: w1784

Internet: http://www.cherylstrayed.com/

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q5092780

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Nel 1867 John Muir percorre a piedi la strada da Indianapolis alle Florida Keys, un'esperienza narrata nel libro intitolato A thousand mile walk to the Gulf, una delle prime opere che tratta il tema delle camminate sulle lunghe distanze.

JOHN MUIR, Earth-planet, Universe. These words are written on the inside cover of the notebook from which the contents of this volume have been taken. They reflect the mood in which the late author and explorer undertook his thousand-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico a half-century ago. No less does this refreshingly cosmopolitan address, which might have startled any finder of the book, reveal the temper and the comprehensiveness of Mr. Muir s mind. He never was and never could be a parochial student of nature. Even at the early age of twenty-nine his eager interest in every aspect of the natural world had made him a citizen of the universe.

While this was by far the longest botanical excursion which Mr. Muir made in his earlier years, it was by no means the only one. He had botanized around the Great Lakes, in Ontario, and through parts of Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois. On these expeditions he had disciplined himself to endure hardship, for his notebooks disclose the fact that he often went hungry and slept in the woods, or on the open prairies, with no cover except the clothes he wore.

"Oftentimes," he writes in some unpublished biographical notes, "I had to sleep out with out blankets, and also without supper or break fast. But usually I had no great difficulty in finding a loaf of bread in the widely scattered clearings of the farmers. With one of these big backwoods loaves I was able to wander many a long, wild mile, free as the winds in the glorious forests and bogs, gathering plants and feeding on God s abounding, inexhaustible spiritual beauty bread. Only once in my long Canada wanderings was the deep peace of the wilderness savagely broken. It happened in the maple woods about midnight, when I was cold and my fire was low. I was awakened by the awfully dismal howling of the wolves, and got up in haste to replenish the fire."

It was not, therefore, a new species of adventure upon which Mr. Muir embarked when he started on his Southern foot-tour. It was only a new response to the lure of those favorite studies which he had already pursued over uncounted miles of virgin Western forests and prairies. Indeed, had it not been for the accidental injury to his right eye in the month of March, 1867, he probably would have started somewhat earlier than he did. In a letter written to Indianapolis friends on the day after the accident, he refers mournfully to the interrup tion of a long-cherished plan. "For weeks," he writes, "I have daily consulted maps in locating a route through the Southern States, the West Indies, South America, and Europe a botanical journey studied for years. And so my mind has long been in a glow with visions of the glories of a tropical flora; but, alas, I am half blind. My right eye, trained to minute analysis, is lost and I have scarce heart to open the other. Had this journey been accomplished, the stock of varied beauty acquired would have made me willing to shrink into any corner of the world, however obscure and however remote."

The injury to his eye proved to be less serious than he had at first supposed. In June he was writing to a friend: "I have been reading and botanizing for some weeks, and find that for such work I am not very much disabled. I leave this city [Indianapolis] for home to-morrow, accompanied by Merrill Moores, a little friend of mine. We will go to Decatur, Illinois, thence northward through the wide prairies, botanizing a few weeks by the way. ... I hope to go South towards the end of the summer, and as this will be a journey that I know very little about, I hope to profit by your counsel before setting out."
In an account written after the excursion he says: "I was eager to see Illinois prairies on my way home, so we went to Decatur, near the center of the State, thence north [to Portage] by Rockford and Janesville. I botanized one week on the prairie about seven miles south-west of Pecatonica. ... To me all plants are more precious than before. My poor eye is not better, nor worse. A cloud is over it, but ingazing over the widest landscapes, I am not always sensible of its presence."

By the end of August Mr. Muir was back again in Indianapolis. He had found it convenient to spend a "botanical week" among his University friends in Madison. So keen was his interest in plants at this time that an interval of five hours spent in Chicago was promptly turned to account in a search for them. "I did not find many plants in her tumultuous streets," he complains; "only a few grassy plants of wheat, and two or three species of weeds, amaranth, purslane, carpet-weed, etc., the weeds, I suppose, for man to walk upon, the wheat to feed him. I saw some green algae, but no mosses. Some of the latter I expected to see on wet walls, and in seams on the pavements. But I suppose that the manufacturers smoke and the terrible noise are too great for the hardiest of them. I wish I knew where I was going. Doomed to be "carried of the spirit into the wilderness/ I suppose. I wish I could be more moderate in my desires, but I cannot, and so there is no rest."

The letter noted above was written only two days before he started on his long walk to Florida. If the concluding sentences still reflect indecision, they also convey a hint of the overmastering impulse under which he was acting. The opening sentences of his journal, afterwards crossed out, witness to this sense of inward compulsion which he felt." Few bodies," he wrote, "are inhabited by so satisfied a soul that they are allowed exemption from extraordinary exertion through a whole life." After reciting illustrations of nature s periodicity, of the ebbs and flows of tides, and the pulsation of other forces, visible and invisible, he observes that " so also there are tides not only in the affairs of men, but in the primal thing of life it self. In some persons the impulse, being slight, is easily obeyed or overcome. But in others it is constant and cumulative in action until its power is sufficient to overmaster all impediments, and to accomplish the full measure of its demands. For many a year I have been impelled toward the Lord s tropic gardens of the South. Many influences have tended to blunt or bury this constant longing, but it has out lived and overpowered them all."

Muir s love of nature was so largely a part of his religion that he naturally chose Biblical phraseology when he sought a vehicle for his feelings. No prophet of old could have taken his call more seriously, or have entered upon his mission more freyently. During the long days of his confinement in a dark room he had opportunity for much reflection. He concluded that life was too brief and uncertain, and time too precious, to waste upon belts and saws ; that while he was pottering in a wagon factory, God was making a world ; and he determined that, if his eyesight was spared, he would devote the remainder of his life to a study of the process. Thus the previous bent of his habits and studies, and the sobering thoughts induced by one of the bitterest experiences of his life, combined to send him on the long journey recorded in these pages.

Some autobiographical notes found among his papers furnish interesting additional details about the period between his release from the dark room and his departure for the South. "As soon as I got out into heaven s light," he says, "I started on another long excursion, making haste with all my heart to store my mind with the Lord s beauty, and thus be ready for any fate, light or dark. And it was from this time that my long, continuous wanderings may be said to have fairly commenced. I bade adieu to mechanical inventions, determined to devote the rest of my life to the study of the inventions of God. I first went home to Wisconsin, botanizing by the way, to take leave of my father and mother, brothers and sisters, all of whom were still living near Portage. I also visited the neighbors I had known as a boy, renewed my acquaintance with them after an absence of several years, and bade each a formal good-bye. When they asked where I was going I said, Oh! I don t know just anywhere in the wilderness, southward. I have already had glorious glimpses of the Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Canada wildernesses; now I propose to go South and see something of the vegetation of the warm end of the country, and if possible to wander far enough into South America to see tropical vegetation in all its palmy glory.

"The neighbors wished me well, advised me to be careful of my health, and reminded me that the swamps in the South were full of malaria. I stopped overnight at the home of an old Scotch lady who had long been my friend and was now particularly motherly in good wishes and advice. I told her that as I was sauntering along the road, just as the sun was going down, I heard a darling speckled-breast sparrow singing, The day s done, the day s done/ Weel, John, my dear laddie, she replied, your day will never be done. There is no end to the kind of studies you like so well, but there s an end to mortals strength of body and mind, to all that mortals can accomplish.You are sure to go on and on, but I want you to remember the fate of Hugh Miller. She was one of the finest examples I ever knew of a kind, generous, great-hearted Scotchwoman."

The formal leave-taking from family and neighbors indicates his belief that he was parting from home and friends for a long time. On Sunday, the ist of September, 1867, Mr. Muir said good-bye also to his Indianapolis friends, and went by rail to Jeffersonville, where he spent the night. The next morning he crossed the river, walked through Louisville, and struck southward through the State of Kentucky. A letter written a week later "among the hills of Bear Creek, seven miles southeast of Burkesville, Kentucky," shows that he had covered about twenty-five miles a day. "I walked from Louisville," he says, "a distance of one hundred and seventy miles, and my feet are sore. But, oh! I am paid for all my toil a thousand times over. I am in the woods on a hilltop with my back against a moss-clad log.
I wish you could see my last evening s bedroom. The sun has been among the tree-tops for more than an hour; the dew is nearly all taken back, and the shade in these hill basins is creeping away into the unbroken strongholds of the grand old forests.

"I have enjoyed the trees and scenery of Kentucky exceedingly. How shall I ever tell of the miles and miles of beauty that have been flowing into me in such measure ? These lofty curving ranks of lobing, swelling hills, these concealed valleys of fathomless verdure, and these lordly trees with the nursing sunlight glancing in their leaves upon the outlines of the magnificent masses of shade embosomed among their wide branches these are cut into my memory to go with me forever.

"I was a few miles south of Louisville when I planned my journey. I spread out my map under a tree and made up my mind to go through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia to Florida, thence to Cuba, thence to some part of South America; but it will be only a hasty walk. I am thankful, however, for so much. My route will be through Kingston and Madisonville, Tennessee, and through Blairsville and Gainesville, Georgia. Please write me at Gainesville. I am terribly letter-hungry. I hardly dare to think of home and friends."

In editing the journal I have endeavored, by use of all the available evidence, to trail Mr. Muir as closely as possible on maps of the sixties as well as on the most recent state and topographical maps. The one used by him has not been found, and probably is no longer in exist ence. Only about twenty-two towns and cities are mentioned in his journal. This constitutes a very small number when one considers the distance he covered. Evidently he was so absorbed in the plant life of the region traversed that he paid no heed to towns, and perhaps avoided them wherever possible.

The sickness which overtook him in Florida was probably of a malarial kind, although he describes it under different names. It was, no doubt, a misfortune in itself, and a severe test for his vigorous constitution. But it was also a blessing in disguise, inasmuch as it prevented him from carrying out his foolhardy plan of penetrating the tropical jungles of South America along the Andes to a tributary of the Amazon, and then floating down the river on a raft to the Atlantic. As readers of the jour nal will perceive, he clung to this intention even during his convalescence at Cedar Keys and in Cuba. In a letter dated the 8th of November he describes himself as "just creeping about getting plants and strength after my fever."
Then he asks his correspondent to direct let ters to New Orleans, Louisiana. " I shall have to go there," he writes, "for a boat to South America. I do not yet know to which point in South America I had better go." His hope to find there a boat for South America explains an otherwise mystifying letter in which he requested his brother David to send him a certain sum of money by American Express order to New Orleans. As a matter of fact he did not go into Louisiana at all, either because he learned that no south-bound ship was available at the mouth of the Mississippi, or because the unexpected appearance of the Island Belle in the harbor of Cedar Keys caused him to change his plans.

In later years Mr. Muir himself strongly disparaged the wisdom of his plans with respect to South America, as may be seen in the chapter that deals with his Cuban sojourn. The judgment there expressed was lead-penciled into his journal during a reading of it long after wards. Nevertheless the Andes and the South American forests continued to fascinate his imagination, as his letters show, for many years after he came to California. When the long deferred journey to South America was finally made in 1911, forty-four years after the first attempt, he whimsically spoke of it as the fulfillment of those youthful dreams that moved him to undertake his thousand-mile walk to the Gulf.

Mr. Muir always recalled with gratitude the Florida friends who nursed him through his long and serious illness. In 1898, while traveling through the South on a forest-inspection tour with his friend Charles Sprague Sargent, he took occasion to revisit the scenes of his early adventures. It may be of interest to quote some sentences from letters written at that time to his wife and to his sister Sarah. "I have been down the east side of the Florida peninsula along the Indian River," he writes, "through the palm and pine forests to Miami, and thence to Key West and the southmost keys stretching out towards Cuba. Returning, I crossed over to the west coast by Palatka to Cedar Keys, on my old track made thirty-one years ago, in search of the Hodgsons who nursed me through my long attack of fever. Mr. Hodgson died long ago, also the eldest son, with whom I used to go boating among the keys while slowly convalescing."

He then tells how he found Mrs. Hodgson and the rest of the family at Archer. They had long thought him dead and were naturally very much surprised to see him. Mrs. Hodgson was in her garden and he recognized her, though the years had altered her appearance. Let us give his own account of the meeting: "I asked her if she knew me. No, I don t/ she said; tell me your name. Muir, I replied. John Muir? My California John Muir? she almost screamed. I said, Yes, John Muir; and you know I promised to return and visit you in about twenty-five years, and though I am a little late six or seven years I ve done the best I could/ The eldest boy and girl remembered the stories I told them, and when they read about the Muir Glacier they felt sure it must have been named for me. I stopped at Archer about four hours, and the way we talked over old times you may imagine." From Savannah, on the same trip, he wrote: "Here is where I spent a hungry, weary, yet happy week camping in Bonaventure graveyard thirty-one years ago. Many changes, I am told, have been made in its graves and avenues of late, and how many in my life!"

In perusing this journal the reader will miss the literary finish which Mr. Muir was accustomed to give to his later writings. This fact calls for no excuse. Not only are we dealing here with the earliest product of his pen, but with impressions and observations written down hastily during pauses in his long march. He apparently intended to use this raw material at some time for another book. If the record, as it stands, lacks finish and adornment, it also possesses the immediacy and the freshness of first impressions.

The sources which I have used in preparing this volume are threefold: (i) the original journal, of which the first half contained many interlinear revisions and expansions, and a considerable number of rough pencil sketches of plants, trees, scenery, and notable adventures; a wide-spaced, typewritten, rough copy of the journal, apparently in large part dictated to a stenographer; it is only slightly revised, and comparison with the original journal shows many significant omissions and additions; two separate elaborations of his experiences in Savannah when he camped there for a week in the Bonaventure graveyard. Throughout my work upon the primary and secondary materials I was impressed with the scrupu lous fidelity with which he adhered to the facts and impressions set down in the original journal.

Readers of Muir s writings need scarcely be told that this book, autobiographically, bridges the period between The Story of my Boyhood and Youth and My First Summer in the Sierra.
However, one span of the bridge was lacking, for the journal ends with Mr. Muir s arrival in San Francisco about the first of April, 1868, while his first summer in the Sierra was that of 1869. By excerpting from a letter a summary account of his first visit to Yosemite, and including a description of Twenty Hill Hollow, where he spent a large part of his first year in California, the connection is made complete.
The last chapter was first published as an article in the Overland Monthly of July, 1872.

 

Pseudonimo: -

Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Scozzese

Nascita-morte: 1838–1914

Riferimento geografico: Nord America

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

Riferimenti complementari: Muir, John, and William Frederic Badè. 1916. A thousand-mile walk to the Gulf. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

ID: w2853

Internethttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q379580

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Giro della Francia di una globetrotter "mutilata".

 

Pseudonimo: -

Iscrizioni: Tour de France d'une petite martyre de guerre

Nazionalità: Francese

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Francia

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

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ID: w1861

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Simon Allix è un reporter francese partito per fare un giro del mondo a bordo della Queen Elisabeth. Nel 2012, durante il viaggio di 107 giorni ha realizzato una serie di documentari trasmessi dal canale Voyage.

 

Pseudonimo: -

Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Francese

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Giro del mondo

Mezzo di trasporto: Barca, nave

Riferimenti complementari: -

ID: w1637

Internet: www.simonallix.com

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q22917129

 

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David Baird ha attraversato a piedi l'Australia spingendo una cariola per 4'115 km. Lo scopo dell'impresa era di raccogliere fondi per la ricerca contro il cancro. Per completare il tragitto ha impiegato 112 giorni ed ha raccolto circa 20'000 dollari.

British man runs 2557 miles across Australia... with a wheelbarrow
A 65-year-old British man has almost completed an epic 2557 mile run across Australia, while pushing a wheelbarrow.

David Baird, from Western Super Mare in Somerset, set out from Perth on September 21 and will finally reach the Pacific Ocean at Manly Beach on Saturday January 17.

When he crosses the finish line he will have run the equivalent of one hundred full marathons in just 112 days.

During the charity run well-wishers threw more than £9,145 ($20,000) into the barrow.

And Mr Baird said that while he has not suffered a single puncture, his feet have not fared so well.

He said: "All my adult life my feet have been a size ten but within three weeks my feet had spread out and I had to change to an eleven.

"Two weeks later I needed a twelve. My feet feel huge. I'm convinced my arms have got longer too".

Mr Baird has been running most of the way into a head wind and in temperatures of up to 46 degrees.

Eating mostly fruit and vegetables he has lost more than a stone (7kg) in weight.

Now he is looking forward to finishing the run and dipping his feet into The Pacific Ocean. But he will not be taking much time off.

He said: "I'll probably get up on Sunday and go for a run without the barrow which will feel fantastic I'm sure"

Mr Baird, who emigrated to Australia and spent 21 years working in a coal-mine, got his idea for the wheelbarrow run from a race held near his home in Queensland.

Organised by locals, the 18km challenge is held as a reminder of the gem prospectors who flocked to the area in Australia's early years.

"Legend has it that one prospector arrived in town with nothing other than the pick and the wheelbarrow he was pushing," Mr Baird said.

"Over the course of several years he made his fortune and then drank and gambled it all away until eventually he was seen leaving town carrying exactly all he's arrived with."

Mr Baird has been raising money for Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer charities.

The Telegraph, 13 jan 2009

Pseudonimo: -

Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: Australiana

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Australia

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi con cariola

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ID: w1672

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Il 18 settembre 1983 George Meegan stabilì il primato sulla tratta che collega Ushuaia, in Sud America, a Prudhoe Bay, in Alaska. Percorse a piedi l'autostrada pan-america per un totale di 19’019 miglia (30’431 km) in 2’426 giorni, dal 26 gennaio 1977 al 18 settembre 1983.

(Ollie Smith, www.expertsure.com)

 

George Meegan is an adventurer, lecturer and world traveler.  He holds the most official world’s records (8) of any European (including the Longest Unbroken March of All Time) earned from his epic walk from Tierra Del Fuego, South America to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska; 19,019 miles in 2,425 days from 1977 to 1983. Later he completed his walk to Barrow in 2000.
https://georgemeegan.wordpress.com/about/

 

Pseudonimo: -

Iscrizioni: -

Nazionalità: -

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: America del Nord, America centrale, America del Sud

Mezzo di trasporto: A piedi

Riferimenti complementari: -

ID: w2272

Internet: http://georgemeegan.wordpress.com/about/

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q5542381

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Uno dei quattro "Overland Westerners": tra il 1912 e il 1915 cavalcò in tutte le 48 capitali di stato degli Stati Uniti. In totale il gruppo percorse 20'352 miglia. Per finanziare il viaggio fecero delle apparizioni pubbliche nelle città.

 

Pseudonimo: Overland Westerners

Iscrizioni: First to ride horseback to all fifty states. George and his horse, Pinto, made their historic ride in 1912. They ended their ride in San Francisco, expecting a hero's welcome. Instead, they were hardly noticed. They both died tragic deaths without fame or fortune.

Nazionalità: -

Nascita-morte: -

Riferimento geografico: Stati Uniti

Mezzo di trasporto: A cavallo

Riferimenti complementari: -

ID: w1696

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