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The Land Beyond


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Table of Contents

Map of the Author's Route through West Bank, Jordan and Sinai Part I The Centre of all the World Part II East of the Jordan Part III The Path to the Sacred Summit Acknowledgements Trail Companions Information on the Trails Glossary

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There are many reasons why it might seem unwise to walk, mostly alone, through the Middle East. That, in part, is exactly why Leon McCarron did it.

About the Author

Leon McCarron is a writer, broadcaster and adventurer from Northern Ireland. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Abraham Path Initiative, and an Explorer ambassador for The North Face. He was a recipient of the 2017 Neville Shulman Award and in the last decade has travelled over 35,000 miles by human-power. Leon has walked a 1000-mile loop of the Holy Land, crossed 3000 miles of China from north to south on foot, and led human-powered projects in Kosovo, Armenia and on the Yemeni island of Socotra. He has cycled from New York to Hong Kong, walked through the largest sand desert on earth, kayaked the longest river in Iran, and ridden across Patagonia on horseback. In 2019 he led an effort to design a long-distance hiking trail in central China, and he is currently working on a similar endeavour in Iraqi Kurdistan. He has presented a one-hour documentary for the BBC on the legacy of the explorer Lord Dufferin and reported for Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent from the West Bank, Iraq, and Socotra. He has also made a four-part series Walking Home From Mongolia for National Geographic, presented an episode of the Real Stories strand about the Israelite Samaritans and produced four independent feature films, including the Banff Film Festival Finalist Into The Empty Quarter. He has bylines for National Geographic, New Scientist, BBC, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Telegraph, amongst others. Leon is the also author of The Road Headed West: A Cycling Adventure Through North America.


"It sounds like a fascinating journey, in Jordan visiting the Hellenic citadels and trekking through Wadi Rum, then tackling the vast deserts of Sinai. Through the conversations and encounters he has along the way, he discovers more about the region's rich history, uncertain present, and its myriad faiths and people."

-- (10/02/2017)

"Enlightening, engaging and a must read for anyone interested in this area of the world."

--Fiona Richards, Timeless Travels Magazine, October 2017

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