Around 60,000 years ago, humans migrated out of Africa. They moved to the rest of the world. Salopek is following their path.

Sole Brothers

Rift Valley, Ethiopia

January 31, 2013

Salopek will take millions of steps on his trip. So, his footwear is pretty important.

In some places, people wear different kinds of shoes. This is not true in Ethiopia. Most people there wear sandals. They look the same. They don’t cost very much.

We are walking. There are footprints everywhere. All the footprints were made by the same kinds of shoes. Yet, our guide can read the footprints. He points to one. He says that his friend will be waiting for us in the next town. And he was!

Many Ethiopians wear the same style of shoe, made from plastic.

Awad’s Refrigerator

Umlajj, Saudi Arabia

October 30, 2013

Salopek and his guides carry everything they need. That includes carrying water.

When walking through a desert, it’s important to bring water. It’s nice when the water is cool.

Awad Omran is my camel handler. He has a special way to carry water. He keeps it cool, too. He made a special bottle. He used cardboard and other junk. He wraps the bottle with cardboard and sack material. The bottle starts to sweat in the heat. The wetted cardboard helps keep the water cool.

Awad keeps water cool with a canteen made with sack material, cardboard, plastic twine, and a plastic water bottle.

My Mule

Near Siverek, Turkey

December 11, 2014

Salopek does not walk alone. Pack animals carry his supplies. Here, he writes about his mule.

It doesn’t matter what you call a mule . A mule won’t answer to it. Each of my walking partners has called our mule by a different name. One guide called her Barbara. Another called her Sweetie. My photographer calls her Snowflake.

I call her Kirkatir. It is a Turkish name. It means “grey mule.” But she is like all mules. She answers to no label. She comes when she feels like it. She does what she pleases. Thankfully, that includes carrying our supplies.

Paul Salopek and his mule in Turkey.

Walking Grass

Near Khurramabad, Pakistan

January 02, 2018

Along his travels, Salopek sees many people. Here, he meets some farmers carrying hay.

The mountains here are cold and dry. In the summer, melting snow flows over roads and villages. In fall, pastures become dry again. Soon farmers will cut hay.

I meet an older couple. They are cutting hay in their fields. The wife is very short. She is also very strong. She carries a load of hay. It is heavy. She does not complain.

A farmer carries heavy hay to his home.