40 days & 40 nights in the holy land: a 1000 mile walk through Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

Part two: Israel


~900 miles


4 weeks

Elevation Gain

31,000 metres


February – March 2022

In winter 2023 I walked across Jordan, Israel, Palestine and the illegally occupied Syrian territory of the Golan Heights. I made up my own route along with following the Jordan Trail, Israel National Trail and Golan Trail. It ended up being about 1000 miles of desert ramble, including 30,000m of ascent, which I completed in just over a month. I didn’t cache any water along the way, as pretty much everyone else says you absolutely have to do. It’s possible to do this without caching if you plan meticulously and can cover a decent amount of ground each day.

The following texts are taken directly from my Instagram posts I made along the way, so might not appear that coherent when read on this site.

“Tanks a lot”

Walk, Eat, Sleep. Repeat. Doing some pretty long days this week now I’m on an actual hiking trail (including other hikers, forgot what an annoying breed we are!) up to 70km a day through the Naqab desert, sometimes far into the moonlit night. So no time for any witty anecdotes or hilarious japes this time. It’s beautifully windswept and remote, with the odd tank thrown in. Route has taken me from the Egyptian border (the 245km, $450 million barrier that Donald Trump cited as inspiration for his Mexico-US wall dream) through the mountains towards the Dead Sea where I will be hiking -400m below sea level in a few days.

“Dead Sea Blues”

1100km and 27 days later later I’ve made it to Jerusalem, arguably one of the most fought over, historically significant and most complicated cities on earth. I’ve crossed incredible desert craters, canyons, oases, trailed behind herds of ibex, slept under the stars on the cracked old seabed of the Dead Sea, crunched over it’s salty shores, weathered an immense two day storm and saw the sun rise from across the Jordan Valley from the Roman fortification of Masada. Despite how incredibly beautiful, geographically fascinating and magical the latest leg of my journey here has been, it’s all been tinged with an underlying feeling of unease and sorrow. It’s impossible to escape reminders of the politics that define this land. Even in the most remote sections of the desert, with five days between food resupply points and 60km between water sources, one is never far away from the roar of a military aircraft, an uncleared minefield, firing area or a tangle of razor wire and fences, a stark reminder of why things are like they are today. Coming from the mountains of Jordan, which even in the most desolate and arid places I encountered many Bedouin camps, shepherds and farmers, all working and living of the land as they have for millennia, it was quite chilling the absence of people at all in the Israeli desert.

I’m currently in Palestine and seeing for myself the horror of the reality that people face here on a daily basis. Whatever your political and religious beliefs are, it’s impossible to deny that this is seriously fucked up. A crude summary but all I can muster at this stage. I will stay here for up to a week, and am lucky enough to have a family member, an expert in human rights, to guide me and I will continue to walk, learn and try and get my head around this whole thing as best as the limited capabilities of my small brain allow.

Continued in Part 3