x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Modern-day adventurer prepares for barefoot trek from Gulf to ocean

Mikael Strandberg will adopt traditional Bedouin dress and habits, which include walking barefoot, as he treks from the Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean on a journey meant to forge greater understanding between East and West.

Ibn Battuta and Wilfred Thesiger may be two of the most celebrated explorers to have trekked across deserts, but Mikael Strandberg is about to add his footprint to the desert legacy - literally.

Mr Strandberg will adopt traditional Bedouin dress and habits, which include walking barefoot, as he treks from the Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean on a journey meant to forge greater understanding between East and West. Joined by two Omani companions, he will travel through conflict-ridden territories such as Yemen, Algeria and Libya, covering 12,500km along the way.

In an age where images are available at the click of a button, the lessons of intrepid travellers such as Mr Strandberg retain their poignancy. His spirit of adventure is one that should be encouraged and cultivated, especially against the backdrop of countries such as the UAE that retain much of their natural wonder. A trip through the Empty Quarter, as he has suggested, will surely not disappoint.

As to how he will make it across the continent without shoes - well, Mr Strandberg remains optimistic about his fleet-footed cadre: "You just have to be on your toes a bit to see how things are going."