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Out of Eden Walk: Catching up with Paul Salopek

Keeping track of days in the dust: journalist Paul Salopek is verging on a month into his "Out of Eden" walk. He is spending seven years walking across the world; he started in Ethiopia. (Paul Salopek/Twitter)

Back in December we brought you the story of Paul Salopek, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who has decided to spend the next seven years walking across the world in an attempt to tell better stories.

Salopek is now well into his walk, and he has a number of interesting updates on Twitter, on his National Geographic blog, and on the website for the project, called the "Out of Eden" walk. Actually, despite trekking across some pretty parched and barren parts of Ethiopia, he has so many updates it's a bit hard to keep track.

Right now he is travelling by camel, which he apparently rented at Wal-Mart:


He has a post about the joys of camels, and a few more that get at the weirdness of what he is doing: one about how his camel-driver doesn't really know how to rig the beasts up anymore, and another about how their camel-borne troupe hit a highway and then some industrial agriculture and got lost. Salopek is insistent that he's not trying to recreate some pre-modern mode of existence -- he's trying to gain insights on modern life by experiencing it in a very ancient way. 

There's another great post that gets at this confusing modern/ancient world that Salopek has created for himself. He talks about finding a busy cellphone-charging outpost in the middle of the desert, where Afar pastoralists line up to boot up their electronics. Salopek is himself travelling with a bunch of gear that allows him to upload semi-regular updates.

Stay tuned for on Salopek, or follow his journey online yourself at the links above.

Kate Allen is the Star's science and technology reporter. Find her online at @katecallen.




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