Starting " the longest solo and unassisted walk"

Mongolia 2010 Expedition

Well now, this is a sort of farewell. Not a permanent parting but long absence at least. An au revoir more than an adieu but a valediction all the same. 
This morning there were 13 days, several hours, a few minutes and couple of seconds until my boots kiss the Mongolia Steppe and most of my connections with the outside world, for brief periods of time will fall mute. I will walk and give it more than I have ever given any mission in my life, until the end of June.

Some people can work with ease in whatever environment they find themselves. In an office, on a bus, in their home, a steamy-windowed café or on a tropical beach. Some don't mind noise, distraction or a broken up day. 
I, unhappily, am not made of this material. I need peace, absolute peace, an empty landscape and zero comforts. I enter a kind of walking arena, an eremitical seclusion in which there is just me, my trailer named Molly Brown, and robust boots, which I hope were made for walking, all in a country so vast you could fit one third Europe within its borders and still have room for a table and four chairs. 
I would have added whisky as a constant and necessary companion, but that's not going to help my walking direction. Wandering around like a hairy faced and rather smelly lunatic in the middle of the Steppe, Gobi or Altai - (if I made it that far on 40% proof) - while hauling 250kg of supplies and 3 pairs of thin and cheap looking skiddies may raise a few red flags.

I have a single appointment and that's to complete this walk and every obstacle and challenge that presents itself in to my daily routine over the coming hours, days and weeks. I would like to say that I shall be as wiped from the map of human existence but my SPOT Satellite Messenger will see to is that my location is marked. This is how it must be.

All this is a way of saying; of course, that my twitter, facebook and LinkedIn stream will be bulging with rich blogs, brief sentences, thoughts and images from my walk. I am not so sunk in false modesty as to be unaware that there are loyal followers who will emit long, loud wails of "Yaaaaaaaah!" and who will feel elated and overwhelmed. 
They will understand that this is a) imperative and b) temporary. I shall return.

And what of this expedition? Six years ago I thought of picking up my old adventurous spirit and walking across some dusty plain wearing a tagelmust. It's been a while since I last left the comforts of home to immerse myself in a number of mental and physical hardships. 
It is all essentially a memoir of childhood and. The Mongolia 2010 Expedition book I have begun to write will follow on from this. Whether it will be chronological or thematic, first person or third I have no idea. That is the adventure, if I can call it such, that lies before me. The loneliness of a solo expedition, or of my kind of walking at least, is absolute. Whether my reclusive isolation will be painful or glorious remains to be seen.

I look forward to the day when I will be able to be back amongst you all and share my epic story in words and pictures and film. 
The next blog will be from Mongolia. A land with a rich culture, deep history and diverse environment that will feel my footsteps and Molly's tire's sink her tread in to her surface for some time.

See you at the other end.

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