The Idiot and the Odyssey Buzz Extra

By Margaret Kemp

When American journalist Joel Stratte-McClure decides to walk around the Mediterranean Sea, it's an awfully big adventure. “Unreasonable to think anyone can achieve Nirvana until they’ve walked at least 5000kms!” he insists. “When my wife ran off with a night-club bouncer I was devastated”, he admits.

Stratte-McCLure, lived in France for over two decades, travelled the world as an IHT and Time Special Correspondent.

“Walking the Mediterranean” kicks off in Antibes and, throughout his ten- year hike-athon, his aim was to keep as close to the sea as possible, sometimes with terrifying results.

With a copy of Homer's Odyssey in his backpack, Stratte-McClure reflects on life, divorce, Buddhism, coming to terms with his alcoholism, the art of trekking, meeting a collection of weird, wonderful people on his path around the “mad Med”.

Reaching a naturist resort he wonders where to put his pedometer and notes.”The German campers have parked their RV’s in a circle, just like the wagon trains in the old west, and seem prepared for an attack”. No rookie sportsman, JSM is super fit, swam for Antibes, plays championship tennis and has trekked extensively in the Himalayas.

The goal is the path, the path, the goal. “And if you wind up at some of the places I’ve mentioned, and I think everyone should stay in a monastery, drop into a nudist camp and sleep on the beach, you won’t regret it”. “A beautiful accomplishment takes a long time, ultimately involving lifelong considerations”. He quotes Deng Ming-Dao, Chronicles of Tao.

Stay with the author, from the comfort and safety of your arm-chair, as he explores the coast, countryside, regional cultures, as well as his own mind.

The Idiot has a hiking addendum listing one-day to one-week hikes/walks such as: The 2-day St. Tropez Seascape Stroll and France-Monaco-Italy: Three Countries in one day.

The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean

By Joel Stratte-McClure

Fast thinking Books in the US.




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