National Geographic : 2013 Dec
46 national geographic • december 2013 tight, jiggles loosely along my finger.) It is learn- ing to read landscape with your whole body, your skin, not merely your eyes—sensing camel fodder in a thorn scratch, the coming dust in the smell of the wind, and of course, precious water in the fold of the land: a limbic memory of great power. It is watching the eternity of Africa slip by at a walking pace, and coming to realize dimly that, even at three miles an hour, you are still moving too fast. It is the journey shared. Mohamed Aidahis: a powerful ant-stomping gait. Kader Yarri: the marionette looseness of a skinny man’s step. Mohamed Elema: the spring- loaded step of a square dancer. On our best days we four ramblers recognize our immense good luck. We ricochet down steep mountain trails, al- most running, with the desert of Ethiopia shining at our feet. We bounce our voices off the walls of black-rock canyons in whooping contests. Then we catch each other’s eye, three Afars and a man from the opposite longitude of the Earth, and grin like children. The cameleers catch the spark, and sing. What is it like to walk through the world? To experience Paul’s walk and post your comments, visit outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com. follow his dispatches on Twitter: @outofedenwalk.