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Author Topic: Walk from America to Africa via. Ireland?  (Read 1668 times)


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    • Jon Patterson Outdoors

Not far from where I live - deep in the hills of western Massachusetts - runs the famous Appalachian Trail, the 2175-mile (3500km) walking trail, getting on for a century old, and of which American east-coasters are understandably proud.

And now there are plans to extend the track.  I meet the planners of this new "international" AT - most of them geologists - at a gathering beside an ice-cold lake in northern Maine.  Their plans are nothing if not ambitious.  They want to take the trail not just over the Canadian border and into Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and up to the tip of Newfoundland.  They also want it to go all around the North Atlantic Ocean.  They insist it makes good geological sense.  The forces that threw up the Appalachian chain 350 million years ago also formed mountains across North Africa, back when there was no Atlantic Ocean, when the continents were all one - the Pangaea supercontinent - and they were linked together.  So why not link them up again, by extending the walking trail and persuade people with strong thighs and a very great deal of time on their hands to stroll all the way from Georgia to the Atlas Mountains, north of the Sahara?

Greenland has said it will cut a short trail across its ice-free southern tip. Iceland too, and the Faroe Islands.  There has been a communication from the people who administer the West Highland Way in Scotland to say they will probably get on board, agreeing to mark their trail with the little green AT triangles that are so familiar to us here, and painting white or blue markers, known as blazes, on trees (the origin of the phrase "blazing a trail").  The Isle of Man walking community is saying they want a piece of the action. In Ireland, walkers are full of enthusiasm.  In western France, and in Galicia - where there's already a famous walk to Santiago de Compostela - and down in the cork forest of southern Spain, there is interest.  And from there it is just a short hop across to Africa, and the hills of Morocco. The Berbers have been very accommodating, say the people in Maine, and especially the geologists in Casablanca.

Full story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8828574.stm

Would be awesome if they managed to forge a trail from the north coast to the south coast of Ireland!  I'm sure its too much to hope for though...

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