Jong-yul of the Desert

Outside magazine, September 1996


Jong-yul of the Desert


On Thursday, June 6--seven months, seven pairs of shoes, and innumerable sandstorms after leaving Nouakchott, Mauritania--38-year-old South Korean Choi Jong-yul strolled into Suakin, a Sudanese port on the Red Sea, to become the first person ever to walk the entire 4,500-mile width of the Sahara, albeit with constant resupply. His first impression upon rejoining civilization? "After walking the ultimate silence," he says, "I am disturbed by all the noise."

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