Magazine article Geographical

Crossing the Empty Quarter: In the Footsteps of Bertram Thomas

Magazine article Geographical

Crossing the Empty Quarter: In the Footsteps of Bertram Thomas

Article excerpt

CROSSING THE EMPTY QUARTER: In the Footsteps of Bertram Thomas

by Mark Evans; Gilgamesh Publishing; 25 [pounds sterling] (hardback)

Mark Evans is a geography teacher, curious and adventurous, with many expeditions in his rucksack of life. Based in the Middle East for 20 years, he heads Outward Bound Oman, creating opportunities for young people from different cultures to experience the enormity and magnificence of the Arabian desert landscape. And it was here an ambitious journey was born--crossing the Empty Quarter, 'the biggest sand desert on Earth, stretching across Saudi Arabia into Oman, Yemen and UAE--and largely unchanged for some 20,000 years'.

Evans is a natural story teller. Those attending his lecture at the RGS-IBG were mesmerised by the tale of Bertram Thomas, the first European to cross Arabia's vast Rub al Khali in 1931 and Evan's bid to retrace his steps some 85 years later. In his book, Evans has brought to life, with facts and wit, his team's 49 days and nights, on foot and camel, from Salalah in south Oman northwards for 1,300km through Saudi Arabia to Doha in Qatar. …

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