Karl Bushby & The Goliath Expedition

In an attempt to complete the longest unbroken journey by foot, Karl Bushby is off on a 58,000 km journey via four continents. He is walking from the southernmost tip of South America to his hometown in England. Started in 1998, this is the Goliath Expedition.

Who is Karl Bushby?

Born on 30th March 1969 in Hull, England, Karl Bushby is a British ex-paratrooper, adventurer and author. He joined the British Army at the age of 16 and served with 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment for 11 years. 

What’s Unique About This Expedition?

Karl Bushby
What makes this expedition special is that Karl is completing the entire journey on foot with no other transport means, even across acquatic portions.

The Goliath Expedition

Goliath Expedition
Founded by Karl Bushby, the Goliath Expedition is his attempt to walk around the world with unbroken footsteps. From Punta Arenas, Chile to his home in Hull, England, a distance of almost 58,000 km in eight years. Due to many challenges, the expedition has not yet completed and is expected to be sealed off a little after 2019.

The Journey

Bushby started his journey on 1st November 1998 and walked over 27,000 km by 2006, covering South, Central and North America. It took Karl seven years to walk from Chile to the tip of Alaska, which included crossing the Darien Gap. Darien Gap is a 106 km long stretch of Guerrilla-riddled jungle that separates Panama from Columbia. Instead of carrying the gears and equipment on the shoulders, he pulled all that he needed a small throughout the journey. Upon reaching Fairbanks, Alaska, he used dog sledges trails for over three thousand kilometres. 

2007 - The Encounter Of A Friend
In March 2007, he was accompanied by a French adventurer Dimitri Kieffer, and together, they crossed the Bering Strait on foot. Even after many attempts, no one had ever walked across the BeringStrait from Alaska to Siberia. The Bering Strait never freezes as a solid sheet of ice as the strong current breaks the ice apart. The walk involved swimming between the two chunks of ice and a lot of luck to push the ice in the right direction through the sea currents. Even with such extreme challenges, both made it to the shores of Siberia, becoming the first-ever to do so by foot. Though not long after arriving on the Russian territory, they both were arrested for not entering through the authorised port-of-entry to the country and then deported. After years of struggling with the Russian bureaucracy, they obtained the required permission from the authorities and began preparing for the second half of his Goliath Expedition.

Between 2008 to 2010, Karl spent his time in Mexico for cost reasons as he was unable to travel to Russia. Both these globetrotter has issues with the visa approval and financial crisi. After securing a new sponsor in 2010, he began his journey across Russia in the spring of 2011, but then the visa was again denied for 2012. He was also later banned from re-entering Russia for five years. Thus, Bushby then walked over 4,800 km from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. to reach the Russian Embassy. But by the end of the adventure, his ban was overturned and granted a letter of invitation from the Russian government in 2014 at the embassy marking the end of his year-long journey. Karl Bushby then crossed the Russia-Mongolia border in 2017 and was in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in August of 2017. By early June 2019, he crossed Uzbekistan. 

The Planning

Kurl Bushby
The route was divided into eight stages and phases and last legs. Food and other basic supplies were acquired en route through town and villages. All the belongings were carried in a wheeled carriage, named as the Beast. The Expedition encountered every environment and condition the planet had to offer till date. But the focus was on the three main "gaps" and much-needed intense planning; The Darien Gap, the Bering Strait and the English channel.

This post was published by Mugdha Songire

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