JEDDAH: Saudi adventurer Nayef Shukri completed an 800 km journey, taking around 4.6 million steps, from the south of Jeddah to the mountains of Abha on Tuesday.
Under the slogan “The Southern Steps,” it was his seventh successful trip on foot across Saudi Arabia.
The walk aimed to support Saudi tourism, highlighting the antiquities, heritage, and culture of the western and southern regions, as part of Vision 2030. It began on May 11, 2022 from Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports Complex south of Jeddah, and ended on June 15, with a big reception at the famous Abha Airport Park.
Speaking to Arab News upon his arrival, the Saudi adventurer said his journey took the path of the Hijaz Road.
He pointed out that he had so far walked over 3,000 km across his previous six trips, and said that his goals focused on inspiring interest in the Kingdom, promoting fitness, and promoting his country’s rich heritage.
He said: “This has been the longest adventure so far, bigger than I could ever have imagined. I’ve achieved part of my dream, to walk in the footsteps of history and discover modern Saudi Arabia.
“There were times when I wondered what I had let myself in for, but I have discovered so much about this incredible land. The people that live along my path on every trip I took were a true inspiration, and I feel very privileged to have been able to undertake it.
“I would love to discover the beauty of other parts of the Kingdom in my next adventures,” he added.
In a step that has pushed him to the very edge of his mental and physical limits, the 33-year-old Shukri had to spend much time living off his skills. He battled extreme temperatures in many places on the road, slept wherever he could, and often had to catch his own food.
Using his phone, Shukri uploaded videos and blogged about his trip to his followers every day.
The adventurer started his first trip from Makkah to Madinah, following in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad, and then took his second from Jeddah to NEOM on foot in 28 days.
His third trip from Makkah to Jeddah came in conjunction with the 91st National Day; then he traveled from Jeddah to AlUla on foot for 22 days to attend its cultural and artistic season.
Shukri says he is planning another adventure for 2022, but not before a well earned rest.