8 MILLION STEPS



A solitary walk from Gibraltar to Istanbul, exploring the timeless
Mediterranean values and traditions that are in danger of extinction.

11 April 2024, Cazalla de la Sierra, Sevilla

Exactly ten years ago, I took the first step of the 8 Million Steps adventure. This website, updated and republished today, invites you to join me on the quixotic quest to explore the infinite dimensions and layers of the love of my life: the Mediterranean.

The plan was to walk 8,000 kilometres from Gibraltar to Istanbul, along the entire length of the Mediterranean coast, and make short films with the invaluable help of Maia (my daughter) and Basil (her husband), she a director and he a composer / soundman.

I have always been an ardent admirer of the Mediterranean culture, and I am horrified by the thought that it might be disappearing, losing out to the insidious advance of globalised consumerism. I believe that the Mediterranean is the emotional and spiritual heart of Europe, and the key objective of the 8 Million Steps project is to explore the tension between the traditional values and the pressures of modern living. Will the ancient civilisation adapt and evolve without losing its identity?

My long meander will be refreshingly unhurried, extolling back-to-our-roots virtues of slow living. Walking 20 kilometres per day on average, I will commence in La Linea de la Concepción in Southern Spain (underneath the Rock of Gibraltar) and then traverse France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey.

That was the idea...

However, given that I was 62 years old when I embarked on such an audacious project, it was hardly surprising that it all came to an abrupt end 2,000 kilometres later on the steep cliffs of Provence. 

I literally broke my back and, since then, I hobble along in various degrees of pain, but I am still producing work that I consider to be a continuum of 8 Million Steps. It’s not necessarily playing out the original script, I stray here and there but, as my partner Enrica once said, “Ulysses didn’t plan his odyssey, he just wanted to return home” (click on LATEST to see some of the more recent projects).

I may not be well, my spine is held together by bits and pieces of metal, but one day I'll finish my odyssey. Not on foot, but by trains, buses and boats... whatever it takes, I'll get to Istanbul!!!