Out of Eden
Out of Eden

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Paul Salopek/Out of Eden

Two More Milestones as Salopek Crosses Bandit Country

Date: February 18, 2019
Approximate GPS Location: (25.35°N, 80.87°E)

Salopek has been making his way across the Chambal, a hilly area that covers parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. The region is crisscrossed with rivers and is infamously the home of India's much-feared bandits, know as the dacoits.

Salopek had been told stories of thugs and highwaymen who would prey on the unwary. One particularly gruesome story recounted how they would kidnap rich people and then use their freshly severed fingers or ears to persuade relatives to pay a hefty ransom. Fortunately, he found the region to be most hospitable and was able to keep hold of all his appendages. Locals proved friendly and the former dacoits were keen to explain that they were fighting for their rights, not just for gain.

Two more milestones came and went as he crossed the Chambal, numbers 61 and 62 of his long journey from Ethiopia. Salopek has now covered 6,100 miles on foot in 2116 days. He is currently near to the village of Saipur in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

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