If you want to hear about one of the most epic of foot treks, then you have to read about this guy. Christoph Rehage began to walk on November 9, 2007 and did not stop until nearly a year later in October 2008. He walked over 4500 kilometers or almost 3000 miles, transforming during the journey from a clean shaven appearance into caveman-like creature. Rehage embarked on the trip while he was studying in Beijing and was about to turn 26, when he was spurred by his strong sense for adventure and a passion for photography. Rehage, a German national, started his yearlong goal to walk from Beijing, all the way back home to Berlin.
Very, very long walks are not uncommon to Rehage, as for instance at the age of 22 he walked from Paris, France all the way to his hometown in Germany, a total distance of a staggering 800 kilometers. His ambitious walk from Beijing to Berlin would later be chronicled in the book The Longest Way.
While technically he was not able to complete the 4,600-kilometer journey strictly by foot, he nonetheless walked over an incredibly ridiculous distance. Rehage walked 2,900 miles from Beijing to Urumqi, traversing the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Gangsu along the way. Unfortunately, Border authorities forced him to prematurely terminate his foot adventure as he tried to cross from Xinjiang into Kazakhstan. Nevertheless, the epic adventure was still a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Rehage. While on foot he was able to soak in a more authentic China, and not just the oft publicized tourist destinations.
Rehage claims he was inspired to pursue his mega foot trip after coming across a 60-year-old man from Xinjiang who had decided to ride across China alone after his retiring. That same man told Rehage that the most fulfilling moments in life come from slaying fears and pursuing dreams. Rehage certainly took that advice to heart, as you will see in this remarkable time-lapse video, aptly called The Longest Way.