Extrordinary teenager Zeki Basan has followed in the footsteps of John Muir – and created a superb short film about the wild places he found along the John Muir Way.
Zeki, 16, from Speyside, walked and cycled the 134 miles of the John Muir Way – which stretches from Helensburgh in the west to Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar on the – documenting his experience in a short film to inspire others to make the journey and embrace the natural environment around them.
See the 22-minute film, The Wild Along the Way.
Zeki’s John Muir Way journey
Zeki raised £1,500 to undertake the challenge and was awarded funding from the Central Scotland Green Network, which developed the idea behind the route, as well as a Bill Wallace Grant, in order to complete the project.
The Wild Along the Way is the second in a trilogy of documentaries Zeki is producing on John Muir, following his first 10-minute piece on the Scots-born naturalist, In the Spirit of John Muir, which he created in 2015 during a visit to Yosemite National Park in California.
Zeki Basan explained his motivation for the film. He said: “John Muir was a pioneering conservationist, happiest in wild places where he was rich in life and with a passion for observing every detail of wilderness and wildlife.
“By documenting the John Muir Way in the second film in my John Muir trilogy, I hoped to explore his respect for the environment and bring it into the consciousness of my generation, capturing their imagination and inspiring an appreciation of the world around us.
“The experience was incredibly rewarding as I had the opportunity to explore different parts of Scotland and I was surprised at how much wild there was in urban areas. I loved how flexible the JMW is as you can walk, cycle, or even ride a horse along it and you can deviate to find quiet beaches or hilltop views.
“I would definitely recommend it as you get a real flavour of Scottish culture and history in one journey and I think John Muir would have been delighted with it.”
- In 2015, Zeki was the winner of Fort William Mountain Festival’s first youth award. See my blog.