Three Stripes South is written by Bex Band and tells the story of a 1000km trek that inspired a women’s adventure movement.
Like many people setting off for a long-distance journey, Bex describes her life until that point as rather dull and disappointing. Although happily married and in employment in the UK, she felt there was more she wanted to achieve and experience.
She was suddenly struck by the idea of hiking a 1000km trail through Israel, which also included a crossing of the inhospitable Negev desert.
She suggested this hike, which was far out of her comfort zone and experience to that point, to her husband, Gil, who is originally from Israel. Impressively, he agreed, especially as he was in a job and career that he found rewarding.
Ultimately they both gained hugely from the 52-day hike of the Israel National Trail, from Kibbutz Dan, near the Israel-Lebanon border, to Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba.
In particular, for Bex, the walk gave her time to think, learn about herself and gain self-confidence. It also led to her creating the UK’s largest women’s adventure community, Love her Wild, which is a non-profit CIC (Community Interest Company) after the trek.
The book is written with pace, but also with attention to the many details along the route. There are many interesting insights and fascinating facts, as well as numerous encounters with other hikers on the trail.
The account is also a thoughtful and honest narrative and relatable, especially if you have ever wondered if you might want to set off to do a long-distance walk, cycle or journey.
Few people have the opportunity – or think that is the case – to leave behind work, property, friends and family for an extended trip but Bex and Gik show it is possible. Although, you do need to have some guts in the first place.
At first I was a little disappointed this wasn’t a solo journey by a female but on reading the book, I enjoyed the communications and thought process between Bex and Gil.
If you are looking for a book to take you outside of your usual adventure zone, to a country you might not know about and with an easy-to-read storyline, I’d recommend it.