Extreme Rambling Travel is pleased to launch holidays along the Israeli Separation Barrier. Tours depart from the Tricycle Theatre in the company of your guide, Mark Thomas. Before setting out to walk the 723km route of the Wall (note: the border between Israel and the West Bank is 315km - expect a lot of detours around settlements and across school football pitches), we would ask you read the following to ensure you are adequately prepared.
This is a long walk. It will be hot. It will rain. It may even hail. You will get blisters. You will be stopped by the Israeli army. If you are British you will face constant hostility about Lord Balfour. If you can retain your sense of humour it will help you tell the story a year later, complete with killer punchlines and a lively gait that occasionally verges on interpretative dance.
Checkpoints are, to put it mildly, a pain in the arse. Plan to spend a lot of time waiting on the Palestinian side and to witness the daily petty, mindless control exercised by the Israeli Defence Force. Take the time to discover the many ways to cross the border without hassle / illegally, elegantly demonstrating why the Barrier will never fulfil its purpose of improving security.
You are going to need interpreters. Get in touch with local campaigners and team up with peace activists, former Israeli soldiers and ex-PLO fighters. You will also need influential friends to help when you make your daily fuck-up. Try to find an extremely well-connected Israeli woman who could single-handedly take you and your mate in a fight.
Caution: you may also finally discover a use for jugglers.
The Israeli army, like most armies, is pretty well armed. If you insist on rambling one of the most heavily fortified routes in the world, we recommend taking the piss out of / losing your patience with / doing something stupid around soldiers only if you are sick of checkpoints and want to cross by means of deportation, or have a ballsy Israeli contact to save your British backside (see above).
An open mind
You will meet both Israelis and Palestinians on your trip. Some of them will make you angry. Some of them will make you upset. Some of them will make you want to back away slowly, keeping your hands visible at all times. But whatever you think of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, this tour will tell you something you didn't already know and nudge you towards taking a fresh look at this generations-old conflict. And unlike most holidays, when you start ranting at your friends how they absolutely have to go (and you will), you might find them looking at you with interest rather than glazed boredom.
Take an onion
Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling - Walking the Wall is on at the Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, until 28th May, 7.45pm / matinees 4.30pm. Tickets cost £15 Sun-Thu, £18 Fri / Sat. The show lasts approx 2 hours plus interval. The book of Extreme Rambling is available from Amazon or your local independent bookshop. We saw this show for free on a press ticket.