Jono Walter founded aerial adventure company Flying Fox in 2007 with Dickie McCallum, with the idea of settling down after half a lifetime of getting himself into trouble up mountains, down white-water rivers and inside jungles. After studying comparative religions at Cambridge, Jono headed into the Gurkhas, an elite group of ruthless Nepalese fighters within the British Army. Except he managed to avoid any fighting and spent most of his time leading adventure training expeditions (known in the Army as “jollies”).
After leaving the Gurkhas, Jono – typically – went in search of war zones, but without any Gurkhas to cover his back. Three months of hitchhiking through Pakistan and Afghanistan led to the publication, with Edward Girardet, of the Crosslines Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan – full of useful tips on how to extricate yourself from a Taliban checkpoint, where to find the carved edicts of Ashoka and which are the best bars for a night out in Kabul (no longer recommended). Best experience in Afghanistan: standing on the head of Bamiyan’s 180-foot high Big Buddha before he was blown up. Worst experience: walking into a minefield near the bombed-out Presidential Palace in Kabul.
After a spell of reporting on humanitarian crises for the International Red Cross, from the Kosovo war to the tsunami in south east Asia and the earthquakes in Kashmir, Jono settled happily in India with his wife Charlotte and various small creatures, including Delilah, Wilfred, Violet and Elsie the dog. He now divides his time between India, UK, Kenya and elsewhere in search of the next adventure.