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Par Peter Lourie. 2011
Par Gina Gaille, Scott Gaille. 2019
Married couple share fifty stories of their own and others' unusual travel experiences around the world. In "Shark Repellent," a…tour guide recounts how a tourist drove off a charging lemon shark. In "Too Close for Comfort," Gina describes an encounter with mountain gorillas in Rwanda. 2019
Par Julie Lawson. 2001
Canada, 1897. Sixteen-year-old Ned Turner leaves his widowed mother and younger sister, Sarah, to seek his fortune in the Klondike…gold fields. The next year Sarah undertakes the treacherous journey to find him. Along with Catherine, a runaway, she joins Ned and shares his adventures. For grades 6-9. 2000
Par Frances Mayes. 1996
American writer Frances Mayes finds a new lifestyle when she and her companion Ed purchase a large, abandoned, country home…in Tuscany. The restoration of the house and garden are fraught with problems but also provide many pleasures. Mayes enjoys the flowers, the freshly grown vegetables, the cooking, and the quiet pace of sunny Tuscan summers. Bestseller
Par Robin Wiszowaty. 2009
Growing up in suburban Illinois, Robin Wiszowaty leads a typical middle-class American life. Hers is a world of gleaming shopping…malls, congested freeways, and neighborhood gossip. But from an early age, she has longed to break free of this existence and discover something deeper. What it is, she doesn't quite know. Yet she knows in her heart there simply has to be more.Through a fortunate twist of fate, Robin seizes an opportunity to travel to rural Kenya and join an impoverished Maasai community. Suddenly her days are spent hauling water, evading giraffes, and living in a tiny hut made of cow dung with her adoptive family. She is forced to face issues she's never considered: extreme poverty, drought, female circumcision, corruption - and discovers love in the most unexpected places. In the open wilds of the dusty savannah, this Maasai life is one she could never have imagined.
Par Carol Drinkwater. 2003
In The Olive Season, Carol Drinkwater’s much-anticipated follow-up to The Olive Farm, Carol and Michel prepare to exchange vows in,…of all places, Polynesia—Michel's answer to Carol's challenging response to his marriage proposal (Only if the ceremony is Upon their return to the south of France as husband and wife, they find there is much hope—and work—to greet them. With a farm consisting of fifty trees producing some of the world’s finest olive oil, no longer is the challenge one of restoring the farm but in charting its development and growth. France’s rigorous agricultural standards are responsible for some of the world's best produce but also for one of its most infuriating bureaucracies. In order to obtain the coveted AOC rating, Carol and Michel are forced to both expand their farm and to negotiate a Byzantine world of forms, officials, and inspections, including the surveying of their land by a water diviner, who, via a power akin to extrasensory perception, can point out the existence of underground water sources on their property. Further complicating matters is the fact that Carol has become pregnant with the couple’s first child and has just accepted a demanding acting role. As the harvest season approaches, dramatic events, culminating in a heartbreaking miscarriage, cast shadows over the olive farm. With all the warmth and vibrancy of the Mediterranean sun, Carol Drinkwater tells her passionate, moving, and utterly uplifting story.
Par John Keay. 2012
Alarms amongst the Uzbeks - Alexander BurnesOf all the "forbidden" cities (Timbuktu, Mecca, Lhasa, Riyadh and so on) none enjoyed…a more fearsome reputation that Bukhara in Uzbekistan. The first British Indian expedition, that of William Moorcroft in 1819-26, had never returned. Moorcroft's disappearance, like that of Livingstone or Franklin, posed a challenge in itself and preyed on the minds of his immediate successors. Heavily disguised and in an atmosphere of intense intrigue, Burnes and Dr James Gerard crossed the Afghan Hindu Kush in 1832 and approached the scenes of Moorcroft's discomfiture. They would both return; and "Bukhara Burnes" would become the most renowned explorer of his day.On the Roof of the World - John WoodIn 1937 Alexander Burnes returned to Afghanistan on an official mission. Amongst his subordinates was a ship's lieutenant who, having surveyed the navigational potential of the river Indus, took off on a mid-winter excursion into the unknown Pamirs between China and Turkestan. Improbably, therefore, it was John Wood, a naval officer and the most unassuming of explorers, who became the first to climb into the hospitable mountain heartland of Central Asia and the first to follow to its source the great river Oxus (or Amu Darya.)Exploring Angkhor - Henri MouhotBorn in France, Mouhot spent most of his career in Russia as a teacher and then in the Channel Islands. A philologist by training, he also took up natual history and it was with the support of the Royal Zoological Society that in 1858 he set out for South East Asia. From Siam (Thailand) he penetrated Cambodia and Laos, where he died; but not before reaching unknown Angkhor and becoming the first to record and depict the most extensive and magnificent temple complex in the world. His discovery provided the inspiration for a succession of subsequent French expeditions up the Mekong.Over the Karakorams - Francis Edward YounghusbandAs leader of the 1904-5 British military expedition to Lhasa and as promoter of the early assaults on Mount Everest, Younghusband came to epitomize Himalayan endeavour. To the mountain he also owed his spiritual conversion from gung-ho solider to founder of the World Congress of Faiths. His initiation came in 1887 when, as the climax to journey from Peking across the Gobi desert, he determines to reach India over the unexplored Mustagh Pass in the Karakorams - "the most difficult and dangerous achievement in these mountains so far" (S.Hedin).Trials in Tibet - Ekai KawaguchiBy the 1890's the capital of "forbidden" Tibet, unseen by a foreigner since Huc's visit, represented the greatest challenge to exploration. Outright adventurers like the dreadful Henry Savage Landor competed with dedicated explorers like Sven Hedin, all succumbed to to a combination of official vigilance and physical hardship. The exception, and the winner in "the race for Lhasa", was a Buddhist monk from Japan whose expedition consisted of himself and two sheep. Ekai Kawaguchi was supposedly a pilgrim seeking religious texts. His faith was genuine and often tested, as during this 1900 excursion into western Tibet; but he is also thought to have been an agent of the British government in India.
Par John Keay. 1993
Farthest South - Ernest Henry ShackletonBorn in Ireland, Shackleton joined the merchant navy before being recruited for Captain Scott's 1901…expedition to Antarctica. He was with Scott on his first attempt to reach the South Pole and, though badly shaken by the experience, realized that success was now feasible. In 1907, with a devoted team but little official support, he launched his own expedition. A scientific programme gave it respectability but Shackleton was essentially an adventurer, beguiled alike by the challenge of the unknown and the reward of celebrity. His goal was the Pole, 90 degrees south, and by Christmas 1908 his four-man team were already at 85 degrees.The Pole at Last - Roald AmundsenAmundsen's 1903-6 voyage through North West Passage had heralded a new era in exploration. The route by then was tolerably well known and its environs explored. His vessel was a diminutive fishing smack, his crew a group of Norwegian friends, and his object simply to be the first to have sailed through. He did it because it had not been done and "because it was there". The same applied to his 1911 conquest of the South Pole. Shackleton had shown the way and Amundsen drew the right conclusions. The Pole was not a scientist's playground nor a mystic's dreamland; it was simply a physical challenge. Instead of officers, gentlemen and scientists, he took men who could ski and dogs that could pull; if need be, the former could eat the latter. The only real anxiety was whether they would forestall Scott.In Extremis - Robert Falcon ScottScott was chosen to lead the 1900-4 British National Antarctic Expedition. Its considerable achievements seemed to vindicate the choice of a naval officer more noted for integrity and courage than any polar experience, and, following Shackleton's near success, in 1910 Scott again sailed south intending to combine a busy scientific programme with a successful bid for the South Pole. On 17 January 1912 he and four others duly reached the Pole, indeed they sighted a real pole and it bore a Norwegian flag; Amundsen had got there 34 days ahead of them. Bitterly disappointed, soon overtaken by scurvy and bad weather, and still dragging sledges laden with geological specimens, they trudged back. The tragedy which then unfolded eclipsed even Amundsen's achievement and won them an immortality beyond the dreams of any explorer.
Par John Keay. 1993
Landfall at Botany Bay - James CookThe son of a Yorkshire farm labourer, Cook won distinction as a naval hydrographer…but was still a controversial choice to command a voyage of scientific observation to the Pacific in 1768. Its results, including the first coastal surveys of New Zealand and eastern Australia, led to a second voyage to the south Pacific and a third to the north Pacific, during which he was killed in a fracas with the Hawaiians. It was a tragic end for one whose humble origins disposed him to respect indigenous peoples. "They are far happier than we Europeans", he noted of Australia's aborigines following a brief encounter at Botany Bay (Sydney), the first European landing on the Pacific coast, in 1770.Escape from the Outback - Charles SturtAfter pioneering journeys to the Darling and Murray rivers, in 1844-5 Sturt headed north for the heart of Australia. Since the continent appeared to have few seaward draining rivers it was assumed that, alike Africa, it must boat an inland lake region; a boat was therefore included amongst the expeditions equipment. But Sturt failed to reach the geographical centre of the continent, and the largest stretch of water found was at Coopers Creek, later to figure so prominently in the endeavours of Burke and Wills. Sturt's painful retreat during the hottest summer on record formed a fitting prelude to the Wills saga.Death at Coopers Creek - William John WillsIn early 1861 Robert O'Hara Burke, William Wills and John King reached Australia's northern coast on the Gulf of Carpentaria, thus completing the first transcontinental crossing. Returning the way they had come, after four months of appalling hardship they staggered into Sturt's Coopers Creek where men and supplies had been left to await their return. They were just eight hours too late; the relief party, despairing of their return, had left that very morning. One of exploration's most poignant moments was followed by one of its most protracted tragedies as the expedition tried to extricate itself, failed, faded, and died. Only King survived; three months later he was discovered living with the aborigines; Will's heartbreaking journal was found lying beside his skeleton.To See the Sea - John McDouall StuartModest, dedicated, immensely tough and thoroughly congenial, Stuart was very much an explorer's explorer. With little support or fuss he began probing north from Adelaide in the late 1850's. In 1860 he was the first to reach the centre of the continent, thus completing the work of Sturt. Although Burke and Wills just beat him in the race to cross the continent, Stuart's 1862 route was much longer and more difficult; and he did actually reach the sea. He was also to return alive.
Par John Keay. 1993
Alone in Africa - Mungo ParkPark's 1795-7 odyssey in search of the Niger first awakened the world to the feasibility…of a white man penetrating sub-Saharan Africa. But unlike his illustrious successors, this quiet tenant farmer's son from the Scottish Borders travelled alone; relieved of his meager possessions, he was soon wholly dependant on local hospitality. In what he called "a plain unvarnished tale" he related horrific ordeals with admirable detachment - never more tested than on his return journey through Bamako, now the capital of Mali.The Road to Kano - Hugh ClappertonIn one of exploration's unhappier sagas two Scots, Captain Hugh Clapperton and Dr. Walter Oudney, were saddled with the unspeakable Major Dixon Denham on a three year journey to Lake Chad and beyond. Clapperton mapped much of northern Nigeria and emerged with credit. Major Denham also excelled himself, twice absconding, then accusing Oudney of incompetence and Clapperton of buggery. Happily the Major was absent in 1824, after nursing his dying friend, Clapperton became the first European to reach Kano.Down the Niger - Richard LanderAs Clapperton's manservant, Lander attended his dying master on his 1825 expedition to the Niger and was then commissioned, with his brother John, to continue the exploration of the river. The mystery of its lower course was finally solved when in 1831 they sailed down through Nigeria to the delta and the sea. Unassuming Cornishmen, the Landers approached their task with a refreshing confidence in goodwill of Africans. It paid of in a knife-edge encounter at the confluence of the Benoue, although Richard subsequently paid the price with his life.Arrival in Timbuktu - Heinrich BarthBorn in Hamburg, Barth was already an experienced traveler and a methodical scholar when in 1850 he joined a British expedition to investigate Africa's internal slave trade. From Tripoli the expedition crossed the Sahara to Lake Chad. Its leader died but Barth continued on alone, exploring vast tract of the Sahel from northern Cameroon to Mali. Timbuktu, previously visited only by A.G. Laing and René Caillié, provided the climax as Barth, in disguise, approached the forbidden city by boat from the Niger.My Ogowé Fans - Mary KingsleySelf-educated while she nursed her elderly parents, Mary Kingsley had known only middle-class English domesticity until venturing to West Africa in 1892. Her parents had died and, unmarried, she determined to study "fish and fetish" for the British Museum. Her 1894 ascent of Gabon's Ogowé River (from Travels in West Africa, 1897) established her a genuine pioneer and an inimitable narrator. She died six years later while nursing prisoners during the Boer War.
Par John Keay. 1993
First Crossing of America - Alexander Mackenzie"Endowed by nature with an acquisitive mind and an enterprising spirit", Mackenzie, a Scot…engaged in the Canadian fur trade, resolved, as he out it "to test the practicability of penetrating across the continent of America". In 1789 he followed a river (the Mackenzie) to the sea; but it turned out to be the Arctic Ocean. He tried again in 1793 and duly reached the Pacific at Queen Charlotte Sound in what is now British Columbia. Although this was his first recorded overland crossing of the continent, Mackenzie was not given to trumpeting his achievement. In his narrative it passes without celebration and very nearly without mention.Meeting the Shoshonee - Meriwether LewisAs Thomas Jefferson's personal secretary, Lewis was chosen to lead the US government's 1804-5 expedition to explore (and to establish US interests) from Mississippi to the Pacific. Travelling up the Missouri river to the continental divide in Montana, Lewis left the main party under his colleague William Clark, and scouted ahead. With everything now dependant on securing the goodwill of the formidable Shoshonee, he showed admirable caution; but the issue was eventually decided by a fortuitous reunion between the Indian wife of one of his men and her long-lost brethren.
Par John Keay. 1993
Escape from Riyadh - William Gifford PalgraveA scholar and a solider, a Jesuit and a Jew, a French spy and…a British ambassador- Palgrave was a man of contradictions, all of them highly compromised when in 1862-3, fortified by Pius IX's blessing and Napoleon III's cash, he attempted the first west- east crossing of the Arabian peninsular. To steely nerves and a genius for disguise he owed his eventual success; but not before both were sorely tested when, as a Syrian doctor, he became the first European to enter Riyadh. The desert capital of the fanatical Wahabis, dangerous for an infidel at the best of times, was then doubly so as the sons of the ageing King Feisal intrigued for power.Desert Days - Charles Montagu DoughtyDuring two years (1875-7) wandering in Central Arabia Doughty broke little new ground; dependant on desert charity, his achievement was simply to have survived. Yet his book, Arabia Deserta, was instantly recognized as a classic. Its eccentric prose proves well suited to that minute observation and experience of Bedouin life which was Doughty's main contribution to exploration. T.E. Lawrence called it "a bible of a kind"; both syntax and subject matter have biblical resonances, as in this description of a day's march, or rahla.
Par Bruce Chatwin. 1996
This is a collection of Chatwin's previously unpublished material. Short stories, travel sketches, essays, articles and criticism cover every period…of Chatwin's career and reflect the abiding themes of his work: roots and rootlessness, exile and the exotic, possession and renunciation.
Par Nick Hunt. 2021
In Outlandish, acclaimed travel writer Nick Hunt takes us across landscapes that shouldnot be there, wildernesses found in Europe yet…seemingly belonging to far-off continents:a patch of Arctic tundra in Scotland; the continent's largest surviving remnant of primevalforest in Poland and Belarus; Europe's only true desert in Spain; and the fathomlessgrassland steppes of Hungary.From snow-capped mountain range to dense green forest, desert ravines to threadbare,yellow open grassland, these anomalies transport us to faraway regions of the world.More like pockets of Africa, Asia, the Poles or North America, they make our owncontinent seem larger, stranger and more filled with secrets.Against the rapid climate breakdown of deserts, steppes and primeval jungles across theworld, this book discovers the outlandish environments so much closer to home - alongwith their abundant wildlife: reindeer; bison; ibex; wolves and herds of wild horses.Blending sublime travel writing, nature writing and history - by way of Paleolithic cave art,reindeer nomads, desert wanderers, shamans, Slavic forest gods, European bison, WildWest fantasists, eco-activists, horseback archers, Big Grey Men and other unlikely spiritsof place - these desolate and rich environments show us that the strange has always beennear.
Par Henry David Thoreau, H. Daniel Peck. 1998
Thoreau's account of his 1839 boat trip is a finely crafted tapestry of travel writing, essays, and lyrical poetry. Thoreau…interweaves descriptions of natural phenomena, the rural landscape, and local characters with digressions on literature and philosophy, the Native American and Puritian histories of New England, the Bhagavad Gita, the imperfections of Christianity, and many other subjects. Although it shares many of the themes in Thoreau's classic WALDEN, A WEEKoffers an alternative perspective on his analaysis of the relationship between nature and culture.
Par John Steinbeck. 1948
Just after the iron curtain fell on Eastern Europe John Steinbeck and acclaimed war photographer, Robert Capa ventured into the…Soviet Union to report for the New York Herald Tribune. This rare opportunity took the famous travellers not only to Moscow and Stalingrad - now Volgograd - but through the countryside of the Ukraine and the Caucasus. A RUSSIAN JOURNAL is the distillation of their journey and remains a remarkable memoir and unique historical document. Steinbeck and Capa recorded the grim realities of factory workers, government clerks, and peasants, as they emerged from the rubble of World War II. This is an intimate glimpses of two artists at the height of their powers, answering their need to document human struggle
Par Dervla Murphy. 1976
Travel writing on exotic India. From Bombay to the hippy beaches of Goa and on to the tropical trip of…India, travelling by boat and bus, staying in fisherman's huts and no-star hotels, Dervla Murphy and her five-year-old daughter explored the south. En route they fell in love with the tiny mountain paradise of Coorg, whose landscapes and people form the focus of a wonderfully evocative travel diary. This is an account of their journey. The author also wrote In Cameroon with Egbert, The Waiting Land and Muddling through in Madagascar.
Par John Keay. 1993
Four Years in the Ice - John RossDisgraced and dishonored for his report of an imaginary mountain range blocking the…most likely access to the North West Passage, in 1829 Ross returned to Canada's frozen archipelago to vindicate his reputation. He rounded the north of Baffin Island and entered what he named the Gulf of Boothia. Here the Victory, his eccentric paddle-steamer, became frozen to the ice. Through three tantalizingly brief summers the expedition tried to find a way out and through four long winters then endured the worst of Arctic conditions in a makeshift camp. In July 1832, with the ship long since abandoned, Ross made what must be their last bid to reach open water.Living off Lichen and Leather - John FranklinIn 1845, looking again for the North West Passage, two well-crewed ships under Franklin's command sailed into the Canadian Arctic and were never seen again. There began the most prolonged search ever mounted for an explorer. For Franklin had been lost before and yet had survived. In 1821, returning from an overland reconnaissance of the Arctic coast north of Great Slave Lake, he and Dr. John Richardson, with two Lieutenants and about a dozen voyageurs (mostly French), had run out of food and then been overtaken by the Arctic weather. Franklin's narrative of what is probably the grisliest journey on record omits unpalatable details, like the cannibalism of one of his men, the murder of Lieut. Hood, and Richardson's summary shooting of the murderer; but it well conveys the debility of men forced to survive on leather and lichen (triple de roche) plus that sense of demoralization and disintegration that heralds the demise of an expedition.Adrift on an Arctic Ice Floe - Fridtjof Nansen Norwegian patriot, natural scientist, and Nobel laureate, Nansen caught the world's imagination when he almost reached the North Pole in 1895. The attempt was made on skis from specially reinforced vessel which, driven into the ice, was carried from Siberia towards Greenland. The idea stemmed from his first expedition, an 1888 crossing of Greenland. Then too he had used skis and then too, unwittingly and nearly disastrously, he had taken to the ice. Arrived off Greenland's inhospitable east coast, he had ordered his five-man party to spare their vessel by crossing the off-shore ice floe in rowing boats. A task which he expected to take a few hours turned into an involuntary voyage down the coast of twelve days.The Pole is Mine - Robert Edwin Peary Born in Pennsylvania and latterly a commander in the US navy, Peary had set his sights on claiming the North Pole from childhood. It was not just an obsession but a religion, his manifest destiny. Regardless of cost, hardship, and other men's sensibilities, he would be Peary of the Pole, and the Pole would be American. Critics might carp over the hundreds of dogs that were sacrificed to his ambition, over the chain of supply depots that would have done credit to a military advance, and over the extravagance of Peary's ambition, but success, in 1909, came only after a catalogue of failures; and even then it would be disputed. Under the circumstances his triumphalism is understandable and, however distasteful, not unknown amongst other Polar travelers.