Another eight books that inspire to travel (part 6)


For lovers of good reads, here are eight more books that inspire to travel!

Whatever you do, Don't run, True Tales Of A Botswana Safari Guide by Peter Allison

A hilarious, highly original collection, Peter Allison gives us the guide's-eye view of living in the bush, confronting the world's fiercest terrain of wild animals and, most challenging of all, managing herds of gaping tourists. Passionate for the animals of the Kalahari, Allison works as a top safari guide in the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta. As he serves the whims of his wealthy clients, he often has to stop the impulse to run as far away from them as he can, as these tourists are sometimes more dangerous than a pride of lions. No one could make up these outrageous-but-true tales.

Adventure Coordinators score 8 out of 10: Allison describes situations that are very recognizable and laugh-out-loud funny

Rome: a history in seven sackings by Matthew Kneale

No city on earth has preserved its past as has Rome. Visitors stand on bridges that were crossed by Julius Caesar and Cicero, walk around temples visited by Roman emperors, and step into churches that have hardly changed since popes celebrated mass in them sixteen centuries ago. These architectural survivals are all the more remarkable considering the violent disasters that have struck the city. Afflicted by earthquakes, floods, fires and plagues, it has most of all been repeatedly ravaged by roving armies. This book examines the most important of these attacks and reveals, with fascinating insight, how they transformed the city - and not always for the worse. A meticulously researched, magical and novel blend of travelogue, social and cultural history, this book is part celebration of the fierce courage, panache and vitality of the Roman people, and part passionate love letter to Rome. Adventure Coordinators score: 6 out of 10. Makes for an interesting read for anyone interested in the history of the Eternal City.

By the seat of my pants : humorous tales of travel and misadventure

Lonely Planet knows that some of life's funniest experiences happen on the road. Whether they take the form of unexpected detours, unintended adventures, unidentifiable dinners or unforgettable encounters, these experiences can give birth to our most profound travel lessons and illuminations, and our most memorable - and hilarious - travel stories. This collection presents 31 globe-girdling tales that run the gamut from close-encounter safaris to loss-of-face follies, hair-raising rides to culture-leaping brides, eccentric expats to mind-boggling repasts, wrong roads taken to agreements mistaken. The collection brings together some of the world's most renowned travelers and storytellers with previously unpublished writers.

Adventure Coordinators score: 7 out of 10. Some of the stories contained within the book made me pick up books by authors I had previously not heard of.

Falling off the map : some lonely places of the world by Pico Iyer The author of Video Night in Kathmandu ups the ante on himself in this sublimely evocative and acerbically funny tour through the world's loneliest and most eccentric places. From Iceland to Bhutan to Argentina, Iyer remains both uncannily observant and hilarious. Adventure Coordinators score: 8 out of 10. Great, humorous travel writing from off-the-beaten-track places from around the time many of us began our world travels.

The extraordinary voyage of Pytheas the Greek by Barry W. Cunliffe Around 330 b.c., a remarkable adventurer named Pytheas set out from the Greek colony of Massalia (now Marseille) on the Mediterranean Sea to explore the fabled, terrifying lands of northern Europe. Renowned archaeologist Barry Cunliffe here re-creates Pytheas’s unprecedented journey, which occurred almost 300 years before Julius Caesar landed in Britain. Beginning with an invaluable pocket history of early Mediterranean civilization, Cunliffe illuminates what Pytheas would have seen and experienced—the route he likely took to reach Brittany, then Britain, Iceland, and Denmark; and evidence of the ancient cultures he would have encountered on shore. The discoveries Pytheas made would reverberate throughout the civilized world for years to come, and in recounting his extraordinary voyage, Cunliffe chronicles an essential chapter in the history of civilization.

Adventure Coordinators score: 5 out of 10. While the subject is one of the world's first known adventure travellers, the book itself is more of an archaeological and historical treatise of Atlantic Europe.

Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania by William Blacker

When William Blacker first crossed the snow-bound passes of northern Romania, he stumbled upon an almost medieval world.

There, for many years he lived side by side with the country people, a life ruled by the slow cycle of the seasons, far away from the frantic rush of the modern world. In spring as the pear trees blossomed he ploughed with horses, in summer he scythed the hay meadows and in the freezing winters gathered wood by sleigh from the forest. From sheepfolds harried by wolves, to courting expeditions in the snow, he experienced the traditional way of life to the full, and became accepted into a community who treated him as one of their own. But Blacker was also intrigued by the Gypsies, those dark, foot-loose strangers of spell-binding allure who he saw passing through the village. Locals warned him to stay clear but he fell in love and there followed a bitter struggle.

Change is now coming to rural Romania, and William Blacker's adventures will soon be part of its history. From his early carefree days tramping the hills of Transylvania, to the book's poignant ending, Along the Enchanted Way transports us back to a magical country world most of us thought had vanished long ago.

Recommended by your fellow traveller Joey McArthur

Adventure Coordinators score: 9 out of 10. Simply loved this book and it already has me wanting to go back to explore more of this forgotten part of Europe.

My dam life - three years in Holland by Sean Condon Sean Condon has moved to Amsterdam, he's married, and he and his wife are unemployed. As he explores the strange habits of the Dutch and tries to avoid being deported, Sean also keeps a wonderfully self-deprecating eye on the strange business of writing about yourself and the absurdities of everyday life.

Recommended by your fellow traveller Joey McArthur

Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka by John Gimlette No one sees the world quite like John Gimlette. This time, he travels to Sri Lanka, a country only now emerging from twenty-six years of civil war. Delving deep into the nation’s story, Gimlette provides us with an astonishing, multifaceted portrait of the island today. But this is also a story of friendship and remarkable encounters. In the course of his journey, Gimlette meets farmers, war heroes, ancient tribesmen, world-class cricketers, terrorists, a former president, old planters, survivors of great massacres—and perhaps some of their perpetrators. That’s to say nothing of the island’s beguiling fauna: elephants, crocodiles, snakes, storks, and the greatest concentration of leopards on Earth. Here is a land of extravagant beauty and profound devastation, of ingenuity and catastrophe, possessed of both a volatile past and an uncertain future—a place capable of being at once heavenly and hellish—all brought to vibrant, fascinating life here on the page.

Adventure Coordinators score: 8 out of 10. Rich in detail and history with fascinating encounters, this book is vintage Gimlette.

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