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Fourteen Adventure travel books I read in 2022 and which I loved

Just in time for the holidays, here are 14 travel books I read in 2022 and which I loved!

Sixty degrees north - Malachy Tallack

The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life.

In Sixty Degrees North, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory.

Sixty Degrees North is an intimate book, one that begins with the author’s loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an acceptance of loss and an embrace – ultimately a love – of the place he calls home.

Adventure Coordinators review: One of the best (travel) books I have read, at once deeply personal and engaging and full of insights, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny and sometimes both. Take this exerpt - as he walks through a forest accompanied by a dog who stops and sniffs his way around, “I realized how illiterate I was in that place. The forest is filled with signs, but I couldn’t read them. There was a language there (...) which I couldn’t hope to understand or translate. I was helpless: as stupid as a bear in a bookshop“. 9.5 out of 10.

Where the wild winds are: Walking Europe's Winds from the Pennines to Provence - Nick Hunt

As a six-year-old child, Nick Hunt was almost carried away in a gust from the Great Storm of 1987. Almost thirty years later he set off in search of the legendary winds of Europe; from the Helm, to the Bora, the Foehn and the Mistral.

Where the Wild Winds Are is Nick Hunt's story of following the wind from the fells of Cumbria to the Alps, the Rhone to the Adriatic coast, to explore how these unseen powers affect the countries and cultures of Europe, and to map a new type of journey across the continent. From the author of the Dolman Prize-shortlisted Walking the Woods and the Water.

Adventure Coordinators review: an original concept, walking with the winds. I enjoyed the book and came across this gem of an observation: "Winds are like walkers. Walkers find themselves dranw through the world - not so much pushed from behind {as one would by a wind] but pulled by the mysterious voids of understanding that lie ahead - often without being aware of the pressures that compel them. They travel from one place to the next until those pressures balance out. Until they arrive on the darkened plain. Until they reach a stillness. 8 out of 10

Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy - Tim Moore

On the eve of the Giro d'Italia's 100th anniversary, Tim Moore sets out to cycle the route of the first race, all 3,162 km of it. On a 100-year-old bike. That he built himself.

The Giro is arguably the most brutal of the Grand Tours, and it began in style. At midnight on May 24, 1914 eighty-one starters were waved off by 10,000 spectators for this first circuit of Italy. Two weeks later, after enduring cataclysmic storms, roads strewn with nails, even the loss of an eye by one competitor, eight cyclists finished.

Tim hadn't done any significant cycling for twelve years, but taking on the 1914 Giro was a compelling challenge. To make it more authentic, he decided to do it on a 1914 bike, which, unburdened by relevant experience, he needed to assemble from a stack of rusty parts in a Breton farmer's barn.

Fuelled by Chianti, wearing period leather goggles and a woollen cycling shirt, and with the winner of the 1914 Giro's diary as his trusty companion, Tim sets off to tell the story of this historic race, as well as the travails of a middle-aged man cycling up a lot of mountains on a mainly wooden bicycle.

Adventure Coordinators review: vintage Tim Moore - funny (albeit sometimes scatalogical), engaging and sometimes moving, a good read for anyone who loves Italy and cycling. 8 out of 10

Travels with a Tangerine - Tim Mackintosh-Smith

In 1325, the great Arab traveler Ibn Battutah set out from his native Tangier in North Africa on pilgrimage to Mecca. By the time he returned nearly thirty years later, he had seen most of the known world, covering three times the distance allegedly traveled by the great Venetian explorer Marco Polo—some 75,000 miles in all.

Captivated by Ibn Battutah’s account of his journey, the Arabic scholar and award-winning travel writer Tim Mackintosh-Smith set out to follow in the peripatetic Moroccan’s footsteps. Traversing Egyptian deserts and remote islands in the Arabian Sea, visiting castles in Syria and innumerable souks in medieval Islam’s great cities, Mackintosh-Smith sought clues to Ibn Battutah’s life and times, encountering the ghost of “IB” in everything from place names (in Tangier alone, a hotel, street, airport, and ferry bear IB’s name), to dietary s