Maria Coffey is originally from England, and now lives on a small island in British Columbia. She and her husband Dag Goering spend part of each year in Ireland, where Dag practises as a large animal veterinarian. They also work as professional sea-kayaking and trekking guides, leading trips in Vietnam, the Solomon Islands, Ireland and Canada. Coffey is the author of a number of internationally published books, including A Boat in Our Baggage, Three Moons in Vietnam, Sailing Back in Time and two books for children, A Cat in a Kayak and A Seal in the Family. Her work has also appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Outdoors Illustrated, Action Asia and Sea Kayaker Magazine. For more information about Maria, please visit her website at www.hiddenplaces.net
Sir Chris Bonington is one of Britain's most famous mountaineers. Born in Hampstead in 1934, he joined the army after time at Sandhurst, and quickly discovered his love of mountains. He started climbing very seriously in the Alps, then moved to the Himalayas. In 1975 he was leader of the famous ascent of the southwest face of Everest. He has since explored mountains, oceans, and remote areas around the world. In 1985 he achieved a life time ambition and he reached the summit of Everest.