Walking the World's Most Exceptional Trails
By Eloise Napier
Abbeville Press Copyright © 2003 Eloise Napier
All rights reserved.
Excerpt from: Walking
Find a travel brochure, with a gorgeous picture of an empty beach, an azure sea and graceful palm trees, and stare at it for twenty minutes. Don’t do anything else. Within five minutes you will probably be twitching with boredom; after twenty, you will be ready to throw the brochure into a shredding machine. As the philosopher Alain de Botton pointed out, just imagine what it would be like if you had to spend an entire week there.
Look instead at the pictures of a walking vacation: you find an infinite range of diversity, adventure and discovery. Boredom is not an option. Journeying to some of the most outstandingly beautiful places in the world, you have the chance to explore intriguing landscapes, most inaccessible to cars and even horses. At some moments, an astonishing array of wildlife surrounds you; at other times you find yourself immersed in history and culture. The experience is uplifting and invigorating, and by the time you return home, you are infused with an unassailable feeling of achievement.
The diverse walks highlighted in this book provide the ultimate escape from the tedium of everyday life. However, this is walking for softies, not hard-core hikers; at the end of each day you arrive at a comfortable inn with rivers of hot water, delicious food and excellent wines. Someone else carries your luggage, handles all the administration details and even provides you with a picnic, while all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and soak up the atmosphere. You don’t have to be massively fitsome of the walks are no more than a gentle stroll. A few are quite challenging, but all of them are accessible to anyone who is mildly active. Each walk has a difficulty gradingeasy, moderate, fairly strenuous and strenuous.
You can organize to do the walks yourself or, at the end of each section, you will find contact details for a company that arranges holidays broadly similar to the one described. The routes, timings and mileages may be slightly different, but the aim of Walking: The World’s Most Exceptional Trails
is not to give you a tedious blow-by-blow account of an individual trip, but rather to give you a feeling of what is out there, how you can do it and what you will gain from it. (Continues...)
Excerpted from Walking the World's Most Exceptional Trails by Eloise Napier. Copyright © 2003 Eloise Napier. Excerpted by permission of Abbeville Press.
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