On every continent, in every age, people have marveled at the wonders of the natural world. Unlike vehicular transportation, walking allows the traveler to experience these wonders on a vivid sensuous level, enjoying all the sights, sounds, and smells of a beautiful landscape. In Walking the World's Natural Wonders, traveler Jon Sparks takes readers on a guided tour across 34 such landscapes, profiling the world's most magnificent walking routes from the mountains of Hawaii to England's Jurassic Coast.
Accompanied by stunning photography from around the globe, Sparks's vibrant text will appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure. Each of the 34 profiles also contains a regional map and a facts and figures box detailing route distance and altitude, optimal travel season, accommodation options, and more. Covering six continents and some of the world's most gorgeous scenery, Walking the World's Natural Wonders is the perfect inspiration for your next walking adventure.
|Publisher:||Abbeville Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||9.00(w) x 10.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Jon Sparks is an award-winning photographer and writer specializing in landscape and outdoor subjects. His greatest passions are walking, climbing, and cycling, but he has also tried his hand at sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, canyoning, cross-country skiing, trekking, and climbing. His work has taken him around the world and he has shared his experiences in more than 15 books, including Spirit of the Lake District. He lives in Lancashire, England.
Benedict Allen is a world-renowned explorer. His travels across the globe have taken him to places as diverse as the Amazon River basin, the Gobi Desert, Papua New Guinea, and the Bering Strait. He is the author of numerous travel books, including The Skeleton Coast (1997) and Into the Abyss (2006).
Read an Excerpt
"I see Earth! it is so beautiful!"
The first glimpse of Earth from space changed things forever. Perhaps it was the end, or the beginning of the end, the era of exploration for humanity as a whole. But for each individual, the world is still waiting to be explored, and maybe it is more important than ever to do so.
The view from space is awesome but ultimately detached. To understand what it means, we need to explore the Earth at ground level and there is no better way to do so than on foot. Walking is the most natural, the most primeval way of getting away. Walking pace allows the world to unfold and reveal itself. Walking allows the senses to engage. Walking takes us into a landscape while other modes of transport detach us from it. The philosopher, Nietzsche said, "only thoughts that come by walking have any value."
On every continent, in every age, in vastly different ways, people have expressed their wonder at the spectacles of nature. The great volcanoes of New Zealand's Central Plateau were held so sacred by the local Maori people that passers-by had to shield their eyes. And on Australia's Larapinta Trail, especially with a good guide, you can get a shadowy inkling of the profound relationship between the Aboriginal people and the land.
Natural marvels inspire myths and stories everywhere. The medieval hero Roland is said to have hewn a cleft through the mountains with his sword Durandal: this startling gash in a Pyrenean ridge is still called le Breche de Roland. And legends continue to grow: Conan Doyle's "Lost World" was inspired by Romania in Venezuela.
Wonder does not just reside in the great show-pieces. There is also something to marvel at in the curve of a sand dune, the miniature world of a rock-pool, or a splash of green moss in the black volcanic deserts of Iceland. A journey on foot is about much more than arrival at a single destination.
If great natural wonders excite and inspire us with awe, they should also strengthen our resolve to treat with respect not only great sites but also the natural world as a whole. The overarching principal is to leave minimal trace of your presence. In this too, walking is unbeatable, only equalled by a few other means of transport, like canoeing and cross-country skiing.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents from: Walking the World's Natural Wonders
Australia and New Zealand