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Eight Feet in the Andes: [Hardcover]

Dervla Murphy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 1983
An account of the author's travels in Peru with her nine-year-old daughter and a mule, from the border with Ecuador in the north to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital, over 1300 miles to the south.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; First Edition edition (3 Nov 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719540836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719540837
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 998,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


One of the most joyous, positive and poetic voyages - physical, spiritual and environmental (Irish Independent)

This adventure is one of Dervla Murphy's best. She remains her humorous, modest, self-mocking self. (Daily Telegraph)

A tone of exuberance and generosity dominates the book ... The reader's admiration is boundless (Caroline Moorehead, The Spectator)

This is the best account I have read of travel on foot in the Andes. The appreciation for scenery and people and the sheer enjoyment of the journey makes Dervla Murphy one of our outstanding travel writers (Traveller)

There is nothing so dramatic as mountains rising sheer from the plain ... and Dervla Murphy responds with more than the routine rapture of the professional travel writer (Christopher Wordsworth, Observer)

Dervla Murphy is always an honest and endearing companion, so stout of heart and physique that she almost belittles her achievement (Sunday Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A fascinating tale of extreme travelling on foot and by mule in the high Andes. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect travelogue 9 Jun 2006
I read this book whilst actually travelling in Peru and after each tiring day of my own adventures I would force myself to stay awake just 'another minute longer' to travel to the parts of Peru I would never see with Dervla, Rachel & Juanna! The sunrises, sunsets, canyons, peaks, nomads and near misses are so colourfully described that Dervla seems to let you in on her very feelings for each place. A thrilling, refreshing, eye opening even educational read and had I not been in Peru at the time I would have wanted desperately to go!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHY??? 24 Nov 2004
First of all, why would an otherwise sane woman in her late 40s drag her poor 9 year old daughter half way across the world to trek over some of the highest, dirt tracks in the world with little supplies, no back up and worst of all, no real knowledge of where they were heading?
Whatever the authors reasoning for doing the trek, thank God she did and wrote about it so that we mere mortals can go a fraction of the way to experiencing a world we can only dream of experiencing.The book describes the scenery, the people, the abject poverty and the complete fear and mistrust of "gringoes" whilst at the same time the locals willingness to help strangers withoutpayment in return.
Thank you thank you thank you Miss Murphy for sharing your experiences in such graphic, sometimes too graphic, details. This book was a gritty absolute joy to read , I felt evry step of the route with her and Rachel, oh and lets not forget Jauna the mule.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dervla's fervour 9 Jan 2013
By J. Scott-mandeville VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dervla Murphy never fails to impress me with her daring ventures into remote corners of the world. The idea of taking one's 8-year-old daughter across the high peaks of the Andes with only one mule to carry provisions, tents and equipment, and the daughter herself, would be a daunting prospect for anyone, but Dervla Murphy jauntily narrates her tale, written up from her diary kept each day in her tent, wherever that tent is pitched - often in highly inhospitable places with nothing for miles around - with a fervour that makes my head swim.

But I devoured this book, utterly fascinated with the land and people she describes with such colourful detail and imaginative observation. Despite the lack of photographs or sketches, she conjures up the landscape so that you don't need anything more than her words.

I have no intention of following in her her footsteps, but to vicariously travel the Andes in such company is a real treat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Smashing read 22 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cant praise this book enough, it a page turner and both funny and poignant. I have a real desire to go to Peru and this book with its vivid descriptions only fans the flames. I would like to thank Dervla for this fab book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD READ 26 April 2014
By bub
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Journey 8 Mar 2014
By Nico
Epic travelogue of a journey through the Peruvian Andes, As usual Murphy eschews anything to do with conventional travel and heads off the beaten track to the most remote places she can find. As always Murphy travels in the most basic and at times extreme way with little or no concern for any form of comfort or danger. In fact the harder it is the more Murphy loves it. What makes this journey even more remarkable is that she does so with her 9 year old daughter in tow.

Plenty of stunning descriptions of the natural beauty of the Andes and equally viviv descriptions of the human landscape and groups she interacts with. As with any Dervla Murphy book there is plenty of passionate writing and strong opinions.

A very good book.
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