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After twenty years travelling the world pretending to be a teacher, Charles Davis concluded that prancing about mountain tops was a more productive way of spending his time than standing in front of a classroom, a decision that has lead to the publication of seventeen walking guides. He is also the author of three published novels and several others that are lying in wait ready to pounce on an unwary publisher. For more information, see www.redroom.com/author/charles-davis.
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The Cathar Way is one of the most enjoyable European long distance hiking routes. Charles Davis brings the route alive in his unique style. In addition to the traditional route (plus an alternative final stage) Charles has added Southern Variations giving us a different central section when walking there and back. Then there are ten circluar routes suitable for day walks. That is a lot of walking to choose from. Charles David is usually published by Discovery Walking Guides who have produced Walk! The Cathar Way as an ebook in pdf format with A4 pages designed to be read on PC screens and enabling the user to print off those pages they need. See more information on this ebook and the Cathar Way at [...] also the Stages and circular day walks are available in Viewranger format for 3G phones/books see [...] for more information
I must declare an interest: I accompanied Charles Davis along the Cathars Way for a glorious September fortnight in 2010 which comprised some of the research on his guide. Reading the finished product brought back some lovely memories. The Cathars Way is a gem of a walk, and this is a gem of a book. By turns witty, informative and lyrical, it provides the nitty-gritty of navigation, maps, eating places and accommodation, but also charts the cultural and historical life of the weird medieval sect that gives the route its name (and the sometimes equally as weird people one meets along it). Here you will find frank assessments of the route - most notably its rather dull eastern end - and lovely flights of whimsy: Not all guidebook writers would navigate by greengage trees, as he does at one point. The book is clearly set out with short introductions to each stage of the walk, a detailed description of the route, maps, and short, engaging essays on aspects of the local culture, landscape and history. I walked the whole route in one go, but actually there's a lot to be said for dwelling a little longer in some of the more beautiful areas, - Gorge of Galamus, Roquefixade, Duilhac, Bugarach, Puilaurens - and Charles helpfully provides a series of circular walks around them. I read one or two guides and a bit of history about the area before I embarked on the route, and I can honestly say this book knocks them into a cocked hat.
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