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4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing Back News From Distant Lands, 11 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Modern Explorers (Hardcover)
Have you ever wondered what drives a few intrepid men and women to forsake comfort and security, to explore places known only to those whose home they may be? In this book modern explorers write about the sufferings and privations they endured, and the rewards they experienced as they crossed polar and desert regions, scaled mountains, traced rivers to their source, made perilous sea journeys and forays into rainforest, ventured into caves and sought to rediscover lost worlds. Some were part of large, highly organised expeditions to further scientific knowledge. Others travelled in small groups, or alone, plumbing the depths of isolation from other members of the human species.

Each writer offers a different slant but, in a book as diverse as this, you are inevitably drawn to some more than others. I don't think I'll forget how Ranulph Fiennes dealt with the maddening pain of frostbite, or how Jon Muir crossed Australia unassisted with his Jack Russell terrier for company. I now know who Mikael Strandberg considers to be his true heros after spending a year in Siberia, and what life is like in the Darien forests of Panama, as seen through the poetic eyes of Wade Davis. Robert Twigger's account of Tim Severin's Brendan Voyage confirmed my suspicion that modern materials are not always superior. There was reassurance in Hank de Velde's conclusions after he had passed the solitude test on his never-ending voyage; and in Tahir Shah's shoestring technique. To be an explorer, he contends, all you need is determination. Reading this book will provide encouragement to would-be explorers.
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