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!
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.
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.
I bought this book just before leaving England to spend two weeks in Peru, travelling in luxury compared with Dervla and Rachel's experiences. I was completely absorbed by Dervla's writing. Although I was travelling in 2011 and in luxury, the history, geography and general feel of Peru as so admirably drawn by Dervla, helped me to put into context what I was seeing and experiencing. If you plan to visit Peru (and finances permitting, why would you not?) then please read this book. My visit to Peru was enhanced by the information conveyed by the book, with humour and modesty, and also with erudition and compassion.
In "Eight Feet in the Andes", Dervla Murphy takes her readers through an exciting, although often gruelling journey. Her gift for describing landscapes (no photos attached) is extraordinary. But more so is the relationships she establishes with the local people. The team Dervla-Rachel is amazing, especially with such a young girl. Finally, Dervla gives us a taste of what could be described as a form of religion, based on the appreciation of what we could enjoy on earth, if we took the time to do so.
It was my second time to read this great book. As I hope to go trekking in the Andes in May I needed to remember in particular the heroism of Dervla's little daughter Rachel, and the enthusiasm of Dervla herself. it is one of Dervla's best; vivid, engaging and thoughtful, but also suspenseful and thrilling as some of the terrain travelled sound entirely unpassable. What we call solo travel nowadays doesn't touch this. The real deal. Bravo.
A really enjoyable book although how Dervla managed the trek with just her trusty mule and young daughter is quite beyond me. I bought the book as we are shortly off to Peru but I fear the country she describes will not be on our (probably a bit touristy) itinerary. A great read, well written and Dervla Murphy and Rachel have my undying respect. I shall read more of her travels.
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.
It is a journey of discovery,how people live and their everyday difficulties.She is certainly courageous in the way she travels,experiencing hunger at times and the weather conditions,especially traveling with her young daughter.I enjoyed it immensely