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Where the Indus is Young: A Winter in Baltistan Paperback – 15 Oct 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Eland Publishing Ltd (15 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906011664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906011666
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Altogether the most appallingly fascinating travel book I have ever read."

Book Description

Intrepid Dervla Murphy heads off for the frozen heights of the Himalayas with her young daughter . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By Four Violets TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Dec. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn’t know whether to be horrified or overcome with admiration that Dervla Murphy not only thought it was okay to trek through the Karakorum mountains in winter, but chose to take her six year old daughter Rachel with her. They buy a pony, Hallam, who carries their goods and food as well as Rachel.

The trek took place between December 1974 and March 1975 when Dervla was 43. In some ways it comes across as dated, I am sure now no one would describe anyone as a “semi-idiot.” They experienced privations few travellers would put up with, walking unbelievable distances every day through rocky and treacherous terrain, over swaying bridges, braving avalanches, ravines, deep snow, quick sand and paths which were often destroyed by landslides. At night they slept on the dusty floor of huts with goats, yaks, chickens, and entire families who shared one room. Food was basic and usually a struggle to obtain, as the villagers were unimaginably poor. Both mother and daughter gave up washing entirely so that Dervla actually commented she had forgotten what she was wearing under her outer layers. There were fleas, rats and body lice…but for the author everything was more than compensated for by the stark, rare beauty of their immense surroundings.

The dangers to them both were constant and real, and it is probably a miracle that they, and Hallam, survived unscathed.

What a pity that the photographs are quite honestly dire, and don’t do the descriptions of the scenery justice one bit.

Dervla is very honest about how awful she was to Rachel on a couple of occasions, once when the poor child almost disappeared into a ravine when Hallam reared right on the edge of a precipice, and again when they had to say goodbye to the trusty steed.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book over 20 years ago, and have now bought a new copy. It is like meeting an old friend and getting straight down to lots of reminiscing, too much wine and uproarious laughter.

Dervla Murphy is an opinionated and caustic writer, but her writing is always accurate and very moving.

I thought her journey with her daughter was remarkable before I had my own children - now I read this with new eyes and with much greater appreciation of how remarkable she, and her daughter must be.

I'm not sure I would warm to Dervla if I ever met her, but this book is a must for anyone who is sick of bland, politically-correct travel writing.
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Dervla's treks are always 'mind boggling' and this one is no exception. To take her young daughter with her is either a sign of madness or inspired genius... I believe it's the latter; what a wonderful and unique experience for her daughter.

Dervla is truly inspirational with an envious gift for describing people and scenery; equally her knowledge and interest in local politics and religion always make for a fascinating read, and this book lives up to all those expectations.
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This inspiring book left me breathless, especially when I travelled there and saw the conditions. To take a six year old child and survive filled me with admiration. She is a remarkable woman, who'se written a wonderful book
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This is a great, now classic, travel story, that I love to re-read, regardless that taking a small child into such conditions is the height of irresponsiblity. I first went to Baltistan the year after the book was published (1978) and it was fantastic to read the story while there (even though I was there in summer). I have been returning periodically over the last 30 years to do geological field work, and if you want to meet lovely friendly people to whom the tradition of Muslim hospitality is still alive go yourself and stay with the villagers (not in hotels). Baltistan is still, I think, far enough from the Taliban areas to be safe.
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Having finished this book I wasn't sure who was the more stoic traveller Dervla Murphy or her 6 year old daughter Rachel? This is a fantastic book about an incredible journey taken through the epic Mountains and gorges of remote Baltistan. The Murphy's travel as only they can and that is as Spartan as possible throughout this most remote and rugged region. Murphy describes the mountains and gorges with wonder and passion. Anyone who enjoys high quality travel writing will enjoy this book.
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