Philip Marsden returns to Ethiopia in 2003, having been entranced by the country during a short visit in 1982. This time he hires a guide and a succession of mules to walk across the north. He explores churches, meets a variety of monks and discusses Ethiopian history. You have to admire his courage and persistence as he sweats and climbs with his mules through the mountains - why doesn't he catch a bus? But he makes it all the way to his final destination without a vehicle, and gives a real insight into the country. In the beginning he writes "if there is any purpose to our time on earth, it is to understand it...to celebrate its heroes and its wonders - in short, to witness it". Witness it he does. Through his book I've gained an understanding of Ethiopia. And now I'd love to go there. What greater vindication of the success of a travel book could you want?
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