Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Clear Waters Rising - A Mountain Walk Across Europe

"And first prize for sticking to your objectives! is.... Nicholas Crane"

The author of this beautifully written book is a real, real travel writer. This guy started at the coast in the Northwest of Spain and then walked across a continuous line of mountains including the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees, The CĂ©vennes, The Alps, The Carpathians and then the Balkans to... Istanbul!

It is an incredible journey, no cheating, and full of the most marvellous detail. He writes about his low points, his high points, his recklessness and, his silliness as well. He loses it at times, mentally and physically dragged down in the middle of winter in snow covered mountains, with very little food and money, for instance. He gets chased by a bear in the Carpathians. He meets people that help him, with their stories, illuminate whole regions that I knew nothing about. He also has a good eye for the absurd.

He looks like a mild mannered university professor and was only married for one year when he went off and made this journey which then took another year and a half. You would think then, that he was a bit of a self-centred oaf. Not at all, but he was driven (not by car) to make this journey and complete it, although it was a close call at times. I would recommend this book highly.

You can buy it at or


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