Following faithfully in the footsteps of Graham Greene and his cousin as they embark at Sierra Leone in 1935 before setting off on a 4-week walk through Liberia and Guinea, Butcher and his companions David, Johnson and Mr Omaru likewise take on the West African jungle interior, travelling by foot through this much maligned and worn torn part of the world.
Following on from his two wildly successful walking travelogues, Wood delivers yet again an imminently likeable and interesting book which charts his 2,900km journey through Central American highlands, jungles, remote wilderness and urban ganglands. This time, he is accompanied the entire way by his Mexican friend, Alberto, who provides a more consistent counterpoint to his own experiences and ensures that Walking the Americas is a worthy addition to the Levison Wood book stable.
After his hugely successful book and TV series Walking the Nile, Wood appears set for a life of suburban bliss, drinking wine and eating cheese in Gordons Wine Bar, believed to be London's oldest wine bar and prior place of residence for Rudyard Kipling in the 1890's. Aided by what one can only imagine as far too many glasses of vintage port, Wood realises he isn't quite ready to hang up the hiking boots just yet and that the lure of just "one more" walking escapade needs to be undertaken, this time along the mighty Himalayas.
Walking the Nile is an extremely good travelogue detailing Levison Wood's 9 month journey from the source of the Nile in Rwanda's Nyungwe Forest to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt by foot. Travelling close to 6,700 kilometres through tropical forests, swamps, mangroves and deserts, Wood's achievement amidst civil wars and bureaucratic nightmares fully deserves to rank among the best of modern day exploration feats.
Concerned at the rate at which the Appalachian wilderness is disappearing, Bill Bryson teams up with his long-forgotten college friend, Stephen Katz, to walk the granddaddy of hiking trails, The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, more commonly known as the Appalachian Trail or AT. Told in Bryson's usual humourous fashion, this story of two middle-aged mountain men shambling down the pathway munching on Snickers bars is an extremely fun read and one that brings the AT to life.
I'm always somewhat apprehensive after watching a movie which I have enjoyed immensely to the read the book. Reese Witherspoon put in such a brilliant performance in the 2014 movie of the same name, that I was concerned that the book wouldn't reach the same standard. I needn't have worried, as Strayed delivers a deeply personal memoir that bests the movie in almost all regards.