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Quest For Adventure. Ultimate Feats of Modern Exploration

Chris Bonington

ISBN 10: 0792279522 / ISBN 13: 9780792279525
Editorial: National Geographic Society, Washington, 2000
Usado Condición: Very Good
Librería: Buybyebooks (Honiton, Reino Unido)

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Descripción

HB DJ First USA Edition. October 2000. See my pic. DJ not clipped. Dark blue cloth boards, Silver titles spine. 352 pages. Packed with remarkable f/c & b/w photos. Some of the most extraordinary feats of the past 50 years - record setting climbers, sailors, kayakers, cave divers, polar explorers, aviators. Entertaining and fascinating book. Condition: DJ tips marginal rub, otherwise like new. N° de ref. de la librería 002673

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Quest For Adventure. Ultimate Feats of ...

Editorial: National Geographic Society, Washington

Año de publicación: 2000

Ilustrador: Various

Condición del libro:Very Good

Condición de la sobrecubierta: Very Good

Edición: First.

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Sinopsis:

The born wayfarer takes his time, stays close to the land, and lives by its rhythms, always ready when a friendly nod turns into a dinner invitation but just as happy to camp alone under the Southern Cross. He's a free spirit, following the road map of his own adventurous imagination. When he happens to be a keen observer and a vivid writer as well, the result is a classic travel book. American Roff Smith had been living in Australia for 15 years when he quit his job, pared his life to what could be carried in the panniers of his bicycle, and pedaled off on a 10,000-mile circuit of the continent. By the time he coasted back into Sydney nine months later, he had discovered an Australia that eludes the casual traveler; "Cold Beer and Crocodiles" is his evocative, eventful report from the highways and byways of "Oz," an affectionate portrait of his adopted country and its colorful people. It's a tale worthy of the bold explorers who lived -- and sometimes died -- to open up this vast, isolated, beautiful world, from chilly Tasmania to the arid, blistering outback, where temperatures soar to 140 degrees in the midday sun. On a good day, 100 miles or more might unreel smoothly beneath Smith's tires; on a bad day, he often staggered into a desert roadhouse, exhausted, out of water, and all but dead. There are narrow escapes, wild tropical storms, a grisly crash, and a wonderful variety of unexpected scenes that capture the many faces of Australia and the men and women who call it home. We meet rancher Rob Macintosh and his family, who offer Smith a warm welcome and a job on a working sheep station, and a quartet of matey diggers who whisk him off to a lush canyon oasis hiddenbetween the folds of an apocalyptic landscape. We meet soft-spoken Aborigines of unfailing courtesy and generosity, as well as drifters and tourists, craftsmen and farmers, roadhouse keepers and their trademark customers -- the fabled long-distance drivers who barrel across the empty sands in the cab of a road train as long as a football field. Though there's a wealth of good company here, this is a book that savors solitude, too, the quietly stunning moments that reward the self-sufficient traveler -- a black-velvet sky studded with stars, the green flash at the instant of sunset in the old pearling port of Broome, restless swells that sweep in from the South Pole to crash against breathtaking cliffs at the desolate edge of the world. With a sure sense of place and an engaging, entertaining, and above all honest voice, Roff Smith interweaves the history and lore of Australia with his own hard-won journey of discovery -- the kind of revelation that rewards those who travel not through a country but into it.

Review:

It's not every day that a fellow decides to pack in a good job, pack up his saddlebags, and set off by bicycle to make a circumferential journey around Australia. In 1996, that's just what American-born Time magazine correspondent Roff Martin Smith did, though; as he explains, he'd been living in Australia for 14 years but didn't really know the country, and he "felt no emotional bond to it." About to turn 38, a few pounds over his ideal weight, and untested as a distance bicyclist, Smith faced up to considerable odds, but he survived to tell the tale.

And a rollicking tale it is, as Smith meets with an odd assortment of humans and critters along his sometimes torturous path. (One all-too-long stretch of road, for instance, he calls "the most dangerous and frightening I've ever had the misfortune to ride: a suicide run of hammering trucks, heavy construction, muddy detours, and lane closures.") Smith logs time in crocodile country, too, in the far northern Australian rainforest, where he counts the awful moments until antediluvian doom strikes. It never does, and in any event the crocs are nothing compared to the errant sheep, emus, kangaroos, and death adders he encounters, to say nothing of the 108-degree gusts euphemistically referred to by local weathercasters as "sea breezes"--none of which poses quite the dangers that his fellow humans offer out on the beery highways of Oz. Difficult though the journey is, Smith keeps up his good cheer throughout these lively pages, and, if he's not quite unflappable, he's certainly a sympathetic narrator.

Expanded from his popular three-part series in National Geographic magazine, Smith's pedal-powered epic is an instructive manual for anyone contemplating a life-changing journey--and, for the rest of us, a highly enjoyable, altogether unexpected tour of the outback. --Gregory McNamee

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