The wonderful thing about adventures is that absolutely anyone can go on them. All it takes is courage, plenty of get-up-and-go and the bravery to take that first step. The people in this book chose to do just that, as did the author who was inspired by each and every one of the people that he introduces. And after reading these remarkable stories about ordinary people doing the most extraordinary of things, maybe you too will begin planning in preparation to head off on your own amazing adventure…
For centuries people have been challenging themselves by taking on daring feats, undertaking epic journeys and going on incredible adventures. In this superb non-fiction read, adventurer Alastair Humphreys - who himself has spent four years cycling around the world amongst other exploits - introduces twenty inspirational people who each embarked on an epic journey. He introduces Lakpa Rita Sherpa who has scaled multiple mountains - including Mount Everest seventeen times, Robyn Davidson who trekked across the Australian desert with her faithful camels and dog, and Rick Hansen, who - after being paralysed from the waist down in a car accident - decided to venture round the world in his wheelchair.
Coverage is vast. Humphrey’s includes people from across history and from all corners of the globe. His twenty inspirational adventurers feature males, females, BAMEs and native tribes people. Well known adventurers such as Amelia Earhart and Ranulph Fiennes feature alongside the lesser-known names of Dervla Murphy, Felice Benuzzi and Audrey Sutherland. All are brilliant in their own way and all are deserving of a place in the book.
The adventures are widely varied too, as the intrepid adventurers plod, walk, ski, swim, fly, wheel-chair, ride, row and cycle across the world. Some took years of planning, Ranulph Fiennes’ Transglobe Expedition took seven years to plan and needed almost two-thousand sponsors to cover the cost of the trip. Others were more immediate, as in the case of Laurie Lee who with only a minimal amount of possessions including his violin left his home in Gloucestershire and set off on foot for a long walk across Spain.
Stories are told over at least two double-page spreads and feature diary entries, comic strips, kit lists, maps, recipes and inspirational quotes. A nice personal touch is a comment from Humphreys that briefly explains how each of the adventurers inspired him. Each story is peppered with brilliant information, fascinating facts and terrific trivia. Did you know that many sherpas are named after the day of the week they are born on, or that when Ranulph Fiennes was suffering from frostbite and could no longer bear the pain he carried out his own ‘operation’? You’ll never believe what Jacques Piccard did when he reached the Mariana Trench (the deepest part of the ocean) or how two fabulous female aviation pioneers arrived at their destinations in a somewhat unusual style.
Love this book. Amazing adventures, incredible stories and proof that what at first may appear impossible is truly possible with the right attitude. It is time to get out there, start exploring and doing some adventuring of your own.
Recommended for 7+.