Books about Walking
The Complete Guide to Walking, Mark Fenton. Written by an editor at Walking magazine, this comprehensive how to guide, takes you from inertia to regular walking. Exceptionally useful book aimed at the beginning walker or occasional exerciser.
A Walk Across France, Miles Morland. An out of shape British advertising executive and his French wife hoist rucksacks and walk from Gruissan-Plage near Narbonne to Capbreton north of Bayonne, a distance of 553 km. Their route takes them mostly along country roads through farm villages. It’s hot and dusty; they slake their thirst with lots of wine.
Marching Spain, V. S. Pritchett. Engaging account of a foot trek in rural Spain originally published in 1928. An adept prose stylist, the young Pritchett isn’t above accepting a lift now and then in his progress from Badajoz to Leon. He’s poor, but richer than the people he bunks down and eats with in remote areas where the folks are suspicious of outsiders.
The Long Walk. Slavomir Rawicz. Shivering and staggering, this group of escapees from a Siberian gulag make their way across Mongolia and China, south through Nepal and across the Himalayas to India. The journey takes years and the hardships defy comprehension. An inspiring read for anyone who thinks you need high-tech gear to walk long distances.
An Inland Voyage and Travels with a Donkey, Robert Louis Stevenson (Orig pub 1879). The voyage is a paddling excursion along the Sambre and Oise Rivers in Belgium and Northern France. The travels are about walking with a donkey through central and southern France. His fragility and easy going voice make RLS an endearing companion.
The Man Who Walked Through Time, Colin Fletcher. Published in 1967, this account of a camping trek through the length of the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River involves prodigious logistics for food and water drops. Animals and Fletcher’s imagination are the only companions on this hike through geologic time.
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, Robert Macfarlane. The author uses his fine observations skill and knowledge of natural history, cartography, geology, and literature to tell about his long walk on the ancient routes that crisscross the British Isles.
Pyrenees Pilgrimage: Walking Across France, L. Peat O’Neil. Author leaves the Washington Post to walk alone on the Camino de Santiago de Compestella from west to east along the extended Camino paths in France.
Rucksack Man, Sebastian Snow. He’s a masochist, but a funny one, British adventurer Snow walked from the tip of South America through the continent northwards to cross the Panama Canal, his line of demarcation. Never accepting a ride, marching at a furious pace burdened by heavy gear, broken shoes, and always low on water, Snow was lucky to survive. His mighty will drove him on.
Long Walks in France, Adam Nicholson. Harmony House. British traveler sets off to tour various regions of France on foot. He’s interested in people, customs and history and tells unusual lore in a cheerful voice. Most of the walks are suitable for long weekends.
Walking the Trail: One Man’s Journey along the Cherokee Trail of Tears, Jerry Ellis. The author donned a backpack and began a lonely walk on the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the nine hundred miles his ancestors had walked in 1838 when forced to leave their settled homelands by the U.S. government that routinely ignored treaties.
Walking Tour in Southern France, Ezra Pound, edited and introduced by Richard Sieburth. During 1912, the infamous American modernist poet Ezra Pound toured France on foot in search of traces of the medieval Troubadour poets.
Wandering Home, Bill McKibben. Join a beloved author on a long walk from his home in Vermont to his former home in the Adirondacks through a rural landscape of hope.
Wild, Cheryl Strayed. A woman’s solo long distance trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.
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