Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered

Tim Cahill

The latest of Tim Cahill’s fearless adventure travels, wholly in the spirit of Jaguars Ripped My Flesh and Pecked to Death by Ducks.

Tim Cahill doesn’t travel like other people, which is how he finds himself on the back of an unshod pony running at a stamping gallop through Mongolia, kayaking in Alaska in the face of a calving glacier, swimming (briefly, oh so briefly) in the waters below the ice at the North Pole and debating with a Dani herdsman in New Guinea the most fashionable style of penis sheath and how to grow one. Great travel writing is not only about place but about people and Cahill is at his exuberant best when extraordinary places are filled with extraordinary folk: the pacific rangers who paddle bullet-proof canoes into raging storm waves clad in grey body armour for camouflage because they don’t want to be rescued by the coastguard; the competitive spear fishermen of Southern Peru; the warring Indians of the upper Amazon; the pilots who pretend to have heart attacks mid-flight so that their passengers can learn how to cope in an emergency. This is real travel: vigorous, risky, sensitive, observant and full of life.

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