A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush

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HarperCollins UK, Mar 28, 2013 - Travel - 256 pages

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A classic of travel writing, ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ is Eric Newby’s iconic account of his journey through one of the most remote and beautiful wildernesses on earth.

It was 1956, and Eric Newby was earning an improbable living in the chaotic family business of London haute couture. Pining for adventure, Newby sent his friend Hugh Carless the now-famous cable - CAN YOU TRAVEL NURISTAN JUNE? - setting in motion a legendary journey from Mayfair to Afghanistan, and the mountains of the Hindu Kush, north-east of Kabul. Inexperienced and ill prepared (their preparations involved nothing more than some tips from a Welsh waitress), the amateurish rogues embark on a month of adventure and hardship in one of the most beautiful wildernesses on earth - a journey that adventurers with more experience and sense may never have undertaken. With good humour, sharp wit and keen observation, the charming narrative style of ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ would soon crystallise Newby's reputation as one of the greatest travel writers of all time.

One of the greatest travel classics from one of Britain's best-loved travel writers, this edition includes new photographs, an epilogue from Newby's travelling companion, Hugh Carless, and a prologue from one of Newby's greatest proponents, Evelyn Waugh.


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Life of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman
Birth of a Mountain Climber Pera Palace
The Dying Nomad
Airing in a Closed Carriage
A Little Bit of Protocol
Panjshir Valley
A Walk in the
Coming Round the Mountain
Round 2
Over the
Going Down
A Room with a View
Disaster at Lake Mundul
Beyond the Arayu

Finding our Feet
Western Approaches
Round 1
Epilogue to the 50th Anniversary Edition ix xi xiv 18 33 39 51 70 93 107 122 134 148 165 177 183 196 210 226 242 258 271

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About the author (2013)

Eric Newby was born in London in 1919. In 1938, he joined the four-masted Finnish barque Moshulu as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe, by way of Cape Horn. During World War II, he served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section. In 1942, he was captured and remained a prisoner-of-war until 1945. He subsequently married the girl who helped him to escape, and for the next fifty years, his wife Wanda was at his side on many adventures. After the war, he worked in the fashion business and book publishing but always travelled on a grand scale, sometimes as the Travel Editor for the Observer. He was made CBE in 1994 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001. Eric Newby died in 2006.

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