By Bill Bryson
The longest non-stop footpath on the planet, the Appalachian path stretches alongside the East Coast of the us, from Georgia to Maine, via one of the most arresting and celebrated landscapes in the USA. on the age of forty-four, within the corporation of his good friend Stephen Katz (last visible within the bestselling Neither right here nor There), invoice Bryson trigger to hike throughout the large tangled woods that have been scary brilliant humans for 3 hundred years. forward lay virtually 2,200 miles of distant mountain desolate tract choked with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, toxic vegetation, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling assassin and - maybe so much alarming of all - humans whose favorite hobby is discussing the relative advantages of the external-frame backpack. dealing with savage climate, cruel bugs, unreliable maps and a fickle better half whose profoundest want was once to visit a lodge and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled throughout the desert to accomplish a lifetime's ambition - to not die outdoor.
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Extra resources for A Walk in the Woods (UK Edition)
As well as the usual duties, of course. ' 'Gosh. That's great. ' 'Well now, the happy fact is that Mr Valentine, the father of Cundall's headmaster Jeremy Valentine, lives not far from you in Norfolk. ' Mr Valentine was kind and cardiganned and very interested in my views on cricket. He poured me a generous schooner of amontillado and conceded that, while this young Botham chap could certainly swing the ball, his line and length were surely too erratic to trouble any technically correct batsman.
My duties, as a valet would say, were extensive: not just teaching and keeping order in the form-room but preparing lessons, correcting and marking written work, giving extra tuition, covering for other masters and being on call for everything and everyone from the morning bell before breakfast to lights-out at night. Since I lived in the school and had no ties of marriage outside it, the headmaster and other senior staff were able to make as much use of me as they wished. I had ostensibly been hired as the replacement for a sweet, gentle old fellow called Noel Kemp-Welch, who had slipped on the ice and fractured his pelvic girdle at the beginning of term.
Providence has once again been merciful. Alfresco. We are in our early twenties and have left university eight months earlier. Everything should be wonderful in our lives, and I suppose it is. Hugh, Emma, Paul and I have won the first Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival for our university revue; a tour of Australia has followed. We have just come from filming that revue for the BBC and now we are about to create our very own television series. Big sticky tins of Nescafe and boxes of PG Tips teabags stand on a trestle table at one end of the room.