Eight Feet in the Andes: Travels with a Mule in Unknown Peru by Dervla Murphy

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The eight feet belong to Dervla Murphy, her nine-year-old daughter Rachel and Juana, an elegant mule, who together clambered the length of Peru, from Cajamarca near the border with Ecuador, to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital, over 1300 miles to the south.
With only the most basic necessities to sustain them and spending most of their time above 10,000 feet, their journey was marked by extreme discomfort, occasional danger and even the temporary loss of Juana over a precipice. Yet mother and daughter, a formidable duo, were unflagging in their sympathetic response to the perilous beauty and impoverished people of the Andes.
In this extraordinary adventure, Dervla Murphy is at her intrepid best, facing up to the terrors, horrors and joys of her journey along the mountain paths.

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Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon by John Hemming

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This enthralling book brilliantly describes the passionate struggles that have taken place in order to utilize, protect and understand the wonder that is the Amazon. Hemmings riveting account recalls the adventures and misadventures down the centuries of the explorers, missionaries, indigenous Indians, naturalists, rubber barons, scientists, anthropologists, archaeologists, political extremists, prospectors and many more, who have been in thrall to the Amazon, the largest river in the world, with the greatest expanse of tropical rain forest and most luxuriant biological diversity on earth.

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Cochineal Red: Travels Through Ancient Peru by Hugh Thomson

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Peru wears its ancient cultures wrapped around in layers, like one of the mummified bodies so well preserved by the nitrates of its deserts. After his acclaimed book on the Incas, The White Rock, Hugh Thomson unwraps those layers to show how civilisation emerged so early and so spectacularly in this toughest and most arid of terrains. Many of the extraordinary cultures of Ancient Peru, from the lines of Nasca to the temple-cult of Chavin, buried in the mountains, and the great pyramids of the coast, have only started to give up their secrets and antiquity in just the last few years. Hugh Thomson has been at the forefront of some of these discoveries himself, having made headlines with his work near Machu Picchu. Now he takes the reader on a journey back from the world of the Incas to the first dawn of Andean civilisation, to give an immensely personal and accessible guide to the wonders that have been revealed.

The Gringo Trail by Mark Mann

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Asia has the hippie trail. South America has the gringo trail. Mark Mann and his girlfriend Melissa set off to explore the ancient monuments, mountains and rainforests of South America. But for their friend Mark, South America meant only one thing: drugs. Sad, funny and shocking, The Gringo Trail is an On the Road for the Lonely Planet generation – a darkly comic road-trip and a revealing journey through South America’s turbulent history. Drama and discovery. Culture and cocaine. Fact is stranger than fiction…
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Inca-Kola by Matthew Parriss

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Inca-Kola is the funny, absorbing account of Matthew Parriss fourth trip to Peru, on a bizarre holiday which takes him among bandits, prostitutes, peasants and riots. He and his three companions seem to head into trouble, not away from it, and he describes the troubles, curiosities and wonders they meet with the spell-binding fascination of a traveller relating adventures over the campfire. ‘A backpacker’s classic: atmospheric, touching, instructive and compulsively readable’ The Times
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