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Last Updated: May 31, 2015 - 6:35:37 AM 

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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "Backpacks, Boots and Baguettes" by Simon Calder and Mick Webb
By Milt Gross
May 31, 2015 - 6:35:40 AM

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Backpacks, Boots, and Baguettes showed me a different kind of hiking, at least what happens in parts of Europe.

I prefer our kind, here in the U.S.

The book was well written, and I don't recall more than one or two typos in the whole thing.

The whole book showed me how hiking was along the French/Spanish border in the Pyrenees. I was a bit surprised to read the details of the two men's "hike," which involved trains, buses, taxi cabs, and hitchhiking during parts of their "hike."

My understanding is this trail along the Pyrenees crossed many roads as well as rough places including hard climbing. Many times the two described their coming down a trail to a road and walking along the road. Their overnights were far different from the Appalachian Trail, as well. They seldom camped and spent most nights in hotels or inns with adequate meals.

These things made up their "hike."

I don't think all hiking in Europe or the UK is like this. Several years ago members of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club and representatives of other hiking groups traveled to Europe to advise trail builders of how it is done here in the U.S.

My daughter mailed me the book from North Carolina. It was published in 2004 by Virgin Books Ltd in London England for a cover price of $12.95, the U.S. price.

It's probably not a book I'll reread, but nor will I forget my impression of "hiking" along the Pyrenees I got from it.

Would I recommend it? Yup. Unfortunately at Amazon.com, I only saw a Kindle Edition for $14.38. I suppose its fortunate if you use Kindle.

I don't use Kindle, but I recommend this as a good read and as an education about how "they" do it across the sea.


Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at lesstraveledway@roadrunner.com.

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2014


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