Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Walking the Americas

Walking the Americas

Written by Levison Wood

Narrated by Barnaby Edwards


Walking the Americas

Written by Levison Wood

Narrated by Barnaby Edwards

ratings:
5/5 (21 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 6, 2018
ISBN:
9781541482111
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Levison Wood's famous walking expeditions have taken him from the length of the Nile River to the peaks of the Himalayas, and in Walking the Americas, Wood chronicles his latest exhilarating adventure: a 1,800-mile trek across the spine of the Americas, through eight countries, from Mexico to Colombia.

Beginning in the Yucatán, Wood's journey takes him from sleepy barrios to glamorous cities to ancient Mayan ruins lying unexcavated in the wilderness. Wood encounters indigenous tribes in Mexico, revolutionaries in a Nicaraguan refugee camp, fellow explorers, and migrants heading toward the United States. The relationships he forges along the way are at the heart of his travels—and the personal histories, cultures, and popular legends he discovers paint a riveting history of Mexico and Central America. While contending with the region's natural obstacles like quicksand, flashfloods, and dangerous wildlife, he also witnesses the surreal beauty of local landscapes, from cascading waterfalls and sunny beaches to the spectacular ridgelines of the Honduran highlands. Finally, Wood attempts to cross one of the world's most impenetrable borders: the Darién Gap route from Panama into South America, a notorious smuggling passage and the wildest jungle he has ever navigated.

Publisher:
Released:
Mar 6, 2018
ISBN:
9781541482111
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Levison Wood served as an officer in the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan before becoming an explorer, author and documentary maker. He is famous for undertaking the first expedition to walk the entire length of the Nile River on foot, as well as walking the length of the Himalayas and circumnavigating the Arabian peninsula from Iraq to Lebanon. He has written nine best-selling books and produced several critically acclaimed documentaries. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and The Explorers Club.


Related to Walking the Americas

Related Audiobooks


Reviews

What people think about Walking the Americas

4.8
21 ratings / 8 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    ‘’Mayan sacrifice bowl,’ he said in a crackled voice through the intercom radio. He then beckoned me to follow him. Kicking our fins, we swam through the crystal water ever deeper into the depths, following the course of the sandbank. Then I saw a huge horn poking out of the sand. On closer inspection, it seemed to be attached to a skull: it looked like a cow or a buffalo. ‘Sacrifice,’ came the crackly answer from our guide. Further still and we came to something even more remarkable - and disturbing. There, on a rocky ledge, was another skull. But this time there were no horns. It was clearly that of a human being. Nearby, scattered around the bottom were the rest of the remains - thigh bones, ribs, spinal vertebrae, a pelvis.’’‘’’The really poor people,’ Alberto explained, ‘get buried in a communal plot for two years. After that, the grave is dug up on the Day of the Dead and the bones are taken out.’ He looked sinister in the half-light of the cemetery, a solitary streetlight flickered across the graves. ‘Then,’ he carried on, ‘they are put in boxes, skulls and everything, and they’re here.’ He pointed to the inside wall, where I could see what looked like small pigeonholes less than a foot wide. Each of the dark crevices contained a rusty old metal box. We got closer. Some of the compartments had bars blocking entry to what lay within. Others were open. Many of them were filled with candles and offerings. The dead are venerated here in Mexico, and nowhere more so than by the descendants of the Mayans here in the Yucatan. I opened a creaky box and there inside, looking up, was the skull of a man, on a pile of bones. I closed it quickly. ‘Let’s leave,’ I said to Alberto, ‘We’ve seen enough death for one day.’ Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
  • (5/5)
    This audio book was a true delight! In addition to being a fascinating recounting of the author's four month long trek across Central America, the book also folds in fascinating historical information. The style reminded me of the works of Bill Bryson, one of my favorite authors. Fantastic narration by Barnaby Edwards brings Wood's tale to life beautifully. If you enjoy history and travelogues, this one is for you.
  • (4/5)
    Don't get your hopes up--the author no more walked from Point Barrow to Patagonia than you or I did; he explains this, a tad lamely, by protesting that his other books are titled with verb phrases which end with a one-word geographic locale and that "Walking Central America" would destroy that admittedly poetic symmetry. Anyway, what he did do is impressive enough, if only because in the course of his walk from the Yucatan to Colombia he crossed the forbidding Darien Gap; I've never read a traveller's account which didn't bypass its perils by boat. This is a very successful book, though it's not particularly easy to see, let alone explain, why. Until they get to to the point in the Darien where the Pan-American Highway deadends at a wall, there is only occasional danger, and what there is the author underplays with minimal drama. He has, or at least exhibits, little personality or introspection, the people he encounters are occasionally surly but almost never threatening, and for the most part he gets along with his Mexican travelling companion as well as could be expected during such an lengthy, arduous time together. But the book nonetheless manages to be fascinating; I was especially surprised by the abrupt changes in national personality as soon as they crossed a border, since to outsiders Central American countries tend to run together. And his enlistment of the aid of an extremely recalcitrant combination of Panamanian military bureaucracy and local indigines to achieve his dream of walking the Darien is one of the great page-turners, as is, of course, the trek itself. All in all the book is a pleasure to recommend.
  • (5/5)
    Having gone on vacation to Columbia last year this book was of particular interest to me. Although I spent most of my time in the cities I did hike in the Andes and visit small towns. The book was very descriptive and I enjoyed the historical background.
  • (5/5)
    This audio book was a true delight! In addition to being a fascinating recounting of the author's four month long trek across Central America, the book also folds in fascinating historical information. The style reminded me of the works of Bill Bryson, one of my favorite authors. Fantastic narration by Barnaby Edwards brings Wood's tale to life beautifully. If you enjoy history and travelogues, this one is for you.
  • (4/5)
    I received this book through the LT early reviewers. I love audiobooks because I am commuting two hours a day. At first this one turned me off. First because the narrator sounds pretentious and snobby, which didn't at all match my expectations of the author. And second, because it got off to a slow start. But once we were walking the Americas, I really enjoyed it. The descriptions of the people and villages were on point, and he did a great job of picking up on the cultural differences between one country and the next. I only wish I were half as bold as the two walkers. What an experience. I learned a lot about immigrants, poverty, wildlife, drug smugglers, and local delicacies.
  • (4/5)
    I've often wondered what it is about the Brits who seem to be compelled to venture off on what appear to be hair brained adventures. Maybe it's a natural inclination to venture out from a small, crowded island. or a remnant of their old colonial adventures, but they always seem to be out searching for an adventure. Levison Woods whose previous excursions have included venturing the entire length of the Nile River and climbing some of the tallest peaks in the Himalayas, this time embarks on an 1800 mile walk from the Yucatan to Colombia with an artist friend from Mexico.Along the way he comes across indiginous tribes in Mexico, revolutionaries in a refugee camp in Nicaragua, fellow explorers on similar adventures and immigrants from such odd places as Nepal & Pakistan trying to make their way to the United States. He forges relationships with the military in various countries to ease the path of his journey, yet still comes across scary natural obstacles like quicksand, flooding rains and dangerous wildlife finally navigating the Darian Gap between Panama and Colombia know for smugglers and its wild jungle.All through his journey, Wood relates stories of the history and customs of the countries he's passing through making this both an interesting volume of history as well as a great arm chair journey
  • (4/5)
    On an atlas, the small chain of countries that link the great continents of North and South America look tiny. It is a beautiful and varied part of our planet, but their size on the map belies just how tough a part of the world it is. Not only is it hot and humid, but you will have to contend with swamps, malaria, spiders and jaguars and the jungle and the remnants of ancient cities. Not forgetting the armed gangs of drug smugglers and military types with itchy trigger fingers, this is not the place for your tourists. Thankfully Levison Wood is not your regular tourist.

    His chosen 1,800-mile route along this slender piece of land would take in eight countries. He was starting with Mexico, where he had persuaded his friend Alberto to come along for the trip. He readily agreed, remembering the time he spent in Africa with him travelling by truck; then Levison dropped the bombshell, saying that they would be walking it… Alberto still agreed to go with him every step of the way.

    Levison Wood is one of the few adventurers left in the world who is capable and mad enough to undertake these sorts of long treks across parts of the world that people would not normally venture to. At times it is an unbelievably tough journey, as they deal with hacking their way through the understory, encountering migrants heading for a new life in America and the relentless task of putting one foot in front of the other. He is one tough guy to even attempt a challenge of this order, let alone complete it. Alberto and Wood have even joined the exclusive club of those that have managed to pass the impenetrable jungle at the Darien Gap. This is such a wild area that even the Pan-American highway stops in its two continent run. It is a reasonably well-written account of his trip, if you are expecting literary excellence then this is not necessarily going to be the author for you. What you do get though is an honest account of a unique hike with all the highs and lows from a genuine tough guy.

    Great stuff. Now to watch the TV series.