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Scot Free: A Journey from the Arctic to New Mexico

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478 pages7 hours

Summary

'How gratifying it is to welcome a young Scotsman as a major new travel writer...' Glasgow Herald

'The book is full of enthusiasm and delight as it is rich in humour.' Eastern Daily News

'A marvellously readable travel book.' British Book News

Travelling 'not to go anywhere, but to go', Alastair Scott can claim to have seen the world - 194,000 miles of it in the course of five years. Scot Free, the story of the first two years of this odyssey, reveals a new travel writer of refreshing quality.
'I wanted to go around the back of the world's Taj Mahal's,' Alastair Scott writes, 'and to run my finger through the dust that no one else saw...to find the offbeat places, to visit the more common ones but in the wrong season.' So he left his Scottish home at the approach of winter to spend a year in the far north. Wearing a kilt and sporran for goodwill, he travelled by every means of transport conceivable (and inconceivable). After some hair-raising moments in the Faroes, he voyaged round the coast of Greenland, first on a prawn-fishing boat, then as cook on a coastal cargo ship, to Thule and beyond. He witnessed a narwhal hunt and evaded the marital ambitions of Eskimo girls.
The next year was spent in the United States and Canada: bowling along the freeways to the giant cities, philosophising with the self-sufficient in the north Californian forest, sampling the dens of Las Vegas, rallying with revolutionary Rainbow People in Washington State; camping in bear country in the Rockies, following in the steps of the old Gold Rush prospectors in the Yukon, encountering ancient communities of Russian, Scottish and Swiss emigrants in Alaska, Nova Scotia and Alberta; hitching 17,000 miles in nine weeks to reach the Wild West and work with bible-reading cowboys, and ride with them into the sunset of New Mexico.
Alastair Scott brings the unusual and the eccentric vividly before our eyes, giving many an unforgettable portrait of people with whom he shared, for brief moments or extended periods, his own delight in humanity in all its forms.

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