Where the Wild Winds Are
My second book tells the story of an unlikely quest: to follow four of Europe's winds across the continent.
These wind-walks begin in the bleak Northern Pennines on the trail of the Helm, Britain's only named wind, following legends of border reivers and air-dwelling demons. The freezing Bora leads me three hundred miles from Trieste through Slovenia and down the Croatian coast, from the emptiness of the Karst Plateau to a Balkan mountain blizzard. My hunt for the 'snow-eating' Foehn becomes a meandering journey of exhilaration and despair through the Alpine valleys of Switzerland, where I experience first-hand the notorious Foehn-sickness blamed for everything from headaches to high murder rates. My final walk traces an ancient pilgrims' path in the south of France on the trail of the Mistral: the 'wind of madness' that animated and tormented Vincent Van Gogh.
These are journeys into wild wind, but also into myths and science, history and hearsay – an unconventional travelogue that makes the invisible visible. The book is published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, and is available on Amazon and in all good bookshops.
My writing has also appeared in The Economist, The Guardian, New Internationalist, Resurgence, World Conservation and other publications. I made this documentary on Indian migrant workers in Dubai for BBC Radio 4.
I also work as an editor for the Dark Mountain Project.
Contact me at email@example.com
Walking the Woods and the Water
In 1933, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in a pair of hobnailed boots to chance and charm his way across Europe, 'like a tramp, a pilgrim or a wandering scholar', from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. Seventy–eight years later, I followed in his footsteps. Walking the Woods and the Water (Nicholas Brealey, 2014) recounts a seven–month walk through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey on a quest to discover what remains of hospitality, kindness to strangers, freedom, wildness, adventure and the deeper currents of myth and story that still flow beneath Europe's surface.
Shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015
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