HIMALAYAN ODYSSEY: The Perilous Trek to Western Nepal by Parker with Phyllis Wachob Weiss Antin

HIMALAYAN ODYSSEY: The Perilous Trek to Western Nepal

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A gripping, gritty diary of Antin's attempt to walk the Himalayan mountain range lengthwise; coauthored with free-lance travel-writer Weiss (The Washington Post, Walking Magazine, etc.). In 1982, Antin received his Ph.D. in biology. Determined to achieve something thrilling, perhaps even serf-revealing, before he was locked ""on the track to a career, family, mortgage, and the proverbial white picket fence,"" he set off in 1984 to walk the Himalayas the long way, through Nepal. Traveling with a guide and two porters at elevations of 8000 to 18,000 feet, wearing native clothes, buying food from tiny villages--which were often too poor to sell more than a day's ration of potatoes and rice--Antin endured a trek that became more and more harrowing. Hiding from Tibetan thieves who would kill a man for his shoes, dodging local officials known to hold foreigners in jail for years until friends discovered their whereabouts and paid the bakseesh (bribe), forced to rely on outdated and inaccurate maps, knowing that to miss a tiny village and to wander searching in the snow would mean probable starvation, Antin experienced an adventure that for white-knuckled excitement rivals Sir Edmund Hillary's account of his conquest of Everest. And unlike Hillary's boy scout account, Antin's is refreshingly human: he gets drunk and smokes hash, and falls in love with a beautiful Nepalese woman in Darjeeling. Well-written, classy adventure.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1990
Publisher: Donald Fine