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Himalayan Passage

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This narrative, winner of the first (1990) Barbara Savage/ Miles from Nowhere Memorial Award for adventure travel writing, tells of a 1987 trip around the Himalayas by truck, mountain bike, local bus, and foot. Accompanied by their wives, Schmidt, a journalist, and Morrow, a photographer, set out to circumnavigate the Himalayas. Their journey began in Lhasa and should have ended there, but like a similar attempt (Ned Gillette and Jan Reynolds's Everest Grand Circle , LJ 11/1/85), political events terminated the quest in Sikkim. Schmidt is particularly good describing landscapes and the natives of Tibet and Nepal. He is somewhat less sympathetic and colorful in describing Indian and Pakistan portions of an off-the-beaten-path journey and reveals almost nothing about the four travelers themselves. Growing interest in adventure travel may make this a desirable purchase for large public libraries.-- Paula M. Strain, MLS, Rockville, Md.

Here is travel and adventure par excellence. Schmidt, Morrow and their wives, veteran travelers and longtime collaborators, set out to circumambulate the Himalayas. Starting in Lhasa, Tibet, in the spring of 1987, they headed west along the north slope of the mountains into China and Pakistan and returned on the south side through India and Nepal; the final leg back to Lhasa was aborted because of civil unrest in Tibet. Wyoming resident Schmidt ( The Rockies, Backbone of a Continent ) gives a lively and entertaining account of their journey; Canadian Morrow ( Beyond Everest: The Quest for the Seven Summits ) provides superb photographs of the region and its people. Prepared to use any form of transportation available--bike, bus, truck, airplane, foot, donkey cart--the travelers covered extremes of terrain, from high mountain passes to searing deserts to fertile farmland, and slept in tents, squalid hotels and a houseboat in Kashmir. Traveling in Asia's boondocks, writes Schmidt, requires patience, the ability to endure discomfort and ignore irritation. A splendid excursion for the armchair adventurer. (Sept.)

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