The Cruelest Journey

The Cruelest Journey

600 Miles to Timbuktu

Book - 2005
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Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the author's solo six hundred mile journey down the Niger River to Timbuktu in an inflatable kayak, following a route similar to that taken by Scottish explorer Mungo Park in the late 1700s.

Blackwell North Amer
At the age of thirty-two, Kira Salak is already an adventurer with a long history of seeking impossible challenges. Here she documents her most ambitious journey yet: six hundred unforgiving miles on the Niger River through Mali, from Old Segou to Timbuktu - a feat inspired by the legendary Scottish explorer Mungo Park.
With lyrical evocations and breathtaking suspense, Salak relates the tale of her seemingly impossible trip. Enduring tropical storms, enraged hippos, unrelenting desert heat, and the mercurial moods of the treacherous Niger, she traveled solo through one of the most desolate regions of Africa. Dependent on locals for much of her food and shelter, she came ashore each night to remote mud hut villages on the banks of the river, meeting Dogon sorceresses and tribesmen who alternately revered and reviled her. As she soldiered on toward Timbuktu, weak - but unbowed - from a virulent bout of dysentery, she focused on her ultimate challenge: to buy the freedom of two Bella slave girls.

Baker
& Taylor

Chronicles the author's solo six hundred mile journey down the Niger River to Timbuktu in an inflatable kayak, following a route similiar to that taken by Scottish explorer Mungo Park in the late 1700s.
Relates the tale of the author's journey of more than six hundred dangerous miles on the Niger River from Mali's Old Segou to Timbuktu, enduring tropical storms and the heat of the Sahara to fulfill her goal of buying the freedom of two Bella slave girls.

Simon and Schuster
Kira Salak is a young woman with a history of seeking impossible challenges. She grew up relishing the exploits of the great Scottish explorer Mungo Park and set herself the daunting goal of retracing his fatal journey down West Africa's Niger river for 600 miles to Timbuktu. In so doing she became the first person to travel alone from Mali's Old Segou to "the golden city of the Middle Ages," and, legend has it, the doorway to the end of the world. In the face of the hardships she knew were to come, it is amazing that she could have been so sanguine about her journey's beginning: "I have the peace and silence of the wide river, the sun on me, a breeze licking my toes, the current as negligible as a faint breath. Timbuktu seems distant and unimaginable." Enduring tropical storms, hippos, rapids, the unrelenting heat of the Sahara desert and the mercurial moods of this notorious river, she traveled solo through one of the most desolate regions in Africa where little had changed since Mungo Park was taken captive by Moors in 1797. Dependent on locals for food and shelter, each night she came ashore to stay in remote mud-hut villages on the banks of the Niger, meeting Dogan sorceresses and tribes who alternately revered and reviled her- so remarkable was the sight of an unaccompanied white woman paddling all the way to Timbuktu. Indeed, on one harrowing stretch she barely escaped harm from men who chased her in wooden canoes, but she finally arrived, weak with dysentery, but triumphant, at her destination. There, she fulfilled her ultimate goal by buying the freedom of two Bella slaves with gold. This unputdownable story is also a meditation on self-mastery by a young adventuress without equal, whose writing is as thrilling as her life. Kira Salak is a young woman with a history of seeking impossible challenges. She grew up relishing the exploits of the great Scottish explorer Mungo Park and set herself the daunting goal of retracing his fatal journey down West Africa's Niger river for 600 miles to Timbuktu. In so doing she became the first person to travel alone from Mali's Old Segou to "the golden city of the Middle Ages," and, legend has it, the doorway to the end of the world. In the face of the hardships she knew were to come, it is amazing that she could have been so sanguine about her journey's beginning: "I have the peace and silence of the wide river, the sun on me, a breeze licking my toes, the current as negligible as a faint breath. Timbuktu seems distant and unimaginable." Enduring tropical storms, hippos, rapids, the unrelenting heat of the Sahara desert and the mercurial moods of this notorious river, she traveled solo through one of the most desolate regions in Africa where little had changed since Mungo Park was taken captive by Moors in 1797. Dependent on locals for food and shelter, each night she came ashore to stay in remote mud-hut villages on the banks of the Niger, meeting Dogan sorceresses and tribes who alternately revered and reviled her- so remarkable was the sight of an unaccompanied white woman paddling all the way to Timbuktu. Indeed, on one harrowing stretch she barely escaped harm from men who chased her in wooden canoes, but she finally arrived, weak with dysentery, but triumphant, at her destination. There, she fulfilled her ultimate goal by buying the freedom of two Bella slaves with gold. This unputdownable story is also a meditation on self-mastery by a young adventuress without equal, whose writing is as thrilling as her life.

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, [2005]
Copyright Date: ©2005
ISBN: 9780792274575
0792274571
Branch Call Number: 916.62 Salak 2005
Characteristics: x, 230 pages : map ; 24 cm

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