The Island That DaredEIGHT FEET IN THE ANDES


Publisher: John Murray
Published:1983

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The eight feet belong to Dervla Murphy, her nine-year-old daughter Rachel and Juana, an elegant mule, who together clambered the length of Peru, from Cajamarca on the border with Ecuador, to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital, over 1300 miles to the south.  With only the most basic necessities to sustain them and spending most of their time above 10,000 feet, their journey was marked by extreme discomfort, occasional danger and even the temporary loss of Juana over a precipice.  Yet mother and daughter, a formidable duo, were unflagging in their sympathetic response to the perilous beauty and impoverished people of the Andes.

'One of the most joyous, positive and poetic voyages – physical, spiritual and environmental – in the annals of publishing.'  Irish Independent

'This is the best account I have read of travel on foot in the Andes,  Other writes have walked through Peru and described their experiences, but with the appreciations of scenery and people and the sheer enjoyment of the journey that makes Dervla Murphy one of our outstanding travel writers.'  Traveller

'This adventure is one of Miss Murphy’s best . She remains her humorous, modest self-mocking self.'  David Holloway, The Daily Telegraph

'Miss Murphy is always an honest and endearing companion, so stout of heart and physique that she almost belittles her achievement.'  The Sunday Telegraph

'A tone of exuberance and generosity dominates the book … the reader’s admiration is boundless.'  Caroline Moorehead, The Spectator

'Miss Murphy is dashing in her insights, beautifully responsive to environment, lovingly sympathetic to people and sometimes exceedingly funny.'  TLS