With a glint in his eye, Rob turns and asks me if I want to ‘touch his furry puma’. I begin to feel a little concerned about the days and weeks ahead; we are only hours into the trip and things have already taken a sinister turn. Thankfully it turns out he is referring to the little embossed logo on his new shirt.
Fuelled by a degree of mid-life crisis and the need to escape, albeit temporarily, the dull routine of modern life, David and Rob set out to walk from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, taking in French villages, beautiful scenery, and one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in Europe. Just about perfect – if you can put aside the inevitable conflict, drama, and unexpected tedium that results from two men spending over seven solid weeks in each other’s company!
©2012 David Le Vay (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"This is a laugh out loud romp… their journey is highly entertaining… and enjoy the madcap adventures that eight weeks on the road with two blokes can bring!!" (Julie Knowles Waterstones' Bookseller)
I have to agree with a reviewer who said he found the author's regular "We're not a 'couple'!" protestations a bit off-putting; moreover, the audio narration came of as a bit effete to me, which didn't help in that regard.
As a travel narrative, it was okay, although there was a fair amount of emphasis on the other hikers they met as part of the story; that aspect didn't fully work for me. There's much juvenile humor, unfortunately made worse by the narration as well. I suspect the print version might be a full three stars, with 2.5 for the audio edition. I will say the writing itself is fairly good in terms of flow, so it's not a matter of needing "editing" as such.
I know I'm a sucker for hiking tales. I'm a hiker, and I read most things on the topic I can get my hands on. Within that body of hiking literature, I'd say this one is fairly interesting and motivating. It does make me want to hike the GR10; after I finished the book I went right out and bought the trail guide. You should not, however, expect this to be Bill Bryson hikes the Pyrenees. That's not the author's intent. Instead he takes you on his 50-day trek, full of gorgeous scenery, interesting characters, the usual hiking snafus and problems, and some physical misery. I enjoyed it and will probably listen again, this time with guide book in hand.
The reader did an excellent job. And, thank heavens, his pronunciation of the names of French towns was accurate---otherwise the listening experience would have been difficult.
My only caveat is that the author seems concerned you'll think he and his hiking partner may be lovers rather than just friends, so he makes any number of jokey references to the fact that they are not. These jokes become annoying fairly quickly. Aside from this bit of "homophobia light," I enjoyed the book immensely.
"The Hairy Hikers"
A most intertaining book that takes the reader on a walking journey day by day along the edge of the Pyrenees. All the joys, sorrows , trials and tribulations are brilliantly discribed
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