A spellbinding travel book, exploring the psychology of walking, pilgrimage, solitude and escape.
‘An extraordinary, dreamlike journey through West Africa’ Adharanand Finn
At the age of twenty-seven and afraid of falling into a life he doesn’t want, Robert Martineau quits his office job, buys a flight to Accra and begins to walk. He walks 1,000 miles through Ghana, Togo and Benin, to Ouidah, an ancient spiritual centre on the West African coast.
As he travels alone across rainforest, savannah and mountains, Martineau meets shamans, priests, historians, archaeologists and kings. Through the process of walking each day, and the lessons of those he encounters, Martineau starts to build connections with the natural world and the past – and, at last, to find the meaning he craves.
‘Marvellous… A book about how to travel’ Jay Griffiths, author of Wild
‘[Martineau’s] story, beautifully written, of how his pilgrimage of sorts changed him forever’ Evening Standard
A story of tenacity, told with humility, in a West Africa experienced deeply at the pace of a walk. I loved this book - its thoughtfulness, turn of phrase and lightness of touch as the author escapes one life to rediscover another. -- Sophy Roberts, author of The Lost Pianos of Siberia An extraordinary, dreamlike journey through west Africa. The evocative, delicate writing leaves you feeling the very ground under his feet as he makes his way on this most astonishing pilgrimage in search of adventure and meaning. -- Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans This is a book about how to travel: curious, observant, informed and poignantly honest. It is a marvellous and sensitive portrayal of the author's inner and the outer world. -- Jay Griffiths, author of 'Wild: An Elemental Journey' Waypoints wonderfully explores how walking animates resilience in times of stress, anxiety and worry, illustrating, through personal experience, how the journey is often our collective human goal. -- Shane O'Mara, author of 'In Praise of Walking' Stepping out in the spirit of Bruce Chatwin and Rebecca Solnit, Robert Martineau ranges through forest and desert, literature and philosophy, in search of an answer to why we are drawn to wander. Although he walks over a thousand miles, Waypoints is less a tale of endurance than a form of meditation. In elegant, searingly honest prose, he treads the same line as John Muir, for whom 'going out was really going in'. -- David Farrier, author of 'Footprints'
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