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Italy: Valleys of Rock By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $5.33
(3 Ratings)
In the summer of 2004 we went climbing with Dimitri in the Valle Garrafano in the Apuane Alps, a limestone area famous for its Carrara marble. Dimitri had been a tenant of ours in Cambridge when he... More > had a sabbatical working in the University Library. We returned the following summer and were whisked off again to the rocky valleys of Italy’s far northwest. We climbed in the Valle Maira and Valle Gesso in the Maritime Alps, Then we drove further north to the Valle dell’Orco in the Graian Alps near the Parco Gran Paradiso. The rock was superb and we did some great routes following our 'Pied Piper' Dimitri.< Less
Ecuador: Climbing Volcanos By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.50
(3 Ratings)
We went to Ecuador to visit my daughter Frances. In Quito we stayed with Ecuadorian friends who introduced us to culinary delights such as calf’s foot soup (good for hangovers), cow’s... More > udder (like eating Pirelli tyre rubber) and guinea pig (like roast chicken on a spit). We planned to climb volcanos, acclimatising slowly, starting from Loma Lumbisi at 3039 m and building up to Chimborazo at 6,268 m. Although not technically difficult, they weren’t easy. There was rock scrambling on Carihaurazo and one had to take care not to trip on the steep snow. Between climbs we relaxed and recovered in the hot thermal springs and rejuventing calm of the spa town of Baños and the jungle pools of Papallacta. The account describes our struggles to cope with altitude sickness and to find foothold on the loose ash slopes. It describes our relations with my german friend Hans from Venezuela, whose slow, measured pace Steve found frustrating but whose rhythm suited Scharlie.< Less
Guatemala: Our Man In Central America By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.48
(3 Ratings)
We went to Guatemala to visit David, a friend I hadn’t seen for more than twenty-five years since I lived in Venezuela. We stay with his delightful family, a house full of delightful women. We... More > go to Chichicastenango on market day and witness the strangely pagan firework procession from the church; we take a cruise around Lake Atitlan and stop off in the villages around its shores. We fly to Tikal, climb pyramids and hear about the end of the world. And David takes us up the active volcano of Pacaya where we brave poisonous sulphur clouds and risk being bombarded with tephra bombs that David says land with a splat like red-hot cow pats. But the most amazing part of our trip, something we hadn’t bargained for, is that David reveals he was for over thirty years a spy for MI6 and ‘Our man in Central America’.< Less
Turkey: East Meets West By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.51
(3 Ratings)
The city of Van on the Silk Road in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. It was hit by an earthquake on Sunday 23 October 2011. People were killed and many more made homeless. I went there a year later to see... More > how well the city is recovering. Scharlie, my wife, came for the first week in Izmir where we stayed with Bahar, a former PhD student of mine, and her parents. With the help of a guide, Harun, I visited Van and Ergiş, which had suffered severe damage, and interviewed local Governors, urban planners, engineers, geologists, business people and residents about what is being done to boost the economy, deal with social problems and to plan for the future. I also made contact with engineers and planners in Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul to better understand how Turkey manages recovery. On my weekend off I hired a car and drove north up the Armenia border passed Mount Ararat as far the Kars, featured in Orhan Pamuk’s book ‘Snow’ and the ruined medieval capital of Armenia, Ani.< Less
Venezuela: Climbing Ilu Tepuy By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.48
(3 Ratings)
Ilu Tepuy is the most northerly tepuy or sandstone spire in the Roraima chain of mountains in South-East venezuela close to the Brazilian and Guyana Borders. This is an account of the first ascent in... More > October 1981.< Less
Australia: Distant Encounters By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.50
(2 Ratings)
Australia is far-flung and until the airplane overcame the tyranny of distance Australia was terra incognita. Aboriginals of Australia are one of the oldest living peoples of the world having... More > occupied the same territory longer than any other human population, about 50,000 years. They believe their ancestors brought the world into being by naming the landscape and the creatures that inhabit it. They sing to keep the land alive and their songs are stories of ancestor figures and a GPS to help guide them over vast distances. In Sydney and were treated to a spectacular exhibition of Aboriginal art and dance depicting places along the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia and we attended the 60th Perth International Arts Festival with a opening ceremony that aimed to reconcile the Nyungar guardians of Mudurup Rocks at Cottesloe with modern Australia.< Less
Greece: Varassova By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.50
(2 Ratings)
In 2003 we went climbing with Muni and Rose to Varasova, a limestone cliff in Greece east of Missolonghi. This 900m high promontory that drops into the Ionian Sea is the home of Greek climbing. There... More > are over 200 routes, some sports routes of 3-4 pitches on the south face near the sea and some much longer trad climbs of up to 18 pitches on the south-west face. The rock is very solid, relatively sharp, mostly gray or yellow limestone of outstanding quality. We climbed a lot of routes at VS standard with a couple of longer more serious climbs. Scharlie also had an adventure climbing the mountain to the summit on her own one day, We visited Missolonghi where Byron had died of a fever fighting for Greek independence, and Nafpaktos where Cervantes had lost an arm fighting in the sea battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Corinth, We also went to Delphi where Rose and Scharlie had a race around the 400 m stadium.< Less
India: Himalayan Sanctuaries By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.48
(2 Ratings)
We went trekking with a group of friends in the Garhwal Himalaya. Michael was able to get permission for us to go both to the legendary Valley of Flowers and the Bioshere Resereve and the Inner... More > Sanctuary of Nanda Devi. We describe the overwhelming impact of the colours, sounds and smells of Delhi and relate how we bought a beautiful silk carpet on our way to the mountains. And we recount our climbs through steep green valleys and raging torrents into the soaring snow-white mountains. We tell stories about the people we meet; the Sikh pilgrims on their pilgrimage to Hemkund, our young guides from Joshimath, the people we stay with in the small mountain villages and the merchants in the hill stations.< Less
Corsica GR20: Toughest Trail in Europe By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.36
The GR20 is one of the great walks of Europe, comparable in length to the Tour of Mont Blanc and similar in quality to the Cuillen Ridge on Skye. It runs across Corsica northwest to southeast. It... More > crosses jagged peaks, that are snow covered for much of the year. It is over a hundred and thirty miles long, involves over 25,000 metres of ascent and descent and takes nearly two weeks. It is divided into two sections by a small gauge railway that crosses the GR20 at Vizzavona. We walked the northern part from Calenza in 2001 and the southern part from Conca in 2004, when we had just turned sixty. Like so many who do this walk, we found our own way, carrying all our food and the minimum of gear and clothing. This is an account of the walk, plus excursions to the Aiguilles de Bavella and Monte Renosu, two high level variants. It will introduce you to the joys of multi-day high level walking and maybe encourage you to try for yourselves.< Less
Morocco: Sahara and Atlas By Stephen Platt & Scharlie Platt
eBook (ePub): $6.49
(1 Ratings)
We had a trip to Morocco in mind for some years, since Frances, our daughter, went there on buying trips twenty years ago. But this time we visited parts that were new to her. From Fez we crossed the... More > Atlas Mountains and went south into the desert, then west along the mountains to Finnt, across to Marrakesh and back along the northern flank to Fez. I’m glad we went now because Morocco is changing. Everywhere we went there were signs of development – half finished apartments blocks, new suburbs and building plots. But Morocco feels authentic – women in bright Berber costume riding donkeys loaded with fodder, families out for an evening stroll, women washing clothes in the river. Even the stallholders and merchants seemed more polite and agreeable than in other places. Everyone was friendly and helpful and it was a pleasure to speak bad French.< Less

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