Saturday, March 31, 2012

Travels in a Thin Country by Sara Wheeler

Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile (Modern Library)Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile by Sara Wheeler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Around the World: 11 of 52 (still need to post review for #10)

The author combines history, political intrigue, stories of people she travels with or meets along the way, verbal snapshots of unbelievable landscape, and box after box of wine (mixed with Coke) into a travel book that has made Chile even more of a mystery to me NOW than when I started reading it.

The country stretches along South America and includes icebergs, rainforests, desert, mountains, island regions, wine country, with a diversity of old European colonials and (mostly extinct) native people groups. She never travels to Easter Island, but it seems like it is more Polynesian than anything else (and I still have a book to read for it by itself). I learned about quite a few more cold weather islands that I didn't know about (hooray) but if traveling there is anything like she describes in 1992, I'm not sure I could do it (boo).  I'm going to dream about them over on my Pinterest wanderlust board, if you want to see what I find. 

Quotation tidbits I liked:
"'The problem is,' he went on, 'that you don't stop being an exile when you get home. It becomes a state of mind. You can be an exile inside your head. Perpetual travellers are often like that... Mind you, you don't necessarily have to go anywhere to feel that kind of permanent alienation. Perhaps the worst kind of exile is mental.'"

"It was unutterably peaceful. At that moment the past held no regrets and the future no fears; I could have given up everything worldly to live the rest of my life on that island."

1 comment:

  1. I love memoir travel books. Thanks for show casing a book from a "not-that-often" read country.


Thanks for visiting the Reading Envy blog and podcast. Word verification has become necessary because of spam.