In 1966 Dervla Murphy travelled the length and breadth of Ethopia, first on a mule, Jock, whom she named after her publisher, and later on a recalcitrant donkey.
The remarkable achievement was not surviving three armed robberies or the thousand-mile trail, but the gradual growth of affection for and understanding of another race.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 237 pages, maps
- Publisher: Eland Publishing Ltd
- Publication Date: 07/03/2012
- Category: Travel writing
- ISBN: 9781906011673
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Review by starbox
Adventure in AbyssiniaPublished in 1968, this is a remarkable account of one woman's trek of over 1000 miles through Ethiopia. Accompanied only by her trusty mule, Jock, she tells of their adventures crossing the inhospitable terrain: ascending mountains, swimming across rivers, and the swamps and jungle around Lake Tana. The narrative, of course, is brought to life by her dealings with local people whom she encounters on the way, often sleeping in their compounds. She writes of the poverty, the bugs and disease; but also the interesting and amusing situations she encounters; and the dangers from hostile 'shiftas' (bandits.) And she describes beautiful scenery and magical moments.The author's sense of humour shines out in her writing, at herself as much as the Ethiopians.Rather less 'political' than her later work on Laos.One finishes the book full of admiration for a colossal achievement by a solitary traveller, unfazed by the injuries and difficulties she suffers in this remote and impoverished country.