Extremes Along the Silk Road : Adventures Off the World's Oldest Superhighway, Paperback

Extremes Along the Silk Road : Adventures Off the World's Oldest Superhighway Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


The Silk Road is the fabled route that cuts through one of the most extraordinary tracts of land on this planet.

A vast region separating China from the Mediterranean, it rates as one of the least hospitable on Earth - a succession of hostile deserts and towering mountain ranges, a harsh terrain of howling winds, searing heat and blistering cold.

No stranger to unforgiving territory, Nick Middleton follows in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo overland from China to Istanbul, surviving as they did the life-sapping Gobi desert, the icy passes of high altitude Tibet, and the great Steppes of Turkmenistan, and encounters those who eke out existences there today.

Nick's great gift as an adventure writer is to weave together the personal experience of ridiculous endurance - from sleeping on steaming rocks in the middle of a sub-zero desert to eating the most dubiously-cooked local delicacies - with the bigger picture of our planet and its peoples.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, 16pp colour photos and one map
  • Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9780719567209



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One reviewer compared the author to Indiana Jones. Another called him Mr. Magoo. I should have listened to the last one. For most of the book, Nick Middleton's various sicknesses and fears eclipse the stories of the countries he visits. I aspire to be the kind of traveller who can find something to appreciate anywhere; Mr. Middleton clearly is not. He whines about altitude sicknesses, garbage, bad hotels and physical hardship on journeys he did little to prepare for. The redeeming feature? His travels in Kazakhstan. For once, the troubles of the people he visits outweigh his own discomfort, and he describes the ecological disaster of the Aral Sea and the consequences for those who depended on it in heartbreaking detail. Reading that made the rest of the book worth it.