Karl Bushby

Overall Rating: 9
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Author: Karl Bushby
Title: Giant Steps
Time: 1998-2005
Destination: Chile to Russia
Length: interrupted traveling over several years
Type: walking (and some swimming)
Rating: 9/10

Not just a tough cookie

The story: KB is a young British paratrooper who sets out to do something special with his life – he wants to walk all the way from Southern Chile to his home in Hull, England. So he flies down to Patagonia, walks to Central America, swims through the Darién Gap, gets a trolley built, continues to Alaska and does some more swimming and wading – this time through the Bering Strait, only to get arrested in the Russian federation.

a paratrooper wandering around

As you can probably tell, this guy is a tough cookie. But actually that’s not why this book is good. When KB starts out to walk, his goal is set and his writing is pretty raw. It seems as though there just isn’t that much room for doubts or for contemplation. This makes it a bit hard to read. But as the journey advances, the guy grows. Doubts start to appear. Not all of his hardships are glorious. (I had to smile at how he got the runs in the jungle of Central America, and I have to salute him for writing about it.)

Karl Bushby – a helpless romantic?

And he falls hopelessly in love. This is in fact what makes it all worthwhile. KB is suddenly not just some invincible paratrooper anymore, but he becomes a fragile person with an overly ambitious goal – someone that is interesting to read about. When this guy is struggling with his feelings, when he is down with a bad temper, when all things seem to be against him and his quest – that’s when this book is at its very best.

A 9/10. Read it!

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