"Meetings On The Edge" is a travel memoir by a once-frustrated journalist for the BBC, who took the plunge and abandoned a ten year career to follow her dream to become a mountaineer. This book explores the impact of a solitary journey as well as unexpected encounters with fascinating people along the way. The different natural environments mirror the demands of an evolving quest. The many lessons of nature's classroom are against a background of adventure, discovery and considerable personal risk. Like all quests, the incidental insights and surprising events challenge the romantic idea of adventure. Stories from Alaska, the Pacific North West, the Himalaya and New Zealand's Southern Alps are interwoven into the central adventure of traversing the French and Spanish Pyrenees alone.Tales to highlight include encountering a naked and all too aroused flasher far off the beaten track, a colourful relationship with Nepal's most famous civilian, a film star, two weeks after the royal massacre, and summiting Denali, North America's highest peak, while the expedition dwindled from 9 to just 4 due to life-threatening illness and mishap.
But it was after a chance meeting with a wise Maori man and a solitary encounter with a 2000 year old Kauri tree in an ancient forest, that the author experiences an epiphany: that a restless, goal-driven life is not the most fulfilling. This book ends in the foothills of the Pyrenees, where the freedom she has experienced is in marked contrast to the security-conscious existence of those living there. The electric gates, fencing and hedgerows project a community in fear of those very open spaces which had broadened her horizons.
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