The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
Robert Macfarlane's lyrical account of walking ancient paths in The Old Ways stretches to encompass poetry, cartography, sailing, science, birds, beasts, mountain climbing, folklore and other topics too numerous to list--and he proves a knowledgeable and fascinating guide in every aspect.
Macfarlane traces dozens of ancient paths on land and sea, beginning in Cambridgeshire, England, but eventually stretching from the Outer Hebrides to the Himalayas. He renders each place and its inhabitants (human and otherwise) in precise, vivid detail, while exploring how outer landscapes shape our inner journeys, both as we walk a landscape and long after we have left it. For Macfarlane and the guides he meets along the way, walking becomes a way of knowing oneself, of turning inward through outward motion, a constant exchange of discovery and self-discovery.
There is great pleasure in reading from Macfarlane's perspective as he explores the ways we mark our landscapes, and the ways they, in turn, mark us. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams