Tag Archives: Himalayas

A traveller – at the Salamanca Market set up by the Derwent River

Since April I have been waiting for the weather to warm up so I can continue my walk to the source of the Derwent River more comfortably. Between then and now my posts have connected with the Derwent River by various degrees. This posting is no different. Months ago I walked past historic Salamanca in Hobart as I walked the edge of the Derwent River and last Saturday, I headed back again to the area for the renowned Salamanca Market.

The big find was an Englishman who has relocated to live in Tasmania and had set up a stall to sell his book.  A few years ago his Tasmanian wife lured him here for a holiday and when she flew back to England, he decided to return by hitching his way half way around the world.  After starting from Hobart by accepting a lift on a Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race yacht returning to Sydney, his trek took 6 months via the countries north of the Himalayas.  Apparently it only took 800 rides, through 19 countries! Out of the adventure and experiences Jamie Maslin wrote his story: ‘The Long Hitch Home’.

The Long Hitch Home Jamie Maslin book cover

In more recent times, Jamie has relocated to Hobart for permanent residence.

Past posts have indicated my awe and amazement about the achievements of people who take on, what seem to me to be, herculean tasks – These always excite me to make yet another step.  Inspiring others to make the first step in their own backyard is one of the goals of this ongoing blog.

Film: The Way Back

The Way Back, an epic dramatic film directed by Australia’s Peter Weir, was released in 2010. The film was inspired by The Long Walk (1956), a memoir by a former Polish Prisoner of War, who escaped from a Soviet Gulag and walked 4,000 miles (yes miles not kilometres) to freedom during World War 11.

What was it about the film that absorbed me?  Firstly, the story is so improbable considering the extreme climate and environment over which the walk took place – yet it happened.  Secondly, the acting was first class, made the story plausible so that I believed every bit of each challenge faced in the Gulag and then on the long southward trek through wilderness and deserts.  I knew previous work of some of the actors, but others were completely unknown to me: Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan, Alexandru Potocean, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Gustaf Skarsgard, Drago Bucur and Mark Strong.

Overall, the details of and the panoramic views of landscape were enthralling and breathtaking in their scope and richness. I found myself using Google maps to understand the route past Lake Baikal, into Mongolia and across to Tibet, then over the Himalayas into India. Extraordinary achievement.

If you watch the trailer at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023114/, I believe the sensational music and the movie excerpts are not in the spirit of the big spaces and the big decisions faced by the walkers.  The power of the dialogue and its pacing is lost.  Seeing the whole movie gives a completely different perspective. What I have been left with after seeing the movie, is an unshakeable faith that there are people who have an important goal and will do anything to achieve it. Quite wonderful!