Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Book: Kate McCahill's "Patagonia Road"

My latest read is a return to the travelogue.  Kate McCahill's "Patagonia Road" chronicles a journey following another traveller's journey - kind of meta really.  The author loosely follows Paul Theroux's "The Old Patagonian Express" which documents his travels through Central and South America by train.  McCahill forgoes the train travelling mostly by bus instead.

Her year long travels start in Guatemala where I lived for nine years.  It was fun to recognize some of the names and places she visited.

She continues on through El Salvador, Nicaragua, (after a jump by airplane) Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.  While she does visit the capital cities she spends most of her time in smaller cities, towns, and villages where it is easier to meet the real people and experience real culture of the region. She also spends time learning Spanish and teaching English along the way.  She gives herself time to steep in the local culture, something that I admire but I rarely get a chance to do.

Intertwined with the travel stories is the author's personal stories. I found these parts to be distracting.  I was more interested in what she was experiencing and learning.  Fortunately the personal stuff is a smaller portion of the book.

I enjoyed this book.  I enjoyed recognizing places in Guatemala, Ecuador, and Peru that I've visited.  The book hooked into my sense of nostalgia and my interest in travel.  I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  It definitely was an interesting read.

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