Up the Creek

by John Harrison

Up the Creek

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  • ISBN: 9781841628387
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About this book

'During recent years a sinister shadow has fallen across the world of travel and travel-writing. It's name is Sponsorship' writes Dervla Murphy in her foreword to John Harrison's unsponsored Amazon adventure, an extremely hazardous canoe trip taken just for the hell of it up one of the more obscure tributaries of the Amazon. Harrison's tale is compelling, full of suspense, humour and wonderful descriptions of Amazon wildlife, all told in down-to-earth unpretentious language with disarming honesty. His quest to reach the upper limit of the Jari river in Brazil and portage his canoe across the border into French Guiana is ambitious, exciting and, ultimately, flawed, but it's the trip itself, full of unexpected encounters, crippling bouts of malaria, moments of intense emotion mixed with just a tinge of madness, which is as inspiring as the tales of even the earliest adventurers.

John Harrison uses vigorous, unpretentious language combined with stunning descriptions of Amazonian wildlife.

Up the Creek was originally published by Bradt in 1986 and remains as relevant to the spirit of exploration and real, raw travel writing today as it was then. Reviews at that time hailed Harrison's adventure as epic.

About the author

After hitch-hiking from London to Johannesburg before he was 21, and two further years hitching around every country in South and Central America, John never really shook off the travel bug. John has written and presented several radio programmes for the BBC, and contributed articles to many magazines and newspapers. He has entertained audiences with more than 200 lectures over the last 25 years and has been an on-board speaker for cruise lines. He lives in Bristol in the UK with his wife and two children, where he has his own construction company.

Reviews Contents


Press reviews

'Harrison was born a century too late. He should have been out there with Livingstone, Speke, Selous and all that lot.' Dervla Murphy (in her foreword to the book)

'The style is the man: randy and rumbustious but never out of control. An admirable book by an admirable man who exposes himself mercilessly.' The Daily Telegraph

'As a record of courage and endurance it deserves to stand in an honoured place on any shelf devoted to the self-punishing experiences of Anglo-Saxons up the Amazon.' The Times

'Mountaineers have many classic accounts of daring ascents of horribly difficult peaks. With Up the Creek, tropical forest lovers now have their own epic adventure.' Dr John Hemming, Geographical Magazine

'...recounted in a fashion that provokes the reader's admiration ..... the adventure is of interest, but so is the adventurer.'
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Foreword by Dervla Murphy vii
Chapter 1 Prophecies and Preparations 1
Chapter 2 Departure 11
Chapter 3 Early Days 29
Chapter 4 Slow Progress 52
Chapter 5 Malaria 61
Chapter 6 Burnt Foot Camp 75
Chapter 7 Back to the Beginning 97
Chapter 8 Up the Cuc 125
Chapter 9 The Jari Again 156
Chapter 10 Choked Waters 173
Chapter 11 Dire Straits 189
Chapter 12 Dilemmas 208
Chapter 13 The Retreat 224
Chapter 14 The Long Wait 234
Chapter 15 Christmas 252
Chapter 16 Last Days 263

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