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Old 12-20-2007, 11:16 PM   #1
tsgreer
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Stevenson, Robert Louis: Travels with a Donkey in the CÚvennes. v1. 20 Dec 07

While throwing around the idea of a road trip on my very slow, ill-equipped scooter, I started wondering if Project Gutenberg had any books describing a similar trip. I figured I could read it while preparing for my journey.

Actually there was something like what I had in mind--just swap out my moody scooter with a very moody donkey. A young Robert Louis Stevenson went on a solo hiking trip through the French countryside and wrote about his journey. Interesting to note that it also tells of commissioning one of the first sleeping bags. It was large and heavy enough to require a donkey to carry, but still pretty neat.


From Wikipedia:

Travels with a Donkey in the CÚvennes (1879) is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's earliest published works and is considered a pioneering classic of outdoor literature.

Stevenson was in his late 20s and still dependent on his parents for support. Travels was both meant to raise money he needed to be with the woman he loved, and provide adventure Stevenson craved, being sickly much of his life.

The book recounts Stevenson's 12-day, 120-mile solo hiking journey through the sparsely populated and impoverished areas of the CÚvennes mountains in south-central France. The character of Modestine, a stubborn, manipulative donkey he could never quite get the better of, is memorable. It is one of the earliest accounts which presented hiking and camping outdoors as a recreational activity.

Note: I'm sorry about the lack of accent marks in all of the french words. They just wouldn't convert correctly on my computer. But hopefully it won't ruin this story for you, because it's quite good.
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Last edited by tsgreer; 12-20-2007 at 11:24 PM.
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