Recommended by Dot Perks (Volunteer Steward and a member of the Management Committee)

THE WORST JOURNEY IN THE WORLD by Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922)

Knowing the final outcome of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole does not in any way diminish this incredible account by one of the members of the 1910-1913 Antarctic expedition led by Scott. Whilst being first to reach the Pole was the prime objective of the expedition it also incorporated study and data recording of the natural sciences.

Cherry-Garrard’s ‘worst journey in the world’ refers to a mission to collect eggs of the Emperor Penguin to enable study of its embryos for a possible missing evolutionary link between birds and reptiles. The three-man expedition set out in the Antarctic mid-winter to reach the breeding grounds seventy miles away – weeks of gruelling and dangerous slog pulling heavy sledges in near-perpetual darkness and unimaginable cold. And all this without modern-day technical clothing and technology. They survived, just…

In the following Antarctic summer, the polar team set out on their fateful journey.

Months later, Cherry-Garrard was one of the search party that found Scott and his team.

It is such a vivid well-written account that kept me riveted and in awe of the courage and determination of these brave men.

And this is not just my recommendation. ‘The Worst Journey in the World’ was ranked number one in National Geographic’s list of the 100 greatest adventure books of all time.

I was grateful for my warm blanket as I sat engrossed in this book in a caravan during the winter. This could just be the perfect read on hot summer days when you have had your quota of ice-cream. Imagining yourself being there with them in temperatures sometimes down to -70 degrees Fahrenheit may just have that desired cooling-effect !

 

 

 

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