Never Pack An Ice-Axe is a collection of eighteen short pieces from travel writer Jules Brown, literary snapshots of his travels that cover a range of countries including Norway, Ghana, China, Bali and Ireland, to name just a few.
I really liked the section about walking along the coastline of Cornwall, which is a trip I could see myself doing; I have relatives in Cornwall and I’m sure they could help out with a bit of kit transfer and or washing of clothes! The trip to the Grand Canyon brought back my own memories from visiting the attraction; I’m glad that there wasn’t a murderer on the loose when I went, unlike Jules’ adventure.
Other parts that I enjoyed were the diving trip to Egypt and the return to Ghana with his parents. Jules has traveled widely and offers some good advice. He found the best pizza in Naples, the best pint of Guinness in Dublin and possibly the perfect place to live in Montenegro. This book is definitely good for a bit of armchair travel.
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You’d think a long-time travel writer would have some great travel tips. You’d think.
Jules learns about travel the hard way, whether it’s setting out on his first European hitch-hiking adventure, writing about offbeat destinations for Rough Guides, or braving the shouty waiters of Naples on the hunt for the world’s best pizza.
Not everything goes according to plan – what happened in Bali stays in Bali – but during a life in travel, Jules has racked up enough useful tips to fill a book. Just not this book.
Hit the road with Jules – from Scotland to the South Pacific – and you’re guaranteed a great story, a good laugh and an occasional heartfelt sob. As long as you don’t listen to his advice, you’ll be absolutely fine.