01 March, 2021

Into The Valley Of Life On A Hero

Every step of the way to Arunachal is weighted down by older or later colonial history. Once there, this travelogue springs into lush, joyous life.

Photograph by Alamy
Into The Valley Of Life On A Hero

“Solo travel is like a drug—it has its risks, but it also has the potential to unlock rare feelings of euphoria,” declares the author somewhere along her journey in Arunachal Pradesh. The maxim is pretty much at the core of Land of The Dawn-lit Mountains, the third travelogue by Antonia Bolingbroke Kent, who had for her first book, Tuk Tuk To The Road, undertaken an extraordinary 12,500 mile road trip from Thailand to England on a Tuk Tuk and traversed the enigmatic Ho Chi Minh trail on a scooter for A Short Ride In The Jungle, her second book.

The scope of Bolingbroke’s genre, as her repertoire suggests, is global. It is the thrill of the unknown and uncharted that pulls the author towards the hill state—“It was a journey that would take me...to places that few, if any, Westerners had visited”, a hint of a Victorian explo­rer’s zeal in the exercise. The idea for the book is born out of this zeal, the experience of the journey itself a consequence of the idea.

To make this possible, a...

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