Journey to the Jade Sea by John D. Hillaby

Journey to the Jade Sea by John D. Hillaby soon to be presented for sale on the sparkling BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London: Constable, 1964, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Laid in is a note, from Hillaby, to Anthony Rossiter (Artist, this book from his estate), alongside a cutting, signed by Hillaby. Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs; Maps to the endpapers and blanks; From the cover: What does it feel like to cut loose from city life and lead a train of camels across one of the most formidable deserts in the world? This is what John Hillaby chose to do by going to the deserts east of Lake Rudolph the Jade Sea on the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia. The lava beds surrounding this extraordinary lake are often too hot to touch. The sands blow at gale force and the soda lake, a bright green jewel amid a setting of volcanoes, is the home of unusually large crocodiles and the relics of a primitive tribe, the Elmolo, who live under the shadow of Kulal, the mountain of winds. The landscapes of the Northern Frontier District have been described as the nearest thing to hell on earth.

During a foot safari of eleven hundred miles the author says he regrets little except his initial incompetence. It was the first time he had been into the bush without a European on hand. He knew nothing of guns and gear and, as for the camels, those gangling, good-natured beasts, he had seen them previously only through the bars of a zoo. Chased by rhino, stung by scorpions, and lashed by sandstorms, the caravan nevertheless got through. Thirst, sun blindness and landslides in the hills merely became things to be contended with. Above all, the author enjoyed himself. He says life suddenly became simplified. I believe I was happier than I have ever been before.

This then is the account of the highly eventful and always amusing journey of a middle-aged white man who both learnt the language and learnt how to live in the manner of his African friends.

Good+ in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with the spine slightly more heavily faded. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Pencilling to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight but a little age-tanned.

Green boards with Gilt on Black Title Plate titling to the Spine. [VII] 234 pages. 8¾” x 5½”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I fascinate you with a carefully selected medley hither or maybe further, hand picked, books in my Travel Africa catalogue?

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