Everyone knows by now that I really enjoy Michael Palin’s travel diaries of his TV series (even though I have read more of the books rather than watch the series). Himalaya has spent some time on the bestseller list and it’s easy to see why. Palin and crew cover areas that the average person would be unlikely to visit and give you a warts and all experience, including what it feels like to have altitude sickness and meet the Dalai Lama.
I haven’t seen the TV series of this one, but I bet it’s majestic. The pictures in my copy covered spectacular scenery, as well as scenes from a different lifestyle (eg. catching fish and putting them down the front of your shirt). Once again, Palin’s style of writing is easy to read and easily transports you from your comfy chair to Nepal, Pakistan or Mt Everest. He is honest about when he’s not really liking something (like a bad cold going up to Everest) and truly delightful when he enjoys the experience.
I think I’m fairly unlikely to visit any of the areas Palin visited any time soon (my travel desires revolve around Europe, south east Asia and North America at present) but at least I can sound intelligent about the area thanks to Michael!
Read it if: you’re an armchair travel or are saving for your next trip. It’s not full of Monty Python references (sadly).
8 out of 10.