In Ethiopia with a Mule
Dervla Murphy set out with her pack-mule Jock on a hazardous trek through Ethiopia’s remote and hostile regions. Inspired by stories of Prester John and the Queen of Sheba, she hoped to find beauty, danger, solitude, and mystery.
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Dervla Murphy set out with her pack-mule Jock on a hazardous trek through Ethiopia’s remote and hostile regions. Inspired by stories of Prester John and the Queen of Sheba, she hoped to find beauty, danger, solitude, and mystery. Instead, she encountered rough terrain, exhaustion, illness, and the disorder of the Ethiopians’ domestic affairs – all of which she conquered with endurance and good humour.
Despite being robbed three times, Murphy found the Ethiopian highlanders were unusually hospitable. Out of her dependence on them and her increasing familiarity with their way of life grew a close and warm understanding.
On reaching Addis Ababa, she concluded that affection for Ethiopia’s people was the richest reward of her journey.
“This is probably the best book I have read on Ethiopia. Dervia’s descriptions of rural Ethiopian life are spot on and if you venture out into rural Ethiopia today you will see in certain areas that not a lot has changed yet at the same time the book allows you to realize how far other aspects of Ethiopian life has changed since 1966. One great example is the description of Bahir Dar back then and take a look at it now, boom town.Yet take some hikes in the hills and peaks of the Wag district and you will find life very similar to the tales honestly portrayed in this book.
It was truly a remarkable read thanks to the gifted talents of the author, her amazing sense of adventure, her courage and stamina.Anybody who spends time in Ethiopia will appreciate this trek through the highlands and for those who think they are on an adventure tour will realize it is time to get out of the Land Cruisers and of the circuit. Long live Jock.” – Stuart Dickson
‘One of the supreme virtues of Miss Murphy as a travel writer – she is human. She needs her drink; she craves her cigarettes; she is capable of losing her temper; she smuggles things through customs. A more virtuous figure would be far less endearing’ – Daily Telegraph