High in the Pyrenees, a full day's hike from any trappings of civilisation, is no place for a human to be - unless you are searching for the time of your life. This is the roof of a mountain range that stretches from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coasts, and provides some of hte most breathtakingly beautiful landscape to be found in Europe. It is also the place for hikers to get soaked, roasted, or scared out of their wits - not by the endangered brown bear, but by rights-of-way such as the precipitous Chemin de la Mature, hacked out of a cliff by 18th-century convicts and still used in the 21st-century to punish anyone fearful of heights, such as TV presenter Simon Calder. Luckily, his friend and walking companion Mick Webb has a complementary range of phobias, such as being confined with 54 hikers, and their socks, in a refuge two miles above sea level.
Calder and Webb narrate an eventful and humorous travelogue. With their backpacks, boots, and baguettes, they explore the region: meeting the people, savoring the views - and the wines - and very quickly learn that la loi de l'emmerdement maximum means 'sod's law' in French.
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Simon Calder and Mick Webb have been getting lost together in difficult terrain such as Columbia, Peru, and Stanstead Airport since 1998. Simon is travel editor of the Independent and a TV presenter for programmes including BBC1's Holiday. Mick Webb is an award-winning radio producer for BBC Radio 4.
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