Reviews Dedication Contents Acknowledgements 8 Preface 9 Introduction by Jim Perrin 11 1. A Tale of Two Rivers 15 2. Terra Incognita 32 3. Crofting on the Edge 45 4. Of Paupers and Kings 61 An Arrangement Shining with Promise 61 Brittle Beginnings 64 Dave 72 The Great Food Carry 81 A Pair of Mountain Tinkers 90 Into the Wild and Into Our heads 96 Climbing in Socks 101 Home in the Hills 108 Pathways and Highways 120 'If only we could bottle this.' 128 5. The Hermit's Story 133 6. A Last Wild Place 140 7. Dying for Trees 147 8. Scotland's Alaska 154 Glossary of Placenames 171 Index 178
Mike Cawthorne was born in London in 1962. He has climbed and trekked in the Alps, the USA, Pakistan, Kenya and Uganda and has worked as a teacher in Glasgow, Birmingham and the Middle-East. He currently spends most of his time writing, mountain guiding in Scotland or assisting in renovation work on historical buildings in Inverness-shire. He is married and lives in the village of Croy, near Inverness.
Mike Cawthorne's Wilderness Dreams takes us romping through some of Scotland's wildest places: a canoe trip down the River Dee, a blizzard in the Monadhliath, the dangers facing the Flow Country in Sutherland. The heart of the book, though, is the story of an expedition across the Munros in 1986, accomplished on no money and with falling-apart boots, and despite an occasional over-excitement in the landscape description, this is exciting stuff, and it's written with humanity, passion and a touch of anger. For anyone who loves the Scottish hills, this is a book to read. From the speech announcing the winner by Lord (Chris) Smith Boardman Tasker Award Kendal, 16th November 2007 'This is descriptive writing of a very high order. It could have been written by Stevenson, Buchan or Neil Gunn'. Alan Taylor, Sunday Herald 'Mike Cawthorne shows both his talent for writing and his deep affinity with the wilderness areas of Scotland in this book. I read his collection of essays in a very short time, finding each one hard to put down. As well as being a fascinating account of Mike's own experiences of hillwalking in Scotland, his essays are an enlightening education on the commercial greed that has damaged, and continues to damage, Scotland's natural landscapes. Read this book and you'll be absorbed, entertained, outraged, educated, humbled and, ultimately, inspired to experience the beauty of Scotland's wild places for yourself.' Review by K Jackson on Amazon