Saturday, March 03, 2012

Coffee, Maps and Addictions

The Map Room on a Winter's Day

Today I get to do one of the things I love best on a dark and rainy winter's afternoon....pore over maps and old journals from adventure's past. Tweaking our route for next week's SRE is balm to my restless soul. Rereading my battered Moleskines to fetch to memory the names of mountain peaks, cliffside villages,  abandoned churches, and most importantly, the people we have collected in our spirits along the way is a potent elixir to all my ills.
I love maps. For years I have collected, bought, borrowed and hoarded them. I thought I was the Mapista of nomads....until last December when I walked into a curious little bookshop in a quaint Welsh village and into the path of Mike Parker, presenter of the BBC Radio 4's On The Map. As sleet sheeted against the windows of that old Welsh bookshop we had a few minutes to compare notes on the maps and trails, mountains, cultures and peoples that we had discovered along our journeys.

That day I stood in the shadow of the giant of cartophilians and realized that my feeble knowledge of maps was inadequate to the tasks ahead.
So, back to the moment...the rain has now turned to snow against my windows. The wind is skirling in frigid tendrils around my neck from the old window frames behind me and my thick Turkish blanket joins me on my chair. Its time to bone up and hit the books...or maps.
Looks like today couldn't get any better....

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Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World