For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Clouds And Maps

Myself, I'm greedy. I want both clouds and maps. Give me the freedom to wander lonely as a cloud unencumbered by maps and heavy packs and high expectations. Sometimes it's nice and liberating just to take off without knowing exactly where one's going, relying on primitive instinct. (I wouldn't advise this for everyone - it can obviously land you in serious trouble.) However, Byronic Romanticism aside, I do love maps. In fact, I'm crazy about them. I'd rather settle down with a good map than a good book any day. (That's some admission from a bookaholic!) Don't you just love those densely-packed contour lines, those little black squiggles signifying crags and rocky outcrops, those blue wigwam symbols..? They set the heart racing. But just a thought to end with. Some time ago I was on top of Snowdon after climbing up by the Pyg track. It was a clear sunny day with a rare and lovely 360 degree view all around. Which hardly any of the summiteers seemed to notice as they were all busy with their mobile phones and GPS devices... and their maps...

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