New Review for The Green Unknown

Hi folks. Just wanted to share a (basically) positive new review for The Green Unknown. While it’s mostly has good things to say about the book, it does make clear that I am “no literary talent.”

….sorry about that….



Random Photo of the Day, July 5: Kohima M3 Grant

July 4 [5] 18 Kohima M3 front

Happy (late) 4th of July!

I thought a picture of this tank would be appropriate….it is, after all, an American tank, that found its way long from home…

It’s a WWII vintage British M3 Grant (in America, they called it the Lee). The vehicle was supplied to the Brits as part of the lend-lease arrangement.  It wound up being employed in Northeast India, during general Slim’s defense of Kohima against the Japanese in the spring and summer of 1944.

This particular example bogged down in the mud during an attack on a Japanese position and had to be abandoned. As far as I know, it’s remained where its crew left it for the last 75 years.


Random Photo of the Day, July 2: Anegondi Ruins

July 2 18

Minor ruins around Anegondi (Anegundi?), what was once a suburb of the great city of Vijayanagara. This is a few kms from modern Hampi.

The most spectacular architecture in the region is around Hampi, but the incredible granite boulder country continues for quite a long way to the north. If I ever get the chance to go back there, I may well base myself in Anegondi.

Random Photo of the Day, June 26: Near the Peak of Stok Kangri

June 26 18

Just below the 20,000 foot summit of Stok Kangri, a modest peak near Leh, Ladakh. What sets it apart is that, most years, during the summer its possible to trek to the summit, meaning that it’s one of the few Himilayan peaks at that altitude that you don’t need gear to reach.

I had the misfortune to go there in the Summer of 2010, when Ladakh was having unusual mid-summer snows (huge floods would hit Leh a few weeks after I left). The usual route to the summit was covered in ice, and my guide, along with a big taciturn Polish gentleman, had to climb up the snow with ropes and crampons and ice axes…we didn’t make it…to the peak…we didn’t die…anyway, we wound up having to slide down that snow slope on our rear ends. There’s a glacier at the bottom of it, which is full of crevices. With snow all over the glacier, it’s impossible to see the crevices, which means that you want to cross the glacier during the night, when the snow is colder and harder. Otherwise, you might fall through the snow and wind up in the glacier.

So, we got to a few hundred feet of the peak, and then when the sun came up we had to turn back to not die in the ice.

The Polish fellow was disappointed (about not reaching the peak..I assume he didn’t want to die, though I couldn’t be sure).