In the fourth retrospective on Stage 2 of the Pacific, I’m considering two of my favorite subjects – food and books. Both played a significant role in my voyage – mostly as bribes to myself to get through the next rowing shift. We all need our treats!
1. Wilderness Family Naturals products – a new sponsor – turned out to be a real winner. Loved the fact that the nuts were all sprouted and then dehydrated at low temperatures – super healthy. The chocolate syrup was a sweet treat, and the Coconut Powder was a fantastic addition to freeze-dried curries.
2. Also a huge fan of the Living Nutz donations – Bodacious Banana Bread walnuts, Passionate Pesto walnuts, Zesty Almond Bliss, and Absolute Chi Teriyaki Almonds.
3. The rawfood crackers made for me with love and pride by Marlene Depierre were fantastic. My favourites were the mock turkey (minced cashew nuts and cranberries), walnut pumpkin crackers (Mexican flavor), and “cookies” made with mango, banana, goji berries, dates, sunflower and pumpkin seeds – and the latest superfood, chia.
4. A few special treats bought for me in Hawaii by Lorrin Lee – Kopali Organics Dried Mango, Go Raw Spirulina Superchips, carob energy nuggets, and Sun Power Natural Chocolate Chip Cookies. All utterly delicious.
5. Plus, of course, my faithful Larabars. New favorite flavor is Peanut Butter Cookie, with Pecan Pie, Cinnamon Roll and Banana Bread following very close behind. With strategic rations of Jocalat Chocolate Coffee bars to get me through late evening rowing shifts.
I listened to a total of 73 books on this voyage, thanks to Audible.com and Audible.co.uk – and Leo Laporte, who gave me his iPod with his own selection of books. Worthy of particular mention – in no particular order:
1. Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela
Inspiring autobiography of a legend.
2. Lost on Planet China, by J Maarten Troost
Informative and amusing, a very personal view of contemporary China as it appears to the outsider.
3. Around Ireland with a Fridge, by Tony Hawks
An entertaining tale of eccentric British adventure.
4. Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortensen
An uplifting story of a man with a mission. If you liked Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracey Kidder, you’ll love this too.
5. Vet in Harness, by James Herriott
The entertaining adventures of a vet in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s. Provoked a strong yearning to live in a simpler time.
6. Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts
Epic – lasted me for days. Sometimes teeters on the brink of an ego trip, but generally a great story full of colourful characters and some interesting philosophical asides.
7. Hemingway Adventure, by Michael Palin
I listened to all of Michael Palin’s books, but this was my favorite for its insights into the fascinating character of Hemingway, coupled with Palin’s usual excellent travel writing.
8. Predictable Irrationality, by Dan Ariely
A fascinating insight into human psychology.
9. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
Life-changing, and something new to discover every time I read it.
10. The Risk Pool, by Richard Russo
I love to lose myself in the small town dramas of Richard Russo’s books. Great characterisations.
11. The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
A page-turner of a story, with thought-provoking themes of free will versus fate.
12. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
An offbeat story of an underground London peopled by weird and wonderful characters. I will never again be able to stand on Earls Court station without thinking of the Earl and his court.
13. Siddartha, by Herman Hesse
A beautiful story of a quest for enlightenment. If you’ve read and enjoyed The Alchemist, try this one too.
And speaking of books, today a momentous occasion. I held a copy of a book in my hands, gazing at the cover. It read, Rowing The Atlantic, by Roz Savage. My baby. Very exciting. Book tour starts October 6, the official publication date.
Lots of travel at the moment. Thank heavens for those carbon offsets. Just arrived in Hawaii this morning on the red-eye from Fiji. I had planned to spend a week here, but there is just too much cool stuff happening in New York for Climate Week – the premiere of The Age Of Stupid, the Climate Ride from New York to DC, and the president of Kiribati there on an official visit. So I’m going. I just can’t stay away with so much eco-action going on. So tomorrow night I fly to San Francisco to exchange my warm weather clothes for autumn clothes, then straight on to New York. It’s all a bit crazy, but with Copenhagen just around the corner, there is no time to lose!