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MEslaymaker

MEslaymaker

 

 

Hitchhiking Vietnam: A Woman's Solo Journey in an Elusive Land - Karin Muller "I had never planned to do this trip alone. I had invited everyone from my mother to the seventy-year-old community librarian . . . Then one day reality outstripped fantasy and here I was, alone. And I couldn't go home again until I made good my foolish boast to hike the Ho Chi Minh Trail."

A remarkable account of a seven-month trek from the depths of the Mekong to the Chinese border, sparing no hardship: "arrests, breakdowns, mud, rain," not to mention language and "the immediate implications of the next rock or rut . . . in the nether regions of stiff-backed, prickly-skinned, head-pounding hell." Like those who declined to accompany Muller, I found myself saying are you crazy, but even so felt compelled to follow her every step, and rewarded by many obscured but joyous findings and intimate encounters. The read is better than the follow-up documentary.