Travels and adventures

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The Independent Culture
The Lost Tribe by Edward Marriott (Picador, pounds 6.99) Not so much travel as exploration, this should become a classic. Deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, the Lost Tribe believes it knows why it is alone: it has killed, if not eaten, everyone else for miles around. Ignorant, badly dressed men (that's just the government officials) try to keep Marriott away.

Clear Waters Rising: a mountain walk across Europe by Nicholas Crane (Penguin, pounds 7.99) Nothing is more enjoyable than a 10,000km, 17-month solo hike across mountain ranges from Finisterre to Istanbul - made by someone else. Newly married Crane survives snow, a bear and a wonky knee.

Bullet Up the Grand Trunk Road by Jonathan Gregson (Sinclair-Stevenson, pounds 12.99) Half a century after Partition, a classic motorbike takes Gregson over an ancient trade route across India and Pakistan. This is an epic account of how desperate men took their life in their hands. And that's just the roads.

On the Crofters' Trail: in search of the clearance Highlanders by David Craig (Pimlico, pounds 12) Britain has its lost tribes too. In a massive ethnic cleansing operation, 19th-century landlords emptied the Highlands and Islands. Craig tracks down the victims' descendants.

Old Serpent Nile: a journey to the source by Stanley Stewart (Flamingo, pounds 6.99) During their trip along the Nile from the delta to the Mountains of the Moon, Stanley and girlfriend become known on the river grapevine as the Foreigners Who Travel by Barge (they also travel by train and MOT- free lorries). Funny but not patronising.

Beyond the Devil's Teeth: journeys in Gondwanaland by Tahir Shah (Phoenix, pounds 6.99) Thanks to continental drift, Gondwanaland split up 45 million years ago into India, Africa and South America. Shah ends up on a Patagonian glacier with only a bottle of Desert Death adder's bite anti-venom between him and hypothermia.

In the Country of Country by Nicholas Dawidoff (Faber, pounds 12.99) Dawidoff shows it is more interesting to read about country music than listen to its more maudlin excesses. A Yankee goes to the South in search of the sounds that gave us Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen.

Backwards Out of the Big World: a voyage into Portugal by Paul Hyland (Flamingo, pounds 7.99) Surely one of the great book titles of the decade, but the language between the covers is occasionally too heightened for its own good. Hyland meets, among others, the pretender to the non-existent Portuguese throne.

The Cross and the Pear Tree: a Sephardic journey by Victor Perera (Flamingo, pounds 7.99) Perera stays mainly in Spain during his quest for Jewish relatives and ancestors. But he also brings us the man who took the first gramophone to the Holy Land, and an uncle who runs a shoe shop in Guatemala City.

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