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Competition: Literally Lost - 18

The following excerpt has been taken from a classic work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will supply pounds 30-worth of book tokens each week to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, 'Independent on Sunday', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Usual Newspaper Publishing competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by Thursday 29 January.

It is a delightful country, broken into wide waves of hill and valley, with hedgerows high and leafy enough to bear comparison with the Kentish hedges among which our motor had left us a day or two before; and the villages, the frequent, smiling, happily placed villages, will also meet successfully the more serious challenge of their English rivals - meet it on other grounds and in other ways, with paved market-places and clipped chamilles instead of gorse-fringed commons, with soaring belfries instead of square church towers, with less of verdure, but more, perhaps, of ouline - certainly of line.

The country itself - so green, so full and close in texcure, so pleasantly diversified by clumps of woodland in the hollows, and by streams threading the great fields with light - all this, too, has the English, or perhaps the Flemish quality - for the border is close by - with the added beauty of reach and amplitude, the deliberate gradual flow of level spaces into distant slopes, till the land breaks in a long blue crest against the seaward horizon.

There was much beauty of detail, also, in the smaller towns through which we passed: some of them high-perched on ridges that raked the open country, with old houses stumbling down at picturesque angles from the central market-place; others tucked in the hollows, among orchards and barns, with the pleasant country industries reaching almost to the doors of their churches.

Literally Lost 17

The extract was Dervla Murphy The action took place in Sildi. The winner was Mrs J Gill, Yorkshire.