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The Independent Travel
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 5 February.

"White pads were just a lot of

trouble. They stood out. Coast Guard patrols spotted them in that area where the sea batters the land. It is reasonable to assume - as the Coast Guard does - that a man paddling a small kayak through 50-foot spumes of spray exploding off immovable rock is a man about to die.

So Soares camouflaged the pads to prevent rescue attempts.

He wanted to put himself in precisely those areas where small boats disintegrate, where men are picked up by the sea and hurled into jagged rocks, where bad timing and inferior equipment are the price of a man's life.

Best to be prepared in such an environment.

In addition to the shoulder pads, Soares wore a motocross chest and back protector made out of foam and plastic, a hockey helmet, a motorcyclist's face mask, football receiver's gloves, elbow pads and knee pads. He looked like something out of an Australian post-apocalyptic road movie: Wave Warrior, Robo Kayaker."

Literally Lost 18

The author of the extract was Edith Wharton. The action took place in France. The book was 'A motor flight through France. The winners was Mr Z Azizov, London