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In the Middle Ages, mules were used to transport goods across Britain. Strong, sturdy and able to carry a good 160 lbs of weight, they made ideal walking companions (as long as you didn't ask them to do anything they disapproved of).
Now Hugh Thomson has revived that ancient tradition. Taking his cue from Robert Louis Stevenson's 19th-century bestseller Travels With a Donkey, Hugh leads his trusty mule Jethro across England from the Lake District to the Yorkshire Moors, using old drovers' roads that have largely passed into disrepair.
His previous journeys have resulted in acclaimed books on Peru, Mexico and the Indian Himalaya, and more recently on southern England for the prize-winning The Green Road into the Trees. As he crosses the north, he combines his trademark wit and insight with a lyrical intensity about the history and the landscape; and it is his encounters with the people he meets along the way which bring that landscape to life in a manner few other contemporary travel writers attempt.
Hugh Thomson's travel books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland and Cochineal Red, both about Peru, as well as Nanda Devi, a journey to a usually inaccessible part of the Himalaya. His memoir Tequila Oil: Getting Lost in Mexico was serialised by BBC Radio 4. Hugh has led many research expeditions to Peru and is one of Britain's leading explorers of Inca settlements. He has also taken filming expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Mexican Sierra Madre. For The Green Road into the Trees, he returned to Britain to write about his own country. It won the inaugural Wainwright Prize for Nature and Travel Writing. For the sequel, One Man and a Mule, Hugh decided to have 'a South American adventure in England' by taking a mule as a pack animal across the North.