I'm off with Hugh Thomson, the renowned adventurer and explorer of Peru, for a protracted hike with mules this May. It'll be quite high altitude, following the trail of the last Inca ruler as he retreated from the Spanish, and also joining a modern-day religious pilgrimage which has its origins in indigenous culture - and shows the Incas as a force and identity that still survives. The results of our endeavours will be a two part series for BBC Radio 4, to be broadcast in September. I feel the material will be engaging - and also has the merit of being the product of my first excursion for many a year. More ventures to follow, I hope...
It's no secret that a large part of my excuse for being hidden for these last few years is that I've been writing a novel on the Congo. In the same way that I hurl myself into an expedition, isolating myself from my culture for many months at a time, I've been isolated in the Congo of my imagination. At last - and not before time, you might say, I have now emerged blinking into the sunlight - not feeling triumphant, but more bewildered. As for whether the effort is worth these years spent - five or is it seven? - we shall soon see. It's now with my literary agent.
Adventure Travel Show
This Sunday 18th Jan at the Adventure Travel Show: at 12:45 Olympia, London.
To Hell And Out Again - details at www.adventureshow.com