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Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World Paperback – April 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
A few significant annoyances as well - where does an American author get off blaming China (and China alone) for the global warming that is having a devastating impact on Bhutan? And more - there's patronising language regarding the Bhutanese people met on the trek, some very uncomfortable/creepy descriptions of local children and the juvenile purportedly-romantic encounters with another treker, Ingrid, were all highly cringe-worthy. Ingrid has my sympathy - come on Kev, grow up! It was unsurprising that it only took some rain to put Ingrid off consummating the 'planned' final meeting. Finally, the stilted 'conversations' which provide the background to geological wonders, history and Buddhist belief are both awkward and unrealistic.
It's not a terrible book, there are many enjoyable parts, but it could have been so much better. A missed opportunity - but thankfully the photos provide some redemption.
The author took a time-out from his regular life and went half-way around the World all by himself. He was seeking to learn something undefined; perhaps about himself, about life, answers that would help him move forward. Well I did the same thing for the same reasons two years ago (though my trek was in Sikkim). In reading this book I realized that the author was beautifully describing many of the thoughts and emotions that I experienced on my trip. It was wonderful to be reminded of these through the author's obviously honest and heartfelt prose, and to realize that another person in this situation had such similar feelings. Five stars for keeping it real.
Another wonderful undercurrent in this book is the author's encounters with Buddhist philosophy along the way. Being in the land of a million prayer flags, monasteries, and monks, one is continually challenged to look at things a different way. The author clearly experienced this, and reading about his simple, honest moments of learning and self-discovery tend to have a similar effect on the reader (at least this one).
This was a great read for me in many ways. But if I could ask the author one question, it would be this; "Hey Kev, what ever happened to Ingrid?"
It was fascinating to read of the logistics of a trek of this magnitude in the high Himalayas - the support staff, the supplies and the pack animals that were needed. The staff and the trekkers interact in many helpful and fun ways during the 24 days and one of the humorous examples of this was the author's "running" with the horses to keep them in line.
Throughout the book, I enjoyed getting to know the trekkers who had a lot of spirit, continuous support for each other and wonderful camaraderie among them. Walking together along the trail, evening conversations around the dining table or claiming success at the tops of the mountains were a few of the many ways that showed this truly was a great group of which to be a part!
Whether you are able to travel to Bhutan and do the Snowman Trek or just enjoy reading of a unique journey, I highly recommend "Beneath Blossom Rain"!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lovely read... Specially for someone who is planning such a trip...Published 5 months ago by Mani Rech
I read the Latvian translation of the book. Beautifully written and inspiring, it was hard to put it down.Published 8 months ago by Maruta
The writing is descriptive and interesting on the landscape, flora, fauna and her history. It keeps the reader interested right to the end. Read morePublished 13 months ago by J.P.C.Chan
I bought this book with a preset bias since I will be hiking the Snowman Trek this fall. I have also visited Bhutan previously so much of his general information on Bhutan was well... Read morePublished 16 months ago by William C. Abbott
Tough to find books on Bhutan. This was a good outline of the Snowman trek, which succeeded in peaking my interest in doing something this crazy. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Canuck in Asia
I bought this book despite the critical reviews and as usual, agree with those who discern poor writing, although it wasn't much of a stretch here. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Avid reader
Life at the intersection of a life experience. A remarkable trek well told. I hope to follow on the Bhutan trails.Published 24 months ago by KEVIN