The Old Ways
A Journey on Foot
From Library Staff
Robert McFarlane's The Old Ways recounts his travels on paths around the world that have been trodden by our ancestors for thousands of years. His stories make me want to sell all of my possessions and set off on a long journey on foot. -Alison
Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge, England, home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads, and sea paths that crisscross both the British landscape and its waters and territories beyond.
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My legs preserved the ghost sense of stride, the muscle memory of repeated action, and twitched forwards even as I rested. My feet felt oddly dented in their soles, as if the terrain over which I had passed had imprinted its own profile into my foot like a mark knuckled into soft clay. How had Flann O'Brien put it in The Third Policeman? 'When you walk, the continual crackling of your feet on the road makes a certain quantity of road come up into you.'
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