Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen

Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen. Cape Town, South Africa 2017. ISBN 9781770268944 / ISBN 978-1-77026-894-4

Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen. Cape Town, South Africa 2017. ISBN 9781770268944 / ISBN 978-1-77026-894-4

The idea for Marielle Renssen's Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection, published by MapStudio, started a number of years ago when Keith, a long-time friend, used his very strong persuasive powers to nudge her husband Hirsh into buying a 4x4 so that we could do some off-road exploring together.

Marielle Renssen  

After an enormous amount of research (both houses were piled high with car magazines) and taking into account that we didn't aspire to be intrepid 'Rambo' types, we settled on Land Rover's Freelander 2. (Keith later moved on to a Toyota Hilux.) Labelled by 4x4 experts as 'soft-roaders', our two trusty chariots went on to prove their mettle on every type of terrain, in rain, wind or shine. Once we'd got our first taste of off-road wanderings, sampled some of South Africa's untamed places and realised we made excellent travel companions, the trips became wildly addictive. We'd hardly completed one adventure and we were already dreaming up our next. It was Keith who first instigated the idea of a book. After scouring the bookshops for good 4x4 travel guides, he felt they always lacked something - not enough detail on the routes; falling short on start-up and planning information; no inspiration in terms of destinations; too few striking images to spark enthusiasm. Personally, I felt the travel texts generally lacked passion; they'd advise, and inform, and steer you in the right direction - but there was never any fire or deep personal involvement in the words. I found, too, that existing travel books never quite satisfied my thirst for knowledge on the birds, plants, grasses, trees and even geological formations we encountered as we trundled across the grand spaces of southern Africa. Granted, not everyone has the same enquiring mind and many simply may not care, content just to observe and absorb the natural beauty around them. But for those who do care, I wanted to share my fascination for arresting-looking trees, striking bushes or flowers that would appear again and again, as well as the energy (and satisfaction) of identifying the distinctive wingspans of different raptors wheeling in the sky above. The more effort you put into observing the life around you, the deeper your enjoyment and appreciation of the natural world. Once you start trying to identify, say, a particularly interesting tree - its crusty bark, moon-shaped pods, pom-pom sprays or star-shaped leaves - it becomes an addiction. Try it, you'll see. (Of course, you need to come armed with books and ID guides...) It struck me also that the bird lists featured in travel books are always so academic, dry indicators of the number of species that have been ticked off on official sighting lists. But unless you're a serious twitcher who rises dutifully at dawn and creeps around patiently training your binoculars into tree canopies, you're not going to tick half of them off your own list. So with Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection (MapStudio), I resolved to feature only the birds we encountered while simply going about our travels. In this way, it would be a truer reflection of what travellers are likely to see on their own journey. I also tend to give a few distinctive characteristics of the different birds, so readers have some clue of what they're looking for. And when it comes to geological features - Swartberg, Drakensberg, Golden Gate, Brandberg, Richtersveld come to mind - again, I found myself wanting to know their composition. Was it sandstone, volcanic, granite, gneiss? We got so hooked on doing this, we turned it into a business. Here, too, I've tried to provide the answers. In short, Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection (MapStudio) is as much a nature book as it is a 4x4 travel journal. Our intention was to create something that fell between practical route planner, breezy outdoor magazine article and Kingsley Holgate travel diary - although we wouldn't dare suggest we've confronted an iota of the challenges he has! [...]

This is an excerpt from Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen.

Title: Our ultimate 4x4 Trips Collection
Subtitle: Marielle Renssen
Publisher: MapStudio
Cape Town, South Africa 2017
ISBN 9781770268944 / ISBN 978-1-77026-894-4
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 329 pages, throughout illustrated

Renssen, Marielle und MapStudio im Namibiana-Buchangebot

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