Adventure Book Club - December 2020

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Keep yourself entertained between Adventure Breaks with our book and film recommendations! This page may have affiliate links which will direct you to the relevant product. These are adventure and survival stories that we think will entertain and inspire you. Welcome to the Adventure Book (and Film) Club!


December 2020: The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

You can find a copy of The Worst Journey in the World here.


Wow! What a book. It has some of the most amazing stories I've ever read. Do be warned, it's a huge book (from memory I think at one point it was published as two or three books), but it's well worth persevering or jumping around to find the incredible stories dotted within it. For me, I read it cover to cover, but it took months!


Apsley Cherry-Garrard is one of the youngest members of Robert Falcon Scott's team on the Terra Nova Expedition that lasted from 1910 to 1913. The expedition saw Scott reach the South Pole, only to discover he'd been beaten there by Roald Amundson the month prior. Scott and three companions perised on the return journey, and Cherry-Garrard was later part of the rescue party that found the frozen bodies.


It's several years since I read this book, but a couple of stories stick in mind. One is when Apsley and a few others are trying to find a penguin's egg for scientific reasons, and their tent blows away. That's not the sort of thing you want to happen when you're in the antarctic.


Another is when a group of men wake up and find the ice they were camped on had broken up and drifted out to sea. The men, gear and ponies are left jumping from ice-cube to ice-cube in an attempt to get back to the frozen mainland.


I also found it interested to read about how all of the men set out for the pole, carrying as many provisions as possible. The plan is to then turn groups around at various points, essentially creating 'outposts' along the route to the pole with supplies. This meant that fewer people would travel further. When there were just 8 men left, 4 would usually have turned around leaving Scott and 3 others to venture the final stretch to the South Pole. However the men were so confident that Scott generously offered for a fifth man to go also, and turned only three around, including Apsley. Those five men went on to perish on their journey, whilst Apsley and his colleagues made it back alive.


This book is filled with anecdotes of human resilience in a harsh environment. You can find a copy here.


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