A spellbinding travel book, exploring the psychology of pilgrimage, wilderness and walking.
Unhappy in his office job, Robert Martineau craves an experience that will shake his feeling of inertia. Aged twenty-seven, he buys a flight to Accra, and begins to walk. He walks 1,000 miles through Ghana, Togo and Benin, to Ouidah, an ancient animist centre on the West African coast.
Martineau walks alone across desert, through rainforests, over mountains, carrying everything he needs on his back, sleeping in villages or on the side of paths, travelling shrine to shrine. Along the way he meets shamans, priests, local historians, archaeologists and kings. He begins to confront the lines of slavery and exploitation that binds his home to theirs. Through the process of walking each day, and the lessons of those he walks among, Martineau starts to find the freedom he craves, and to build connections with the natural world and the past.
Drawing widely on landscape and the cultures of the places he passes, as well as the writers who inspired his journey, Martineau discovers how a walking pilgrimage can change a person