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Zen and the Art of Donkey Maintenance (Paperback) (Robert Crisp)
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I looked again at the folded map of Europe in my hand. Then I crossed the road to the Continental booking office and bought a ticket for Salzburg in Austria."Return?" asked the clerk."Definitely not," I told him.
In December 1966, the New Year looked exciting for fifty-five-year-old Robert Crisp. As a man whose youth was spent in constant adventure, leading a calm, domestic life in England had become a burden from which he needed to break free. Named byWisden as "One of the most extraordinary men ever to play Test cricket," Crisp served as a soldier in the Second World War in Greece and North Africa for which he was decorated for bravery, later becoming a writer and journalist.
With his marriage over and his sons old enough to fend for themselves, Crisp decided to start a new life. With sixty pounds in his pocket, his wartime disability pension of ten pounds a month, and a plan to write about his adventures under a pseudonym, his journey began. Through twenty columns filed from abroad over years of rustic living and travel, Crisp, as Peter White, shared his experiences of hitch-hiking through Yugoslavia, settling in a beach shack in Greece where he attempted to cultivate the stubborn land, and a nearly fatal solo boat trip around Corfu. As the first year of his dream life came to a close, he found out that the stomach pain he had been suffering was not a side effect of too much Greek wine, but cancer. With a prediction of only one year to live, he set off on a trek around Crete, his only companion a donkey with plenty of personality.
Robert Crisp's account of his travels, originally serialised in the Sunday Express, is an honest, funny, touching account of this charming rogue's journey through a foreign land and culture in search of inner peace and happiness.