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Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold HC/DJ 2006 Author: Michael Benanav Hardcover / Dust Jacket 256 pages Publisher: Lyons Press (January 1, 2006) ISBN-10: 1592287727 ISBN-13: 978-1592287727 Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9 inches Condition: Used. Very Good+
In fact, there was no road at all, just an endless stretch of desert sand called "The Land of Terror" by the nomads who cross it and described by author Michael Benanav with humor and startling insight in this compelling narrative.
Benanav joined what is known as the Caravan of White Gold -- so-called because the salt was once literally worth its weight in gold -- on its mission into the deadly heart of the Sahara to haul back gleaming slabs of solid salt for sale at market. He'd been siezed by the idea after coming across an article about the dying days of the caravan: "It was that feeling known by those of us who don't so much take journeys as are taken by journeys: hearing the call of a particular place for a particular purpose that will not be denied. It was the kind of trip I was born to take."
Following his amused guide, Walid, Benanav lived for weeks among the camel drivers as they traveled eighteen hours a day for nearly a thousand miles without a map or landmark in sight, through sandstorms and searing heat. Along the way, he learned how to care for and ride camels, became a medic to injured salt miners, and grappled with the dilemmas of cultural extinction created by the ever-widening impact of globalization.
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