I never knew what exactly enticed my daughter when in her late teens she was determined to travel for six months to Australia exploring a country that is called “Down Under.” (If you are wondering why it is called "Down Under," it is because it is the only continent with a permanent population that is entirely below the equator and thus it has been given this name.) After all, wasn’t she supposed to follow her friends and pursue the usual trip to Europe? However, after reading Cynthia Clampitt’s Waltzing Australia, I well understood why this mesmerizing and enthralling country would lure anyone to explore it from one end to the other.
Clampitt is a freelance writer specializing in food, travel, and history. As her bio mentions, the life she now leads began with a dream that seduced her away from her corporate career and led her to Australia. In fact, since her dream took hold, she has traveled to China, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Mexico and several other countries. There is an old saying that no matter what happens, travel gives you a story to tell and this is exactly what Clampitt does as she permits us to relive with her an amazing six month twenty-thousand journey circling and crossing Australia.
Beginning in Queensland, readers follow Clampitt through the Northern Territory, Western and South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, Canberra & Environs, New South Wales, Sydney. Using comprehensive notes jotted down in log format, she effectively chronicles the pulse of her escapades and gives her readers one hell of a ride as she describes what she saw, smelled, heard and felt pertaining to some of the more interesting colorful and historical venues.
Just as an artist would have a sketch- book handy, Clampitt traveled with her journal recording intriguing scenes, descriptions of people and places. For example, the famous Great Barrier Reef is brought to life where we learn that it is 1,250 miles long and supports more animal life per square mile than any other region in earth. In addition, as mentioned, “it is the largest structure ever built by living creatures, constructed over thousands of years by tiny coral polyps.” Clampitt leaves her readers with stunning and breath taking images when she describes the reef with its tiny, brilliant yellow fish darting among the channels of enormous, green brain corals. The giant clams, some of which measuring four feet across, turning on their mauve, purple, and green mantles to collect food.
With her keen sense of time and place, Clampitt has grasped the essential ingredients of good travel writing avoiding a common pitfall that some travel writers yield to in that they merely recycle factual information. However, such is not the case with Clampitt who manages to elegantly mix her own personal observations and musings while throwing in a little history and geography. Moreover, as we tag along with Clampitt, we notice how she places us firmly on the ground she describes. In other words, we perceive and experience the same venues as she does utilizing all of our senses in order to enjoy this alluring and captivating learning experience.
As for the people she met along the way, although she was travelling solo, she never felt alone due to the fact that Australia never gave her much opportunity to feel lonely.
Wherever she went, there was always someone to talk to, even Aborigines. Clampitt recounts when she stopped to photograph some beautiful pink flowers, a white-haired Aborigine with limited English stopped and told her about oleanders and picked a branch for her. They even managed carry on a conversation where she discovered various other plants.
Waltzing Australia is a splendid travelogue that delivers in spades and anyone contemplating a trip to “Down Under,” or even armchair travelers, would be more than satisfied with its abundance of intriguing revelations. By the end of the book, I felt as if I actually sat beside Clampitt as she explored beautiful Australia.
The above review was contributed by: The Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com, Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, Retired Title Attorney: Norm is also a travel writer and together with his artist wife, Lily, the couple meld Norm's words with Lily's art. To check out their travel site click on Sketchandtravel.comClick here to view Norm’s Reviews & Interviews.
Click Here To Purchase Waltzing Australia Author: Cynthia ClampittISBN: 978-1-4196-6306-2Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
Click Here To Purchase Waltzing AustraliaAuthor: Cynthia ClampittISBN-10: 1419663062 ISBN-13: 978-1419663062I have been to Australia three times, from East to West. At least I thought I had been to Australia until reading Cynthia Clampitt’s Waltzing Australia. Waltzing Australia is Cynthia Clampitt’s
Meet Cynthia Clampitt author of Waltzing Australia
Click Here To Purchase Waltzing Australia Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Cynthia Clampitt author of Waltzing Australia. Cynthia is a freelance writer, culinary historian, and world traveler who is here today to discuss her book as well as writing in general.
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Berlitz Pocket Guide - Australia
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