The Pyrenees are by turns beautifully natural and bleakly austere; shaped by centuries of labour... and scarred by human suffering. In Footprints on the mountains, Steve Cracknell returns to them - on the Spanish high-level Senda - to see how they are changing. It is the story of an ageing hiker and a long and sometimes difficult walk. In the valleys he talks to locals and meets an eccentric cast of hikers. But on the heights he is alone with marmottes and sarrios. He listens to both sides of the argument over the reintroduction of bears. And goes searching for ibex imported as part of a rewilding programme. Bear festivals, witch trials, and refugees are as much part of the tale as the spectacular scenery; the World Heritage Ordesa canyon and the twisted waters of the Aiguestortes are part of the backdrop. More than just a footte on the place of the ancient wild in the modern world, this is the book to read if ever you dream of escaping to the hills. Praise for Steve Cracknell's previous book If you only walk long eugh 'A very humorous tale of adventure.' The French Paper Book of the Month. 'A superb and unique addition to books about the Pyrenees.' Strider Magazine. 'An original point of view, sometimes offbeat, never boring.' France 3 Television literary blog.
Steve Cracknell moved to the Pyrenean foothills twenty years ago and soon discovered their striking beauty. But he is not the kind of walker to be satisfied with a view however magnificent it may be. He also wants to know what there is behind it, what do the mountains mean to those who live there? A fluent French and Spanish speaker, Steve likes nothing more than talking to people he meets on his travels. If you only walk long enough, an account of his first long-distance walk on the French Pyrenean Way, was published in both English and French. His new book investigating the southern slopes of the mountains is based on his 960km trek along Spanish Senda Pirenaica.