A deeply personal travel narrative that combines physical hardships with an emotional and spiritual journey
Twelve years after his classic travel narrative Annapurna Circuit Andrew Stevenson returns alone once again to the Himalayas on a deeply personal quest, a journey both corporal and spiritual. Narrowly escaping paralysis after shattering his spine in a motorbike accident weeks after his younger brother's untimely death, Stevenson's hike up to Everest Base Camp is as much introspective passage of healing as intriguing depiction of his fellow backpackers and the Sherpa people. Lying in a hospital bed in a morphine-induced state of hallucination after his accident, Stevenson promises himself to go back to the Himalayas, to heal. Five months after his mishap, and against all the odds, this recuperative solitary climb into high mountain valleys provides a spectacular backdrop to an emotional acknowledgment and acceptance of a lost sibling. Interlaced with the hardships of pushing to the edge of personal physical endurance and beyond, The Envelope: Walking up to Everest Base Camp is a richly rewarding read on every level.
Andrew Stevenson has spent over five years and over 1,000 hours on or in the water observing North Atlantic humpback whales off Bermuda. Born in Canada, he spent his childhood in Hong Kong, India, Scotland, Malaysia and Singapore. As an economist working for the United Nations Development Programme, he was assigned to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he remained after his two-year stint, obtaining his pilot's licence and starting a safari company in the Selous Game Reserve.
After five years he returned to North America, but continued to travel widely in Africa and Asia as a consultant in international development for the Canadian, Norwegian and Swedish governments. His work on humpback whales has appeared in The Explorers Journal of the New York Explorers Club and he has co-authored scientific papers for the Society of Marine Mammology on his groundbreaking observations and data on the North Atlantic humpback.
Andrew is the author of A Nepalese Journey, a photographic volume, and five travel narratives on Nepal, New Zealand, Norway and Australia. He lives in Bermuda with his Kiwi wife Annabel and their daughters Elsa and Somers.
The Humpback Whale Research Project website can be found at www.whalesbermuda.com