February 27, 2006

"Yak Butter Blues"

A Tibetan Trek of Faith
by Brandon Wilson

Brandon and I met through our travels as pilgrims. This is a book about his 1000-kilometer odyssey walking across Tibet. An amazing journey.

Author Brandon Wilson with his wife Cheryl challenge the "impossible" and set off on an incredible 1000-kilometer journey–on foot across Tibet. Join their adventure from Lhasa to Kathmandu, as they become perhaps the first Western couple to ever make this perilous trek across the unforgiving, windswept Himalayan plains.

Yak Butter Blues is a remarkable tale of survival. Alone, with only their stalwart Tibetan horse Sadhu, the Wilsons face Tibet's ruthless environment head-on: the blistering winds, extreme temperatures, sandstorms, blizzards, high altitudes and the thinnest of air–made all the more challenging by exhaustion, hunger, illness, inflexible bureaucrats and implacable, trigger-happy Chinese soldiers.

Yak Butter Blues is a story of faith–and the kindness of strangers. The land and climate leave their imprints daily. Yet an even more lasting impression on these adventurers is created by Tibetan pilgrims, monks and generous villagers eager to share what little they possess: yak butter tea, the warmth of their family's fire, camaraderie and a steadfast trust in the Dalai Lama's return.

Yak Butter Blues is a tale of personal enlightenment. The couple is an invaluable witness to a Tibetan culture pushed to the brink of extinction by occupation for over fifty years. They also discover the human link connecting us all, a link that becomes clearest on a trek that removes the distractions of modern life as it unveils the truths of "deliberate travel." In doing so, the couple discovers a sense of greater purpose, wonder, a renewed faith and ultimately what it takes to endure.

Wilson leads you along on their physical, spiritual and emotional pilgrimage, through the highs and lows, across this startling land in this colorful, candid, caring and classic tale, Yak Butter Blues- A Tibetan Trek of Faith.

My Review:
In a world where everything seems out of our control, it is a rare occurrence to read about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Brandon Wilson, in his "Yak Butter Blues" gives us such a book. "Impossible!" say the Chinese officials, but the simple act of stepping one foot in front of the other is a force more powerful than instant travel in this era of bullet trains and supersonic jets...The wonder about Brandon's book is that he doesn't embellish the highs or ignore the lows. You experience the whole trek, the cold, the hunger, the fear but also the joy, the happiness, the accomplishment of having completed something 'impossible'. Read this book over and over to learn how perseverance in the face of hardship can give us both joy and hope along the road to our futures.

Read this book over and over to learn how perseverance in the face of hardship can give us both joy and hope along the road to our futures.

Other books by Brandon Wilson:
Dead Men Don't Leave Tips: Adventures X Africa
Walking to Jerusalem: The Journey and Challenge of a Lifetime