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Trail of Feathers by Tahir Shah
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Trail of Feathers (edition 2002)

by Tahir Shah

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971125,712 (3.98)3
Member:rightantler
Title:Trail of Feathers
Authors:Tahir Shah
Info:McArthur & Company / Not Applicable (2002), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Stewart's Read
Rating:
Tags:Y07, travel, biography

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Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru by Tahir Shah

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Shah turns a pretty phrase, even when it's about shrunken heads or disgusting food. Here he pursues the legend of the birdmen, a quest that includes colorful and sometimes alarming fellow travelers, grave robbing, hallucinogenic vines, crumbling textiles, matter-of-fact mystics, and the Nazca lines. Shah is neither a curmudgeonly character like Theroux nor a macho creep like some travel writers whom out of delicacy I shall not name. Instead, he lets the reader in on his hopes, his discomforts, and his apparently genial willingness to subject himself to traditional treatments for a variety of discomforts, including parasites in his pants, as he seeks answers to many, sometimes related, questions. Readable and quick-paced, it will cause the reader to be actively delighted that she isn't eating rat stew or picking wolf spiders out of her hair. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753813173, Paperback)

Enthralled by the chronicle of a 16th-century Spanish monk, which said that the Incas 'flew like birds' over the jungle, and by the recurring theme of flying in Peruvian folklore, Tahir Shah set out to discover whether the Incas really did fly or glide above the jungles of Peru. Or was it flight of a different kind, inspired by powerful drugs? After gathering equipment in London the long quest begins, in the mountains of Peru, with a trek to Machu Picchu, the Incas' most sacred city. Then on to the mountain city of Cusco and a mysterious island on Lake Titicaca, before the trail of clues leads to the coast and through the desert, to the immense animal-like etchings which form the Nazca Lines and a remote burial ground for 30,000 mummified corpses. And finally to an epic river-journey up the Amazon to discover the secrets of the Shuar, a tribe of legendary savagery. Even for a traveller so used to surreal adventures, there are many strange encounters - some gruesome, some hilarious - among madmen and dreamers, sorcerers, con-men and jungle experts, before he can at last discover the truth about the Birdmen of Peru.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Shah travels to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and the Nazca Lines in search of the truth behind the legendary birdmen.

(summary from another edition)

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