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Travel Writers Vivien Lougheed and Martin Mitchinson Visit Victoria to Share their Tales of Adventure

Posted: September 9, 2008

Vivien Lougheed author of Understanding Bolivia: A Traveller’s History, and Martin Mitchinson author of The Darien Gap: Travels in the Rainforest of Panama, will be presenting a joint talk and slide show at the following Greater Victoria Library Branches this October:

· Bruce Hutchinson (4636 Elk Lake Drive) on Thursday, October 2 from 1:30-3:00pm
· Emily Carr (3500 Blanshard Street) on Thursday, October 2 from 7:00-8:30pm
· Oak Bay (1442 Monterey Avenue) on Saturday, October 4 from 2:00-3:30pm

Understanding Bolivia is a traveller’s history that chronicles Bolivia’s tangled and tumultuous history in order to expound the backbone of local cultures from the Tihuanacans and Inca to present day Aymara and Quechua. The book describes how Bolivia became the second poorest country in the Americas and how it disposed of almost 200 presidents in the same number of years. Lougheed presents insight into an indigenous, rural economy struggling with the global economy and eventually conquering American corporate control of water and gas supplies.

Born in Winnipeg in 1943, Vivien Lougheed was raised by her Polish grandparents who instilled within her a desire for adventure. From her home base of Prince George she has travelled extensively throughout British Columbia, China, Pakistan, the Mediterranean, Central and South America, Africa, the Himalayas of Tibet and Nepal. In her first book, Central America by Chickenbus (1986), she all but coined the term that is now synonymous with local transportation and travelling on the cheap. Since then she has written more than ten books including Kluane National Park Hiking Guide, Forbidden Mountains (Caitlin Press), Tungsten John, (co-written with her husband) and From the Chilcotin to the Chilkoot: Selected Hikes of Northern BC (Caitlin Press).

Martin Mitchinson, author of The Darien Gap: Travels in the Rainforest of Panama, sailed into the heart of the province aboard his thirty-six-foot ketch, moved in with a native family and spent the next eighteen months travelling the province by foot and dugout canoe. After being swept under a jungle river at night and trapped in mangrove swamps, he eventually crossed the continental divide from Caribbean Sea to Pacific waters along the historic route of the Spanish explorer Balboa.

Martin Mitchinson has been a travel writer and photographer for the past ten years. He was born in Saskatoon and raised in northern Alberta, where he later worked in the oil fields to support his travels to Central and South America. He now lives outside Powell River, BC. The Darien Gap is his first book.