From the Ocean to the Sky

From the Ocean to the Sky

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Sir Edmund Hillary
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"For more than five years I had dreamed of a new adventure," writes Sir Edmund Hillary, "to travel with a group of friends from the mouth of the Ganges River upstream against the current as far as we could go ... up into the mountains where the river had its beginnings." In 1977 the 'Ocean to Sky' expedition turned that dream into reality; this is Hillary's own dramatic record of that journey.

The 1500-mile-long trek provided as many challenges as the conqueror of Everest and his crew had imagined, from powering jet boats up treacherous rapids to the ultimate test of climbing Akash Parbat, above which, according to Hindu tradition, the lord Shiva received the celestial stream of Ganga into the matted locks of his hair. Hillary's narrative, supplemented with excerpts from his crew's journals and many photographs, captures the excitement and danger of the expedition.

But From the Ocean to the Sky is far more than a simple adventure story. It is a rich and intimate encounter with the tigers of the Sunderbans, with Hindu holy men and Sikh pilgrims, with rural Bengali villagers and hysterical Calcutta crowds. at every teeming city ghat and wharf, at each remote refueling stop, the people of India - fishermen, city dignitaries, village elders, excited schoolchildren, ancient porters, yogis - all responded with an outpouring of warmth and enthusiasm to honor the Western travelers whose pilgrimage up the holy river symbolized so much for those along the banks.

The story of Hillary's exhilarating journey and this rare view into the heart and soul of India will prove as irresistable as the mysterious lure of Mother Ganga itself.