Swimming with Crocodiles: An Australian Adventure

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Pan Macmillan Australia Pty, Limited, 2009 - King Cascade (W.A.) - 314 pages
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Will Chaffey was 18 when he boarded a plane in New York bound for Australia. Though he had recently graduated from one of Boston's most prestigious private schools, a disastrous senior year meant that he hadn't been accepted into college. Instead, he took what the college counsellors grimly called "time off". Despite having no idea what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, Will had a plan for the next six months: to get as far away as possible from the dark New England winter and the stifling expectations of college and career. In Australia, Will met an enigmatic herpetologist and wanderer called Geoff. Together they formulated a plan to walk from the headwaters of the Prince Regent River to the falls of the King Cascade on the north-west coast of Western Australia - a hazardous journey never before attempted by white men. Trekking through a harsh and seductive landscape, their expedition turned into a life-and-death struggle when their supplies run low and the boat they expected to collect them at King Cascade never arrived. Swimming with Crocodiles is both a riveting adventure and a wise and funny meditation on the journey to adulthood. Beautifully written and full of insight, it is brimful of the author's curiosity and passion for living, and every page pulsates with the wonder of the natural world, and the joy of a young man discovering life as if for the first time.

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