‘A Walk to the Water’ by Bristol brothers, writer, Danny Graham and photographer Jake Graham, is an evocative and thought provoking travelogue detailing their walk and experiences through from the UK to the Mediterranean. Bristol 24/7 spoke to Danny about walking, writing and where next.
Have you always embarked on epic walks?
“I have always embarked on walks, but it wasn’t until I began to travel that I discovered the joys of long-distance walking. One of my first multi-day hikes was an eight-day journey through the snowy mountains and isolated huts of the Overland Track in Tasmania. From then on I was gripped.
I was fortunate enough to grow up amongst a family of nature-lovers who instilled upon me the value of spending time outside. Indeed, at the age of 82, my grandfather remains an avid hill walker. I suppose that is where my love for walking and the outdoors began.”
And was the intention always to write a book about this walk?
“No, we set out across Europe because we wanted to share an adventure together, something beyond the constraints of our previous travels. It wasn’t until midway through the trip that I decided to write a book.”
So why did you decide to write ‘A Walk To The Water’?
“After setting out from Bristol, I soon realised the value of laying our observations down onto paper. Note-taking throughout the day allowed me to reflect upon our experiences and the landscapes through which we walked. Writing a book, it became clear, was merely an extension of this practice, a way to process and relive our journey once we returned home. And also Jake is a brilliant photographer, as evidenced by a selection of his images printed in A Walk to the Water. Much like my note-taking, photography was a precious means for recording the landscapes through which we passed, the relationships we formed and the emotions of the journey
I also came to appreciate the importance of adventure and the outdoors. I hope that our story, as depicted in A Walk to the Water, will inspire others to set out on their own incredible journey.”
What do you feel was the most important thing you learned on the walk?
“I learnt that there is no better way to live a life than to walk through it. I also learnt, after five months of walking, that talking to insects should be accepted as a perfectly normal pastime.”
Have you another book planned and if so can you tell us a little about it?
“I have spent the last few months exploring the British Isles on foot, from the ridgelines of the Brecon Beacons and the heathlands of Exmoor, to the sea-sculpted rock formations of Dorset’s southern coast and the salt marshes of Norfolk. My next book will comprise these places.”
And what’s your mammoth next walk?
“This spring, Jake and I are going to walk east to west and then south to north through Scotland, first with the John Muir Way, before joining the West Highland Way and the Cape Wrath Trail. With our family roots planted in Scotland, we are keen to explore the country more – what better way than to walk through it?”
A Walk to the Water is published by Silverwood Books .