Christopher Hart

Only in South America

Ghost Train through the Andes: On My Grandfather’s Trail in Chile and Bolivia


John Murray 309pp £30 order from our bookshop

Michael Jacobs’s grandfather, Bethel Jacobs, worked as a civil engineer in South America during the early years of the twentieth century, and left a paper trail of letters behind him. So following in his pioneer footsteps or railway-tracks seems a good excuse for a travel book. In fact he sounds rather a dullard, with distinct overtones of Pooter about him. Fortunately his grandson is a far more charming companion, endearingly anxious about volcanoes and revolutions and hygiene, but still outgoing and interested in everything around him, and his travels up the bony spine of Chile and into the vast, eerie altiplano of Bolivia make for a most enjoyable armchair journey. 

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