Is Nicholas Crane the greatest man to have ever lived?

A sketch of Crane on his walk across Europe

A sketch of Crane on his walk across Europe (Daniel Graham)

As those who know me will tell you, I strongly believe that Nicholas Crane is the greatest man to have ever lived. He reminds me of my father (you’re welcome Dad) because he knows how to tell a story. He’s also an explorer – yes, they still exist! In 1986, Nicholas and his cousin Richard located Eurasia’s Continental Pole of Inaccessibility, the point furthest from any of the world’s surrounding oceans, sandwiched between the north-west border of China and the eastern lakes of Kazakhstan. six years later, he retied his boots, flew to Cape Finisterre and walked for 10,000 kilometres across the mountains of Europe and onto to Istanbul. His account of this journey, Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe, is one of the best books I have ever read. If you want to be inspired to walk, it’s a must.

“Maps codify the miracle of existence.” Nicholas Crane wrote in his 2002 Guardian article, The man who mapped the world (that, perhaps, another story for another day).