Andrew St.Pierre White is the author of 16 books.
All involve adventure travel. Many are technical guide books and now, here is his first memoir, written with his wife Gwynn. It’s called Torn Trousers.
Gwynn is a New York Times bestselling author. Click here for her website.
Torn Trousers: A True Story of Courage and Adventure: How A Couple Sacrificed Everything To Escape to Paradise
By Andrew St Pierre and Gwynn White
No-1. bestseller in the memoirs and adventure-travel categories on Amazon.com AND Amazon.co.uk!
No.1 Bestseller in AMAZON Australia – ALL CATEGORIES – for over 28 days!
December 2016, Torn Trousers. Over 750 Amazon worldwide reviews: 4,6 stars!
Tired of mortgage and car payments, thirty-something Andrew and Gwynn and their Siamese cat Woodie did the proverbial vanishing act, ending up on a desert island in one of the most idyllic spots on earth: the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
Woefully inexperienced, these two hapless escapees and their cat took control of a luxury lodge, where the rich and pampered went to spot game, while sipping gin & tonic.
Trouble soon followed.
A true story, only names have been changed to protect Andrew and Gwynn (and Woodie) from inevitable lawsuits.
Watch the movie of the book of the film, of the mug, of the T-shirt. . .
From the authors
A sub-title for this book could be ‘A Year in Wonderland’ for as hackneyed as it may sound, it is precisely what the events in Torn Trousers depict. Newly wed, we ditched our frenetic Johannesburg business routine and, traveling light, opted for a life of adventure in one of the most idyllic spots on earth: the Okavango Delta in Botswana, southern Africa.
As woefully inexperienced managers of a high-class tourist lodge, our triumphs and defeats were jointly shared — there was no avoiding it — and virtually interchangeable, too. Just like the writing of this book. So, although the story is written in first person, some liberties have been taken. Parts of the book are written from Andrew’s perspective, others from Gwynn’s. We hope this binocular view gives you as much pleasure in reading it as we had in living it, and now, after more years than we care to recall, finally writing it.
The Botswana we write about is not the Botswana you’d find if you were to land at the new Maun International Airport today. The airbase where bush pilots swaggered is long gone. A string of high-gloss chain stores selling everything from Beluga caviar to Prada shoes have replaced the two dusty wholesalers that struggled valiantly — and often failing just as valiantly — to keep us and our guests fed. The Internet and mobile phones now compete with the HF radios we used to communicate with the world. Yes, things have definitely changed over the years, but we write about the way it was. Still, if you go to the camp we managed, you’d find the hospitality and the glory of the Okavango unchanged. We’ve been back, so we know.
All of the people you’ll meet in this book are real but some names have been changed. If you recognise yourself, then thank you for playing your part in the cast who made our Torn Trousers experience unforgettable.
Click below to navigate through the page:
The book opens with what I think is some of the best writing I’ve ever done. But the truth is, the bulk of the book was written by me (Andrew) and then written properly by Gwynn.
There is a place so tranquil that the angels go there to rest. It is a place of such singular natural beauty that the lilies dress for dinner, yet the ebb and flow of its life-giving water is determined by a climate a thousand miles away, where the water level is high during times of drought and low in times of rain. At its heart is a river that seeks the sea, but never finds it. Instead it finds a plateau of sand, where it lies and slowly sinks. Animals great and small follow the river in its pursuit, in their own search of happiness. When they find it they stay. The water is sweet from its source to the place where it spills into the desert or is drawn into the atmosphere by the warmth of the sun. In tranquil places the fish go snorkeling. There are birds so numerous in colour and hue that it confuses the rainbows. Great herds of elephant, buffalo and antelope find their homes here and behind them the carnivores tread lightly. Trees that shade the young, are home to the snake and comfort the traveller. This is where my heart lies, in the Okavango.
Noga Island was about one and a half kilometers long and about half a kilometer wide. It is totally surrounded by water. The only way onto the island is by plane or boat. There are no running vehicles there.
The map below was drawn on the old Apple Mac I used there. Click the map for full size.
Download the Google Earth location (.kmz file) now. Open using Google Earth and it will take you to our magic island in the Okavango.
THE JOURNAL AND BOOK
As you can imagine, 20 years of writing this book has meant that we’ve given a lot of thought to the cover. Here are some early ideas. The name of the book has gone through a number of variations as well. Torn Trousers was an early thought, but then it moved to ‘Days In The Delta’ and even ‘Conquest of Paradise’.
THE REVISIT 2010
Since 1992, when we left, we have made two revisits to Noga Island and the camp. The first was in 1994, five months before our first child was born, and the second was in 2010. We produced a short-length documentary of our most recent visit and it’s being edited now. It will be available on-line here mid 2012. Parts of this visit were broadcast as part of my TV show, 4WD-Take A Deep Breath.