Multiple choice C1

Read the magazine article about trekking and answer questions 1-5.

An Accidental Adventurer


Garry Weare needs no introduction to backpackers who go trekking in northern India. He has been organising adventure holidays there for 25 years and has written one of the leading guidebooks. I catch Garry in the midst of a hectic round of UK lectures. Educated in Britain, he first took himself off to India in 1970. I asked how it all came about.

'I wasn't an outdoors person at university, I didn't join the walking or climbing clubs. I was inspired to go out there by people from the sub-continent I met during my studies. Trekking was something I got involved in without ever really intending to, but it had a very significant effect on me. Once out there, I started thinking that introducing people to that part of the world would be a wonderful way to earn a living. I thought I would do it for a few years, then I'd settle down to a proper job - whatever one of those is!'

'Unlike neighbouring Nepal, no-one was doing treks of more than a few days in the Indian Himalayas. I thought it would be nice to organise something a bit longer.' Garry's efforts were aided by an ability to get on with some key local people, and in 1981 when, quite by chance, he met Tony Wheeler, the founder of the Lonely Planet series of guidebooks, he'd been running trekking trips in Northern India for six years. Tony had already published a book on trekking in Nepal. He thought there might be a possibility of doing something similar on northern India. As Garry recalls: 'We seemed to get on quite well and six months later we were talking about the book. It took something like six years before the first edition came out though!'

I wonder how Garry reconciles the fact that his writing and trek-leading, is inevitably going to have some sort of negative effect on local people and the environment. 'That is something which I consider very seriously. I think the bottom line is that if I don't do it, then someone else will, so let me get in first and encourage people to go in with qualified local guides; that's the only way some sort of standard can be maintained. At the same time, anybody who believes that we can maintain a pristine environment and keep those wonderful people in medieval conditions should take a damned good look at themselves.' Garry believes that we have to share the benefits of our society with local people, but without reaching the point where remote villagers become disillusioned with their own lifestyle.

He thinks there can be a happy medium between eastern and western cultures. Particularly in the region of India where he operates, it is possible to point to certain benefits of tourism. 'Local youths are becoming far more conscious of their culture and history than they ever would have been if there hadn't been any tourists around. If you look at the condition that some of their ancient buildings were in during the 1970s, the deterioration of the paintings, it was a culture that was dying out anyway. The influx of money that tourism has brought into the economy has allowed old buildings to be renovated and people's artistic skills to be retained.' What's more, he maintains that with or without tourism, roads would have been extended into the remoter regions and there would still have been mainline communication coming in from other parts of India.

In addition to constantly updating the guidebook almost single-handedly, Garry is now director of an adventure travel company. 'You would assume that I have a ticket to trek wherever I wish. But whenever I have any time to myself - guess where I go? The Indian Himalayas. It really appears nonsensical to people who don't know me. But the more you get to know an area the more you realise how much you don't know.' I wonder out loud if there are places in the Indian Himalayas that are so special to Garry that he hasn't yet shared them with his readers. 'There are,' he says flatly, with a mischievous look in his eyes.


1 Why did Garry first go to India?

A He was looking for temporary employment.

B He was keen to set up a business there.

C He was enthusiastic about outdoor pursuits.

D He was influenced by college friends


2 How did Garry first come to write a guidebook?

A He knew someone who’d written a similar one.

B He had good local contacts in India.

C He approached a publisher with the idea.

D He made friends with an influential person.


3 According to Garry, how can the negative effects of tourism best be avoided in northern India?

A by preparing local people for social change

B by keeping tourists away from remote villages

C by preventing the modernisation of lifestyles

D by training local people to act as guides


4 How has tourism affected local culture most noticeably in the area where Garry works?

A It has made people share their culture more readily.

B It has made people defensive about their culture.

C It has provided income for cultural projects.

D It has led to investments in communications.


5 In the final paragraph, Garry is reported as implying that his guidebook

A may not be completely up-to-date.

B may not include all there is to see.

C may not appeal to everybody.

D may not be completely reliable.