A classic of travel and canoeing.
The student-turned-soldier came up with the idea of constructing a canoe in 1865. In less than 30 days he made his dream a reality, then immediately set sail across the waterways of Europe. After amazing the natives of various European nations, the intrepid Scotsman turned his wandering eye towards more exotic realms. It was then that he decided to embark on his now-famous canoe, the Rob Roy, into the waterways of the Holy Land and Egypt.
What followed can only be described as nineteenth century adventure and exploration at its finest. MacGregor paddled his way through Palestine, Syria and eventually into Egypt, making his way through both the Jordan and Nile rivers. Yet his nine-month long waterborne journey was not without danger and hardship. “The Rob Roy on the Jordan” describes how the canoeist avoided being eaten by crocodiles, was kidnapped by outraged natives, made his way through a variety of swamps and deserts, and managed to grow corn from 3,000-year-old seeds discovered in an Egyptian mummy.
Long considered a classic of adventure travel, MacGregor’s “The Rob Roy on the Jordan” still makes for exciting reading.
About John MacGregor (from Wikipedia):
John MacGregor (24 January 1825 Gravesend – 16 July 1892 Boscombe, Bournemouth), nicknamed Rob Roy after a renowned relative, was a Scottish explorer, travel writer and philanthropist. He is generally credited with the development of the first sailing canoes and with popularising canoeing as a sport in Europe and the United States. He founded the British Royal Canoe Club (RCC) in 1866 becoming its first Captain.
MacGregor worked as a barrister in London, and was an accomplished artist and drew all the art in his travel books.