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If stories come to you, care for them and learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”

Artic Dreams – Barry Lopez



To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history.


Cicero














Prelude

1492 San Sebastian, La Gomera.

The small island of La Gomera nestles southwest of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, a mixture of eerie crags, steep green terraced hills and a small population. In 1492, that population was no more than a few hundred souls eking out a sparse existence in the hills. This represented the western edge of known civilisation and many believed that not far to the west of the island lay the end of the world and a drop into oblivion. To other, more enterprising adventurers, the west held the promise of limitless wealth just waiting to be claimed. An increasingly popular view was that the quickest way to the vast riches of the Orient lay west, not east as had previously been believed.

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