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Bearback: The World Overland Hardcover – Illustrated, 9 Nov 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Matador; 1st edition (9 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848765142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848765146
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 5.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 734,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A remarkable journey. Searching, honest, uplifting." --Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Book of the Month, February 2011 --Real Travel Magazine

Book of the Month, February 2011 --Real Travel Magazine

About the Author

Born in 1964 and qualifying as a doctor in 1988, Pat Garrod was never your typical GP. An inveterate traveller, he has worked in Australia, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe. Over the past fifteen years, despite a serious motorcycle accident in his early twenties, he has ridden four times across Africa and circumnavigated the globe, always two-up. He lives with his wife in Dorset. They both still practise medicine.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book with some trepidation fearing a much-extended version of those descriptions of exotic travels abroad that one receives with some Christmas cards. Was I going to be bored, irritated or downright jealous? In fact I was none of these (well, perhaps a little of the last). It was a combination of travelogue, personal experience and reflection that was exciting, humorous, thought-provoking and inspiring. I couldn't put it down.

To undertake such a journey requires courage, resourcefulness and determination. Just when I thought the writer was sounding a little (justifiably) self-satisfied at his achievement he redressed the balance with a self deprecating remark or humble observation. His sense of wonder at the natural world and his optimism about humankind raised my spirits. Yes, he has been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity, the means, the fitness and above all the companionship of a soul-mate but he fully acknowledges this. He has lived a dream and reveled in it.
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Format: Hardcover
There have been a lot of motorcycle travel books with Ted Simons starting it all with "Jupiters Travels" and until now no one had improved on his work. "Bearback" has set a new standard and is simply the best I have read, and I have read a great deal as I'm planning my own trip. Well done to Pat & Ness for such a wonderfull journey and account of their experience. It's very kind of them both to let us share what it is like to explore by motorcycle.
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Format: Hardcover
Bearback is an extremely inspirational read, having read numerous similar motorcycle travel books this is defiantly a quality, heavy weight of a book. The book is a very good combination of day to day travel, history, geography but also social comment with wider thoughts on life's bigger picture. Although being over 500 pages long it is naturally broken down into manageable section, the two of most interest for me were through Africa and South / Cental America, which mirror motorcycle journeys undertaken by Lois Pryce whose books are also to be recommended. I read the book while on holiday and it was the perfect escape from my normal daily routine. The problem now is that I am wishing for the kids to grow up so I can set off on my own extender overland adventure, I can not however see my wife joining me on the back of the bike for 4 years with 3 pairs of knickers to her name!
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Format: Paperback
There is no end to how bikes touch people's lives. A man, a woman and a bike go on an adventure (sounds like a nursery rhyme) and Pat's book takes you with them. An adventure of discovery and insight made all the better because it was undertaken by obvious sole mates on a journey of many levels. A truly epic experience for them all and a very enjoyable read start to finish.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bearback is a well written first hand account of a motorcycle adventure around the world. As i'm writing this i haven't yet finished the book and the 'heroes' are still in Africa on the first major leg of their trip. The hardships and dangers they encounter do occasionally make one ask why? However being a keen, albeit Europe only (so far) rider i do understand that every ride on a motorbike is an adventure in itself.Personally i'm looking forward to reading about the South American part of their journey as this is the area i would love to explore myself. If you're into adventure travel, motorcycling or both i'd definitely recommend this book to you.
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Format: Paperback
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in motorcycle adventure travel, and a good worthwhile read for anyone wanting to find out what it's like to travel the world, and go on a big tough adventure. The strong points of this book are the sheer epic length of the journey, the author's clear passion for travel, nature and conservation, and some of the fascinating and unique experiences encountered a long the way - in particular, the high drama as they cross the India-Pakistan border during the military build-up in the early 2000s, or the visit to the 'torture museum' in South-East Asia.

Garrod's writing is pretty good, considering he is not a full-time author. His focus is more on the journey, the places, and the natural environment, rather than the individuals he meets along the way, but that made it a refreshing change and I liked that he let his passion show through. He visits and discusses some of the historical locations along his journey, and at times makes you feel you are almost there with him. The preparation, riding skill, and sheer resourcefulness in the face of difficult are impressive - Dr Garrod was clearly on a mission and would not be stopped. And there are plenty of tips for any bikers interesting in following in his dirt tracks. I found it to be a cut above the typical biker travelogue, both in the scale of the journey and the quality of observation and writing.

The author is not afraid to portray some of his weak sides or foibles, like his response when a driver in north Africa deliberately pushes his bike over for jumping the queue (filtering clearly not being the norm there!), or his anger with a rich sport hunter in Scandinavia - which gives credibility to his account.
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