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Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels and the World [Paperback]

Anne Mustoe
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 Feb 2000

'You don't have to be twenty, male and an ace mechanic to set out on a great journey. I've cycled round the world twice now. I'm not young, I'm not sporty, I never train and I still can't tell a sprocket from a chainring or mend a puncture.'

So speaks Anne Mustoe in the opening to this fascinating record of her second epic journey cycling around the globe from East to West.

Using historical routes as her inspiration, Anne followed the ancient Roman roads to Lisbon, travelled across South America with the Conquistadors, pursued Captain Cook over the Pacific to Australia and Indonesia and followed the caravans along the fabled Silk Road from Xi'an to Rome.

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Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels and the World + A Bike Ride: 12,000 miles around the world + Two Wheels In The Dust: From Kathmandu to Kandy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; New edition edition (10 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075350426X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753504260
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Anne Mustoe is neither a professional adventurer nor writer, but a sixty-something Suffolk headmistress. When she embarked on cycling the world's historical trade routes, she didn't consider herself a "cyclist" and remains unable to mend a puncture. "I'm not young, I'm not sporty, I never train", she states, making light of her incredible achievement, following the Silk Road across China, Pakistan, the Gobi Desert and Turkey; traversing South America and more. "My only duty in life was to get myself from one shelter to the next before nightfall..."

Mustoe's strict girls' school background is evident in her rigid planning and seriousness. She revels in solitude, dining by herself or watching TV after a long ride, and describing a "good night out" as attending a ballet alone--although she breaks her Girl Guide demeanour slightly when staying in China's cheap-and-cheerful gated lorry compounds or sharing a joint in a Byron Bay backpacker hostel.

Lone Traveller will be useful to anyone contemplating a foreign bicycle trip. Mustoe explores the pros and cons of cycling alone; dealing with police; tacking tough terrain; and the peculiar maps which neglect to depict whole mountain ranges. She includes her packing list and documents the varying reactions to a lone women cyclist--bewilderment in Brazil; house arrest in China; hero worship in sporty Australia. Although informative, it doesn't have the same spontaneity or spirit as Josie Dew's classic cycle diaries Travels In A Strange State and The Wind In My Wheels. Mustoe's rambling style is innocent and unembellished, both the book's joy and its downfall. While some will find Lone Traveller heart-warming and inspirational, others will tire of its matter-of-factness.--Sarah Champion


"it's a compelling read, detailing the experiences of a rather curious traveller." (Independent on Sunday)

"Her wry sense of humour is one of the great charms of Lone Traveller." (Daily Telegraph)

"A book about the true spirit found in real travellers, written by a real traveller." (Wanderlust)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inspiration 28 July 2004
Anne Mustoe is an inspiration for anyone contemplating a long voyage on a bicycle. She chose to cycle alone on a bicycle through what must be some of the most difficult places.
The book is informative and enjoyable. There is enough detail on the logistics and practicalities of such an endeavour to answer the questions any reader may ask. She remains optimistic in circumstances that many others would find difficult and always finds something good to say about the simple or difficult conditions she faced - particularly the warmth and hospitality offered by many people she came across.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking read 2 April 2000
I appreciated this book especially because I had read "A Bike Ride" - Anne Mustoe's earlier book on long-distance cycle rides. It is interesting to see how the solitude and physical discipline of the life of a lone traveller has changed her, and how much she has learned from her experiences. The chapter on solitude is, I thought, particularly interesting.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Travelling inspiration 7 Feb 2004
By Karen
This book is a must for anyone of any age or background, contemplating travelling for an extended period. Full of very practical advice and personal accounts that do nothing to take away the discovery element of travel and exploration but everything to make you want to leave sooner.
Anne Mustoe's book is especially honest and, as previous reviews have pointed out, the chapters do not follow the chronological order of her journey but focus more on using countries and examples to illustrate specific key experiences of the author. I will ask my family to read this before I embark on my own cycling journey as Anne Mustoe reassures, educates and inspires within one very enjoyable book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Anne's decriptions helped me "feel" her journey, nay, her adventures...her travels through the loney and sometimes dangerous places left me holding my breath... the sights she described I "saw" too...a wonderful book by a brave woman..and I thought my travels alone were something to write about! Well done! I have told all my friends about these two great reads...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read! 15 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Anne Mustoe is frequently telling the reader how she isn't a superfit young adventurer, that she is simply an ordinary headmistress who one day decided to get on her bike and cycle around the world! This book focuses on her second journey that spans South America, Australia and the Pacific, Asia and Europe. It is not simply a catalogue of countries as she explains in her introduction but instead she divides her chapters into particular experiences and subjects; 'Good Days', 'Police', 'Solitude' etc. always seeming to end each on a positive note. There are clear maps and several appendices at the back regarding packing, money and itineraries which make interesting reading in themselves. There are stories that make you smile, those where you think 'you wouldn't catch me doing that in a hurry' and many that inspire. I'm sure she makes cyling across some of the great deserts of the world sound easier than it was but this is a woman who has come prepared and knows her stuff!
At the end of the novel Anne reveals how her perspective on life has changed from the hardships she sees others living under and the hospitality she receives time and again depite this. So you too will find yourself thinking in a way you may not have done before, that maybe, one day you too could get on your bike and start riding!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Late,Great Anne Mustoe ! 14 Dec 2009
Living in Australia, I have only just learned of Anne's death in Syria whilst on her latest and ultimately final cycling Odyssey. I have all of Anne's books and find them all brilliant!!!! More-so as history is not my strong point. I find her books both informative and very interesting. R.I.P Anne Mustoe. An absolute Legend in my eyes !!!
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