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Vagamonde: Chasing Euphoria and Getting Hit by Reality Paperback – 30 Dec 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: 20/34 Publications; 1 edition (30 Dec 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0993631002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993631009
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,643,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Benoit Charra is a software developer and artist. Michele Titcombe is a mathematics professor. They live in Montreal Canada in an apartment just big enough for themselves and two bicycles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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An entertaining, informative, explicitly honest account concerning the reality of an adventure that began by Benoit and Michèle burning all their everyday bridges in order to pedal off together into the unknown, spirits buoyed by their shared starry-eyed notion of the sense of adventure, freedom and idealism awaiting to be experienced across the world of their proposed travels.
It is intriguingly presented and their accounts of the culture shocks and difficulties met and overcome are peppered with a vernacular description that leaves no doubts in the mind of the reader whenever they are seriously disenchanted with what they encounter. They do not gloss over the down side of their various encounters, and this must be invaluable information to anyone attempting to cycle the world - even with the advantage of possessing younger legs. Little by little their vision and dreams are eroded, and given the descriptions of their various encounters and meetings with the native peoples of the countries cycled through along the way the reader marvels at their tenacity. The vagamondes encounter hostile terrain equably, they meet lovely people along their route and embrace differing cultures readily, and marvel at where they find themselves on a lonely planet. But eventually hostile drivers and stone throwing urchins; rip-off vendors of accommodation and supply stalls; personal tragedy and the dietary health issues of the day as they pedal up and down mountains and across forbidding continents and islands, take their eventual toll until exhausted they return home. It is a well written and captivating account of a journey and allows interesting insight into some of the aftermath too. Anyone who cycles should read this book, as should anyone who supports adventurers who brighten and inspire our own armchair safe lives!
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A delightfully honest account of a world bicycle trip. A wealth of recognition for the experienced cyclist, a good mental preparation for any long term trip and a reminder that regular Western life ain't so bad after all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Hardship and Hilarity 6 Nov 2014
By biking al - Published on Amazon.com
What sets Michele's and Benoit's intrepid journey on bikes to various parts of the planet,
does not really have to do with purist destination motives but rather about learning about,
the human aspect of dealing with hardships and difficulty of cultural difference
and various tribulations of long distance bicycle travel.

One can dismiss their day to day concerns and irritations with "First World " problems.
However those concerns are real to any one who has budget constraints,
dealt with the harsh realities and dangers of road travel on two wheels
and had to deal the petty annoyances of securing room and board for the night.
After all, this is not a cruise vacation.

Spark points such as having rocks pitched while riding by village kids
come to life when normally serene and cheerful Michele who is struck explodes off the bike and angrily
searches down the culprit. The third world solution is quite comical.

The authors' use of humour suggest a pretty effective coping mechanism to the stresses of travel and Benoit's sometimes sarcastic and self depreciating humour gives counterbalance to what may be perceived
as a narrative of complaint.

The creative illustrations of oddball characters encountered along the way reminds us of the hilarity of cultural divide and the universal pursuit of the tourist dollar. Quaint hand drawn maps convey delight of destinations achieved and give a larkish poignancy to the distances traveled and where stayed. etc.

All in all I found it good and funny read and great entertainment .Recommended!
Engaging, Honest Account of World-wide Travel 25 May 2014
By Tanya - Published on Amazon.com
Benoit Charra’s and Michèle Titcombe’s book is ostensibly an easy read that chronicles their 2 years of world travel by bicycle. Divided into 16 chapters with maps and illustrations, the book can be viewed as a record of the highs and lows of long-term and far-flung bicycle travel and subsequent reintegration into Canadian society. From this viewpoint, the book offers detailed descriptions of the colourful countries and citizenry visited, handy tips and cautionary tales for potential travelers regarding the logistics of long-term bicycle travel, and pathos for the struggle to survive in low-income countries. However, the book has enduring value on a level that transcends travel topics: It chronicles universal human struggles applicable to the less adventurous and more homebound. These struggles include the challenge to maintain dignity and grace in the face of overwhelming stress, the tension between the yearning for adventure versus the safety and comforts of home, and the uneasy observation that the human race is like hamsters running madly on a hamster wheel. This entertaining read lays bare the authors’ musings and reactions to the challenges of long term travel. It makes us contemplate the many choices we make as we negotiate the world every day, whether at home or abroad.
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