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4.6 out of 5 stars153
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 May 2001
I came to this site, trying to find out what happened to Ted Simons. I've just read this book again, probably 7th time now over the last 15 years and find it impossable to put down every time. The first time it enspired me to go on my own overland travel experience which i will be eternally grateful to Ted SImons. A fantastic book, try the subsequent book "Riding Home", which i am also just re-reading. I'm glad to see from the other responses here, that he's still at it, anyone got more information on his latest trip?
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on 18 May 2002
See, feel, smell & taste your way around the world with this fabulous account.Ted Simon just totally connects with the reader & instanly you are there with him. A quarter of a century after the actual journey the whole book is still relevant.It's amazing how many of the dangerous hot-spots are still hot.The characters he meets reflect their surroundings & vice versa, but in many cases are ignorant & unaware that they do. A tremendous look at the human species & the world we inhabit & try to shape.Brilliant!
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on 11 December 2004
Why did Charlie and Ewan set off on "The Long Way Round" I will bet it was all down to Ted Simon and Jupiters Travels. I first read this book in 1979 and have always held a copy. It is not a travel guide but an insight into one man and his endurance to circumnavigate the globe in an age when Triumph motorcycles were a force to be reconed with. Charlie and Ewan only went from England to America as a team with a back up crew and a photographer. Ted did it by himself with just a Triumph and the help of locals along the way.
Guess who Charlie and Ewan met along the way, yes Ted Simons.
Before Marriage and Kids, Ted did my dream.
A book that you can't put down.
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on 24 July 2006
This book is addictive. Ted's account of his amazing journey will have you gripped from the off. He has a real feel for the people and places he encounters and inspires adventure with every word. Buy this book!
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on 14 July 2002
I was given this book by a friend, whilst hospitalised for a few weeks due to a motorcycling mishap, in 1986. Ted Simon`s account of his journey is deeply moving, and says more about the human condition than any number of academic psychological textbooks. Anyone who feels trapped in the endless routine of work/bed/work... should read this book. It`ll help to free you - in your mind at least!
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on 31 May 1999
Well - the headline might be an exaggeration, but I think this is the best travel book I have ever read - and I first read it over fifteen years ago.
Ted Simon drove a motor cycle around the world. Easy. But he spent four years on the journey. Okay - still pretty easy. But the journey he made was within, and more so than any other travel book I have ever read, he used the metaphor of true to life travel as the means of showing more than any writer that I have read or met (I met Ted one time, in 1985) that the real journey is in the head. If you like travel books - read this one now. If you like to travel - read this book now. If you think travel might one day broaden your mind, read this book before you leave - you may save yourself a lot of money and a lot of soul. And if you like Kerouac or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and have never read this book...WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Really - this is a life-changing and life-charging read, so get moving....
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on 6 July 2000
Being a keen motorcyclist in my youth, from time to time i had heard about ted and his travels, and the book he wrote, so i decided to get myself a copy. And im so glad i did, for it is the best book i have ever read, i just could not put it down once i had started to read it, it captures and caterpults you right into the adventure, at times i thought i was riding shotgun with ted. A great book that i would truly recomend to anyone, he even wrote another book after this one about begining to settle down after comming home, this i have also read, and that is also a good read. Top marks Ted?
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on 4 October 2000
I was fortunate enough to be lent this book and have never forgotten it since. It has to be one of the best travel experiences I have ever read and I have read a few. This book is awe inspiring as Ted manages to capture his every thought/feeling as he travels around the globe encountering some mind boggling people and places. I truly felt I was there with him. A very, very difficult book to put down. You must read it to experience it.
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on 16 February 2007
Ted's account of his 1973 world tour on a Triumph 500 can now be regarded as a record of history as much as a travelogue.

Ted, in 1973 at least, was a complex character, but he writes candidly with the educated eye of a traveller rather than a tourist. The book opens with "......I let the bike roll off the asphalt onto the grass under a shade tree. I tucked my gloves into my helmet and stood by the bike looking up and down the country road and across the field of green wheat wondering who was going to help me this time, and what it would lead to". And it goes on, Ted relishing chance, master of the art of communication and invoking the sympathy of the secure and settled.

London, France, Italy....Zambia....Brazil....Sri Lanka....Afghanistan and on. You are travelling not with some blue eyed all English super hero of popular fiction but with a person much more real and closer to his reader. Unsure, sometimes ill at ease, occasionally supremely confident as you follow the peaks and troughs of solitary travel. All justified as in 1973, in different ways from today the world was no safe place. The book is an unbiased testament to an age, all the better for being on a triumph of course, whose fortunes came and went en route. And today Ted is back on the road. As he travelled Pinnochet was imprisoned in Weybridge. Back in the 70's Ted faced a firing squad in Chile. How things change. The world population has exploded; there has been mass urbanization, the growth of the global economy and the collapse of communism. Are those green fields of wheat that wafted in the breeze in the opening of the book now an industrial estate? We shall have to wait and see.

Gone are the days of telegrams back to England and probably the feeling of remoteness. Something's haven't changed since the early 70's when Ted's saddlebags were stitched by one Delio Quiroz of Villaguay Argentina. Then his mature face peered up from his craft to be immortalised by a black and white photograph now pressed between the hundreds of thousands of copies of Jupiter's Travels sold worldwide. And who should Ted bump into on his return journey, now in his nineties and still stitching? Ted points out that he didn't make this journey to meet up with Delio all these years later and neither did Delio live his life to await Ted's unscheduled return, but it makes you think.
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on 20 October 2010
I found Ted's book good in places and mediocre in others. When he's not trying to write well, he's at his best. His reports about his encounters with people are much more effective than some of the purple prose in his landscape/flora/fauna descriptions.

I was very aware too that much seemed to be kept hidden - especially about his Californian love affair which appears to have been deep and comparatively long lasting - in comparison with the trip length - yet I got the feel much had happened in that relationship which would have given me a far better handle on Ted and his reasons for travelling had he chosen to reveal it.

I agree with those who say he seemed over-cautious at times but that is almost the habit of a man that age. This was no twenty-year-old devil-may-care, fit man, free of physical aches and pains. I found his general approach perfectly understandable. And it worked. He lived to tell the tale which is, for me, too short on personal detail and too long on descriptive 'travel writing'. But he was, and is, a brave and very determined man. I will read his follow up book with interest.
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