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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Distant Suns by Sam Manicom
Distant Suns by Sam Manicom

This book, picks up along the trail from Sam's two previous books, Into Africa & Under Asian Skies and continues his journey around the world on "Libby", his trusty BMW R80GS motorcycle. Joined now by his partner Birgit, on her extensively renovated BMW R60/5, "Henry", they travel southern Africa and after much persistence, manage...
Published on 2 Jun 2010 by Surrey Yeoman

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was a bit bored
In theory a great read, sadly I was a bit bored by halfway. Lots of detail about road surfaces and motorbike mechanics, but not enough about the places and the people. A summary of the book would be "we went here, then we went there, lots of details about the back brake of my bike, then we ended our trip"
Published 13 months ago by Damian Murphy


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Distant Suns by Sam Manicom, 2 Jun 2010
This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
Distant Suns by Sam Manicom

This book, picks up along the trail from Sam's two previous books, Into Africa & Under Asian Skies and continues his journey around the world on "Libby", his trusty BMW R80GS motorcycle. Joined now by his partner Birgit, on her extensively renovated BMW R60/5, "Henry", they travel southern Africa and after much persistence, manage to book passage on a cruise ship to South America, travelling economy class and with the bikes stowed aboard as hand baggage!

So begins a journey the length of South America, with its highs, lows and maniac local drivers!

Sam's writings are detailed, descriptive and very easy to read. I found myself right there alongside him and Birgit. If for whatever reason you can't go off and ride around the world on your motorcycle, then reading this book is the very next best thing.

I can hardly wait for his next book, Tortillas & Totems!

Buy all three of his books - you won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The third amazing adventure book, 19 Jun 2010
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C. Robinson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
This is the third amazing adventure book, easy to read and hard to put down - the story telling just gets better and better. For all those who love travel, non-bikers included, this is such an exciting adventure, visiting places that most of us only dream of seeing. Sam's descriptive skills of landscapes, people, atmospheres,'red tape', and highs and lows along the way, bring the journey to life, invoking all the senses. You realise that some of the most rewarding travel experiences can be achieved on a very limited budget, if you are brave enough to give it a go, and receptive to the environment around you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beware, your mind will wander, then wonder 'Can I do this'., 13 Aug 2014
This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
The series of travel books by Sam have to be read if you are serious about motorcycle travel. Don't skip or swap, just read in order of the route and times and everything falls into place. Not 100% travel or 100% bikes, but a mix of the good and the bad and the wonederfull. More about travelling light, under your own steam and with only your motorcycle and all its issues. This is not a package tour, not a record attempt, it's just a record of being out there, out of your comfort zone, and the things that can happen, the people you meet. Start with the attitude of laid back diary notes, and you will enjoy. Go with the flow and you will begin to wonder, what if ? I did....... and I did . Thanks Sam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome reading, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
Awesome reading, very inspiring, Sams style of writing is descriptive and great fun to read, highly recommend to anyone who is considering following in his footsteps
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5.0 out of 5 stars Distant Suns, 19 Dec 2013
By 
J. S. Murphy "Spud" (Stourbridge UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
Again I don't usually give full marks for anything, but these books are a great read especially if you like travel and or bikes
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read, dream, and be inspired., 3 Dec 2011
By 
Pa Caswell (Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
When you get to end of a book and you are disappointed it is coming to an end you know it is good. I have read all four of Sam's books and the manner and style of them is engaging and readable. This is the third book in the series and although the books can be read in any order I would advise you to read them in the order they were published as there are related links and themes through all four.
Buy them, read them, and be inspired by them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 3 of 4, 9 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
I have enjoyed all of Sam's books so far. This book take you through Africa into South America with his partner Birgit. This adds another dimension to his journey and once again Sams' observation on life and relationships with the people they meet are fascinating. The simple aspects of life whilst travelling and the difficulties encountered during the trip kept me turning the page, whilst it was interesting seeing how travelling with a soulmate gave Sam chance to reflect on his views on life.
Sam has a knack for describing places - its almost better than pictures although I did enjoy the photos in this book.

Having read the 2 previous books before Distant Suns I find I'm almost reluctant to start Tortillas to Totems as I don't want it to end. oh well here I go!
I do hope you have a lot more books to write Sam!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Two Riders, Two Continents - Lots of Adventure!, 2 Jan 2011
By 
J.Espresso (Portland, Oregon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
As the third book of what has now grown to a four volume series by Sam Manicom, Distant Suns picks up from not long after where his prior book, Under Asian Skies concluded. I was a bit concerned upon starting the book that this one was going to be a chore - and not due to Sam's writing, but as, after the first 50 pages of the book, it was literally falling apart in my hands, with pages separating from and coming out of the binding. A binder clip and some tape however held things in place (no BMW shop, welding equipment, or long distance call to Bob Porecha in London was needed), and I was able to get through the rest of the book with all pages intact. (Those who read the book will get the references).

The difference between Distant Suns and Sam's prior two volumes is palpable. Now, four years into his journeys, Sam finds himself returning to southern Africa and later to South America, but this time, as part of a riding duo with his very well matched intrepid and adventurous girlfriend, Birgit Schuenemann. The two ride from Kenya down to South Africa, before ferrying motorbikes and themselves on an improbable trans-oceanic voyage to Argentina as third class passengers on a first rate cruise-ship. From there, it's a series of adventures, exploration, highs and lows (emotionally and temperature wise) down to the southern tip of the continent, narrated by Sam with his trademark sense of humor and keen descriptive eye, before heading back up toward and into Central America - a trip interrupted by a medical evacuation back to the UK. Sam's poor back and slipped disks however prove to be no match for his undaunted spirit, as the medical evacuation only interrupts, rather than ends the trip.

While Distant Suns, takes us across two continents, in full disclosure, only about 1/3 of this book is actually set in Africa. This is, for the most part, a book about motorcycle travel in South America - and mainly in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. I also found this book to differ from Sam's prior books in that it is more descriptive of the landscapes and environments, but with fewer details about the colorful characters met on the road - natives and travelers alike. Maybe there were just more colorful and interesting people to talk about in Africa and Asia, but more likely, it's a result of the differing dynamic of now traveling as part of a pair rather than alone. That said, I very much enjoyed reading as Sam and Birgit's relationship develops and solidifies against the backdrops of their common adventures through southern Africa and South America. Birgit's curiosity, plus Sam's eye for detail and talent for descriptive travel writing make for a fascinating and inspiring read.

Sam's fourth book, From Tortillas to Totems, is now out, and that one is next on my reading list. A warning to those who are unfamiliar with Sam's writing however - approach with caution! These books may make you want to chuck that 9-5 job, dust off your passport, get on two wheels and head for the border.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another engaging read that keeps you with your nose in the book, 21 Nov 2010
This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
Having read Sam's two previous books (if you haven't read them then you must) Sams adventures continue on.

Sams style of writing keeps you in the saddle with him every step of the way. Its the sort of book that makes you want to get out of your armchair and ride out on your bike to follow his lead.

In this book Sam is in South Africa and South America, well if you want to know how he gets on then you must read it. If you enjoy travel then you will enjoy this from your armchair and may be it will inspire you to move further a field.

Thanks for such a good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Distant Suns, 2 Nov 2010
This review is from: Distant Suns: Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America (Paperback)
Distant Suns has everything from raw courage, multiple disasters (which actually, at the moment you are reading about them, make you glad you are at home) to stunning descriptions of the landscapes and the roads. He weaves in a little history, a dash of culture, lots about the people, a taste of geography, and also a little of the politics from the countries. All of these things are, I think, vital components of a good travel book. He courageously writes about the daft things he did. When I read those sections I think to myself that they are good pointers for things not to do. He never attempts to be funny, but at times the things that happen to him and Birgit will make you burst out laughing. They get into some bizarre situations. It's not a guidebook and it's not a dairy. Distant Suns is a full on adventure.
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