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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect armchair travel., 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Around the World on a Bicycle - Volume II From Teheran To Yokohama (Kindle Edition)
A unique book for all those who love cycle travel writing. Part history book - well written and highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 16 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Around the World on a Bicycle - Volume II From Teheran To Yokohama (Kindle Edition)
Really interesting ,for that time in history, I Really recommend for all the adventures and history research i love it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than Volume I, 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Around the World on a Bicycle - Volume II From Teheran To Yokohama (Kindle Edition)
Volume II chronicles Stevens’ adventures whilst travelling from Teheran to Yokohama in 1886. Arrested in, and expelled from, Afghanistan, the products of which he quotes as “stones and fighting men”, he had perforce to return to Constantinople (Istanbul), west of his starting point on the second part of his eastwards circumnavigation.

Arriving in India by ship, he cycled from Karachi to Calcutta (Kolkata) on his “graceful triumph of Western ingenuity and mechanical skill”, including the almost sixteen hundred miles of the Grand Trunk Road, built in the sixteenth century, which he describes as, “beyond a doubt, the finest highway in the whole world”. Again unable to continue overland, Stevens took ship to Hong Kong. The Chinese regarded him with suspicion, partly, he surmises, because of “the French Tonquin Expedition”, and he is soon placed under arrest, completing most of his journey to Shanghai in a succession of sampans.

Crossing to Nagasaki, Stevens continued through Japan to Yokohama finding Japan a pleasant contrast to the rigours of his time in China, before sailing back to San Francisco from where he had started in April 1884.

If anything, Stevens’ aptitude, occasionally approaching genius, for descriptive writing is even better in Volume II than in Volume I. He keenly observed not only the landscapes through which he travelled but also their human and animal residents, pithily describing customs and behaviour, interspersing his observations with humorous comments on their national characteristics and sufficient historical or contemporary allusions to put his ride into context.

Prepared by volunteers, the Kindle edition does contain some small errors but insufficient to detract from a remarkable record of an even more remarkable journey.

Volume II, as Volume I, can be highly recommended to cyclists and non-cyclists alike who appreciate a detailed account of one man’s courageous and determined pioneering journey round the world in the demanding circumstances of the late nineteenth century.
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