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This review is from: Jupiter's Travels (Paperback)
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.