8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good but where's the bike...?,
This review is from: Che Guevara and the Mountain of Silver: By bicycle and train through South America (Paperback)
Anne mustoe's cycling books are pretty good - they give a lively sense of the countries she's travelling in and are easy to read. She has a good 'angle' on the travels she makes. This book continues these good features. There's an excellent sense of the different countries she travels through - Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. She does her usual stuff about the historical background - how the places got to be as they are now - which is once again pretty good for a lightweight read. What there isn't in this book (and why it is only three stars) is much sense of this being about a bike journey - she does a bit of desultory cycling (complaining about headwinds, evidently not very keen) in the first third of the book (partly with another rather unadventurous female companion) and then it's buses and coaches all the way to the end of the book. So don't buy this book if you want Anne Mustoe the cyclist. She even says at one point that she couldn't do cycling because she was constrained by book deadlines too tight to achieve on the slow old bike. The observations of the landscapes are through a coach window for the most part. This is quite disappointing for people who like to dream of big bike tours. But if you are happy with her usual picquant observations, and aren't too fussed about the cycling angle, then you'll no doubt enjoy this. Her observations are a bit different - a sort of grandma of travel writing. But for me there was too little cycling, too little sense of the road and the landscape from the saddle of a bike - which is, of course, a very different thing from the view from a bus window.