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Cold Beer and Crocodiles: A Bicycle Journey into Australia Hardcover – 1 Oct 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Books; 01 edition (1 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792279522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792279525
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,100,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cold Beer and Crocodiles (crocodiles barely feature at all!) is an excellent travel adventure that will appeal to anyone who cosily enjoys the vicarious experience of someone else battling to survive in an extreme landscape: in this case, the Australian Outback. Having lived in Australia for 15 years without developing any emotional attachment to the country, Roff Smith quit his job at Time magazine to undertake a mammoth 10,000 mile round trip of Australia, the rationale being to try to find the 'real' Australia and 'real' Australians, engage emotionally "with the country I'd lived in as a stranger all these years". His chosen mode of transport, a 21 speed touring bicycle would let him get close to the land, experience Australia, its sights, sounds and smells.

In the early stages of the venture, Smith expends much pedal power sloughing off the Sydney suburbs and running the gauntlet of heavy, aggressive traffic. City and suburbs sloughed off, six months of gruelling Outback travel follow: its when he hits the furnace of the Outback that the words blaze off the pages as he is plagued for months on end by flies, thirst, dust, scorching heat and feelings of loneliness; is passed by huge triple roadtrains, horns blaring, barrelling down desert highways; witnesses spectacular thunder and sizzling forked-lightning desert storms; bivouacs in scrub under night skies "full of stars as sharp as needles"; works in sheep and cattle stations in the guts of the country - the barren interior; visits an Aboriginal community; picks melons; duels for weeks on end with the vast, hostile expanses of empty, reddish plains baking under the blistering sun ("so much nothing out there - just miles and miles of nothing"). Surviving to the next roadhouse is the order of each day!
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Format: Paperback
Cold Beer and Crocodiles (crocodiles barely feature at all!) is an excellent travel adventure which will appeal to anyone who cosily enjoys the vicarious experience of someone else battling to survive in an extreme landscape: in this case, the Australian Outback. Having lived in Australia for 15 years without developing any emotional attachment to the country, Roff Smith quit his job at Time magazine to undertake a mammoth 10,000 mile journey around Australia, his rationale being a desire to try to find the 'real' Australia and 'real' Australians, engage emotionally "with the country I'd lived in as a stranger all these years". His chosen mode of transport, a 21 speed touring bicycle would let him get close to the land, experience Australia, its sights, sounds and smells.

In the early stages, Smith expends much pedal power shaking off the Sydney suburbs and running the gauntlet of heavy, aggressive traffic. City and suburbs sloughed off, six months of gruelling Outback travel follow: its when he hits the furnace of the Outback that the words blaze off the page as he is tormented for months on end by plagues of flies, thirst, dust, scorching heat and feelings of loneliness; is overtaken by huge triple roadtrains, horns blaring, barrelling down desert highways; witnesses spectacular thunder and sizzling forked-lightning desert storms; bivouacs in scrub under night skies "full of stars as sharp as needles"; works in sheep and cattle stations in the guts of the country, the barren interior; picks melons, visits an Aboriginal Community; duels for weeks on end with the vast, hostile, endless expanses of empty reddish plains baking under the blistering sun - "so much nothing out there...just burning sand and scrub and spinifex for hundreds of miles".
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the book, and was intrigued by the story to venture around australia on bicycle ---- I felt as i followed the long journey, there were gaps that seemed to be missing, I am sure that there must have been a lot more happening and a lot more stories between the various towns. Sometimes it appeared that 100, maybe 200 miles had been covered and i thought where did all that go and nothing was really mentioned.
However,.........the positives far outway the negatives, and a very good read...........thanks
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written & entertaining. Enjoyable read about one man's escape from the grind of life for a time. Most of the people he meets are uplifting & make his journey worth while.
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