Every quest has a turning point, be it achievement or failure, epiphany or dead-end darkness. Graham saw the line between desire and contentment and he rode along it... Ureka!
Once again Graham proves he is a natural story teller; if only all travel writing was as candid, funny and honest and thoroughly, thoroughly entertaining!! And in true motorcycle diary style ... there's even a bit of a revolution!
80+ days in to the trip Graham is in Montenegro and his legendary dislike of Health & Safety comes to the fore. Exhausted he dropped the bike a third time... it was a bad one. Adrenalin fuelled he summoned the strength to pick it up... how quick happy travelling turns to serious incident in this environment. Where the F*** is health and safety now? Eh? Ya limp wristed, conforming, regulating cowards, fearful of spontaneity? Interfering and intrusive, eliminating instinct and improvisation. I'd happily meet my demise out here doing this and if I don't, I'll taunt you some more you country-crippling controllers. But with battered bike and ego he picked himself up, dusted himself down and by the end of the day professes no desire to swap the day for any other pleasure! And anyway… who needs a back brake?
And how I laughed at Grahams disdain for the “go nowhere forum naysayers, who although I have utter contempt for, still manage to cause a niggle of doubt with their negative ramblings that they peck out in the safety of their comfort zone. ’I wouldn't ride a bike like that' they say. Well what exactly would you ride and where..? Thumb through the plethora of motorcycle trimmings page by page; from index to internet and you will discover that Touratech don't sell balls. The ability to challenge your limitations comes from strength of spirit, not strength of panniers and you don't gain that quality slagging off what everybody else says and does.”
A great book is a lifelong pleasure; so… thank you Graham… it may not have been an easy road but the hardships make the rewards all the more pleasurable. 18 months of your life has enriched mine. The journey is the desire and therefore brings contentment. Where the journey ends the dreams begin… here’s to a lot more corners.
I am usually wary of travellers turned writers. Most are really not cut for that and make for excruciating read. So I was a bit dubious, I read so many bad ones, but I still got the book because I was thinking to explore some of the countries covered by Graham. Well, I must say, it was a very enjoyable read. The writing is light and never overworked or boring. His descriptions and feelings about a place or situation drag us kicking and screaming into the action, feeling that we are there, with him. He comes across also as a very likeable character.
I must admit, as I bought this book in electronic format, that I did few time went into hiding in the toilet, with my phone, at work, to read few pages! I enjoyed it so much that when I finished the book I went straight back to Amazon to download his first book too! This one more to reminisce of my own ride to Mongolia.
This is the second of Graham's books I've read ( I'm just about to start the third ) and once again it's a delightful page turner. If you have any interest in motorcycle touring and adventure, you'll have no doubt heard Graham's name and with good reason.
Graham has a natural knack of painting a wonderful picture of his trips and you can't help being drawn in. The whole book is so involving you almost feel like a voyeur at times. As someone who has done a couple of longish solo trips, I admire anyone who can remain completely calm in the face of adversity and even more so if they can do it with a smile or a shrug.
If you want a honest read about the highs and lows of motorcycle travel, this should be on your shortlist.
I really like this author, he really takes you there with him on his journey. This is the second book I have read by Graham Field, and I can't wait for his next offering. "Deal or no Deal" this guy was always destined to be a good travel writer. Keep em coming. Mike North Yorkshire.