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on 24 September 2002
Worldly Penelope Chetwood relates the tale of her solo ride with companion, La Marquesa the mule, through Andalucia during the early 60's. The book records her journey through rural Andalucia and the characters and situations she encounters. Writing in a style akin to the period in question, the old fashioned style is quaint in tone yet manages to capture the essence of 60's Andalucia and a bygone age.
Highly Recommended.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 March 2015
In 1961, fifty-one-year-old Penelope Chetwode decided to set off on a riding tour of Andalusia in Southern Spain. After initially taking a conducted tour costing her £28 for the fortnight, Ms Chetwode made plans for a solo ride and, borrowing a sturdy twelve-year-old mare (the second middle-aged lady of the book's title) from the Duke of Wellington's Andalusian farm, she set off early in November in anticipation and in the spirit of adventure. On this trip, which took Penelope Chetwode a month to complete, the reader travels across rural Andalusia with the author as she tells us how she rode along mule tracks and unmade roads, stopped off at remote villages, stayed in posadas (where there were no bathrooms or even lavatories and where the author noted that although the Spanish possess a great variety of talents, plumbing was not one of them) and visited colonies of troglodytes who made cave homes for their families and their livestock by excavating into the hillsides. Throughout her journey Ms Chetwode and her mare were welcomed into the homes of her generous hosts (horses were led through the living quarters to the stables at the rear of the posada) and the sight of a lone Englishwoman (which was unusual in these remote villages fifty years ago) brought her a following of children eager for new experiences and the sweets she handed out to them.

Filled with descriptions of the landscape, the people and particularly the food of Southern Spain, Penelope Chetwode's well-observed account of her time in Andalusia makes for an engaging and effortless read. The author, who was the wife of John Betjeman and a great lover of horses (she took her favourite horse to tea with Lord Berners at his country mansion) led a busy and interesting life and, after her Andalusian trip, she set off to India in a VW van and returned there every year of her life until her death. In fact Ms Chetwode died whilst leading a tour in the Himalayas, where her body was consumed on a pyre and her ashes were later scattered by her friend Bruce Chatwin into the Beas River.

4 Stars.
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on 30 October 2009
This is a wonderful account of one middle-aged lady and her trusty (middle aged) mare exploring Andalucia in the l960s. I visited Spain as a child in l962 and it brought back vivid memories of a wild, rural country before tourism found it. You learn a lot about feeding and caring for horses, too. Should be Pony Club recommended reading.
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on 1 June 2013
I've lived in Spain for many years now and was recently given a very battered early publication of this little gem that was purchased in the Fuengirola street market. As its title indicates, it describes the solitary journey of a lady - the wife of John Betjeman, no less - on horseback around primitive Andalusia in the 1960s. It's so delightful I wanted to be able to share it with friends but with a copy that was decent enough to hand around, hence the order placed with Amazon.
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on 26 February 2015
Got this book for a 94 year old Lady..Shes delighted with it, she'd given up hope of ever getting it...Its sure made me happy..
Highly recommended.Thankyou Tony.K.
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on 16 June 2011
I ready this book many years ago and it has always reminded me of a friend. So, I bought this copy for her. I think she enjoyed it.
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on 22 February 2013
Item arrived promptly, and as described. It was not as good as some other similarly themed books I have read
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on 1 April 2013
good book well written go go gogo gogo go go go go as as as as aas as as gone
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on 16 November 2014
Fantastic book enjoyed the journey with her.
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