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on 16 December 2014
Sorry, but I found this book to be quite mundane and very easy to put down. So much so that I only managed to read just past half way when I gave up battling through it.

I found the constant references to the amount of luggage she had packed became very tiresome, very quickly. Also, her admitted lack of ability in being able to ride a bike, to the extent that she would not stop at places or petrol stations if there was a lip at the edge of the road or some gravel, causing congestion because of riding so slowly, or taking 20 minutes to turn a bike around was just anoying.

With regards to the writing, to me it came across as a daily blog that had just been cut and pasted together.
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on 18 January 2014
I have to admit to being slightly baffled at the beginning of Jill Maden's book as to why she thought she could do her 2 wheeled Round Australia trip in the first place. She didn't appear to have done any research,have a clue what to take or even be able to ride a bike safely in conditions that a bit of research would have shown her she'd come across.While having ridden long distances before she seemed a menace to herself and other road users as she wobbled off on her trip trying to avoid gravel roads in Australia,a bit like trying to get through Stevenage without encountering a roundabout and causing massive tailbacks as she tip-toe'd around the twisty bits at bicycle speeds.While I respect her guts in taking on such a challenge I feared for her in any number of ways as she struggled to park her machine let alone ride it and hadn't bothered to get to know the bike she was relying on to get her around the Continent in one piece as the ~"oil light" incident shows,Jill that little episode could have left you with a wrecked motor and it's not rocket science.It's very obvious that Jill wasn't enjoying the experience at all and a good part of the beginning of her tale is negative descending into full on doom and gloom.
Thankfully,as I was tiring of our Heroine rapidly being an experienced enough rider to know that most of her woes were self-inflicted,she gets over her fears,starts to gel with her bike instead of fighting it(you'll never win that one) and gains massively in confidence.
OK so the above sounds pretty negative,so was the start of the book and it started to grate on me until Jill gets into the flow of the journey and realises her capabilities,from then on we share the enjoyment and excitement she feels at the places she sees and the people she meets.
Actually I think that's kind of the point,Jill had tried a few things in life and like the rest of us had been rewarded with a few kicks in the teeth which seemed to colour her outlook on all kinds of things.She comes across as a very nice person enlightened by what us old hands know as the camaraderie on the road.I've met so many amazing people in life purely because I've parked my bike somewhere next to another one and we've started talking.
I've read a lot of bike travel books and this is an easy read from someone who can write well enough for us feel as if we've got to know her very well by the last page.A lot of the early drama could have been solved by more sensible packing,researching her choice bike before picking it up,a bit of extra riding training and more suitable riding gear,there's really no need to get wet these days.Of course then it would have been a different story.
A good read narrated by someone who comes across as amiable and pleasant company.
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on 6 May 2013
I am not a biker but I really enjoyed Jill's account of her adventures and misadventures as she toured parts of Australia. Embarking upon the "Heroine's Journey" Jill soon finds herself in the 'belly of the whale' - a 'why am I doing this?' moment with all its ups, and downs - and must be an inspiration for anyone who is thinking or dreaming about a life changing trip. It certainly inspired me as I was preparing another personal 'leap into the void'.
The journey is broken up into short 'post' like anecdotes making up each chapter - and hungry to know what happened next, I found myself speeding along page after page with her. This would also make a great gift for any female biker or traveller friends - and indeed any traveller who is interested in solo touring or taking the step of heading off to face the unknown and themselves.
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on 28 June 2013
Having only met Jill for a couple of days, and her account of that time was accurate, gives me confidence that the book is a brutally honest account of her trip. Jill opens up about her deep inner feelings, fear, despair, joy and the recognition that she was totally unprepared for the adventure which unfolded before her. She survived to tell an entertaining story which is much more than a dry travelogue, you are involved sharing the journey looking over her shoulder.
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on 5 May 2013
...Well a Suzuki really. A marvellous story of a ride across Australia on a trusty motorcycle laden down with baggage. Jull Maden writes it like it is - blisters and all.

After a few pages getting into the story I couldn't put it down and raced through to the end. Although I've never been to Australia by the end of the book I felt like I had. I now want to buy myself a motorbike and get travelling.
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on 16 May 2013
Fresh, funny, direct. I really enjoyed it. It offers a nice insight of Australia and, most important, of our common fears, hopes and joys.
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on 20 January 2014
Amusing and informative read. It brought back memories of roads I had traveled in Australia and brought out the thing that people who have never been to Oz don't realise. It's much bigger than you think. Also Oz people are a different breed, friendly and generally helpful.
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on 28 January 2016
Pretty mundane stuff.Not worth the effort to read it.and of no real merit
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on 8 January 2015
A different and heartwarming take on the usual bike journey travelogue.
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on 21 May 2016
an amazing and witty book. have passed it on to other female riders.
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