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on 8 December 2008
Ralph Bagnold was one of a group of eccentric (some would say mad) British and Empire explorers who took advantage of the lack of bureacratic checks and manned borders in the Asia and Africa of the 1930s, a lack caused by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. His travels took him from the steppe of Asia to the deserts of North Africa using battered Model T Fords and this book describes his journeys into the Libyan Sahara. As Bagnold says, this sort of thing can be done on a low budget with the minimum of pomp and fuss - even today. Though seventy years separates us from then, the spirit still rings true - and those of us with our plans to explore the wild deserts of the world with our satellite navigation and turbocharged Landrovers would do well to read this and see how it was once done. Bagnold went on to lead the wartime Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) that ferried the the-then fledgeling SAS into action. Worth getting for armchair explorers and also for those who are planning a trip to the desert with a vehicle-supported expedition. This older edition benefits from large fold-out maps - a much more evocative read if you can get hold of a copy.
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