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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an unusual women tells of other unsung heronies, 22 April 2010
This review is from: The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe (Paperback)
I've never ready any Dervla Murphy before, but bought this as preparation for my own trip to rural Kenya (with small children in tow)and what an inspiration she is! Brought up tough, this 60 year old dismisses in a sentence the trials of tsetse fly bites, bed bugs, dehydration, bike collisions and the other misadventures which befall a lady cyclist traversing 5 African countries. She clearly relishes the hours of solitude and vistas of unique mountainous landscapes (although remains unable to mend a puncture even at the end of her journey! - There is hope for the rest of us unmechanically minded female cyclists!).

So long as she finds somewhere to chain her bike "Lear", a bed of sorts and some place that sells her beloved "Nile" beer (or local equivalent) at the end of a hot day's pedalling, she is content and draws out whoever she meets into engaging conversations. I'm not well informed about the political history of these countries but that didn't stop me enjoying the thumbnail description of each person she encounters and caring increasingly deeply (as she does throughout the book)about the issue of AIDS or "this slim disease". She meets some women supporting each other in the previously unheard of action of not sleeping with their husbands if the mas has come home from travelling infected, another woman setting up a hotel which is "free of temptation" for the men. There are pockets of feminism in the most unexpected places and DM delights in it!

She is remarkable and so are many of the women she meets in this highly recommended journey.
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Location: London, UK

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