by Anne Mustoe
Category: Travel & Holiday / Travel Writing
Publisher: Ebury Press
Publication date: 10 February 2000
Number of pages: 256
'You don't have to be twenty, male and an ace mechanic to set out on a great journey. I've cycled round the world twice now. I'm not young, I'm not sporty, I never train and I still can't tell a sprocket from a chainring or mend a puncture.' So speaks Anne Mustoe in the opening to this fascinating record of her second epic journey cycling around the globe from East to West. Using historical routes as her inspiration, Anne followed the ancient Roman roads to Lisbon, travelled across South America with the Conquistadors, pursued Captain Cook over the Pacific to Australia and Indonesia and followed the caravans along the fabled Silk Road from Xi'an to Rome.
Sixty-year-old former headmistress Anne Mustoe straps her panniers on for a second global cycle ride from East to West. Her first journey, in the opposite direction, formed her previous book, A Bike Ride. Lone Traveller follows ancient travel and trade routes from London to South America, across the Australian desert, the Karakoram highway to Turkey, and across southern Europe - Italy, France, Spain and back to London. In this trip, spanning 15 months, Mustoe concentrates on the practicalities of such an undertaking, partially in response to the questions most frequently asked of her on luggage, language difficulties, budgets and solitude. A meticulous writer and planner, she even provides lists of the contents of her panniers as appendices. But the beauty of the book is the sense of an 'ordinary' person doing what she has done, with no special level of fitness, coupled with not even a clue how to mend a puncture. Her portraits of the people of remote Amazon villages, of rural Australian farmers, or Tibetan shepherds are enchanting, warm, but always underpinned by a strong historical, literary and factual basis. Illuminated by colour photos taken mostly by the author, Lone Traveller will undoubtably spawn a new wave of cyclists along this ambitious trail. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
"it's a compelling read, detailing the experiences of a rather curious traveller." Independent on Sunday "Her wry sense of humour is one of the great charms of Lone Traveller." Daily Telegraph "A book about the true spirit found in real travellers, written by a real traveller." Wanderlust
Anne Mustoe read Classics at Cambridge and was the headmistress of a girls' school in Suffolk until 1987, when she left her job and embarked on her first solo journey around the world by bicycle. She is an established travel writer with a substantial following who lectures regularly on her adventures.
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