Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
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Originally published in 1965, it is the diary of her bicycle trek from Dunkirk, across Europe, through Iran and Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan and India. Murphy's immediate rapport with the people she alights among is vibrant and appealing and makes her travelogue unique. Venturing aloneaccompanied only by her bicycle, which she dubs Rozthe indomitable Murphy not only survives daunting physical rigors but gleans considerable enjoyment in getting to know peoples who were then even more remote than they are now.--Publishers Weekly. ""This book recounts a trip, taken mostly on bicycle, by a gritty Irishwoman in 1963. Her route was through Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and ended in New Delhi. She carried a pistol, got sunstroke, and suffered the usual stomach disorders. She endured bad accommodations but reaped much local hospitality, too, including a dinner with the Pakistani president. Most of the book concerns the high mountain country of Afghanistan and Pakistan...A spirited account.""--Library Journal.
a full moon, beside a nimble, sparkling fountain, with richly scented shrubs all around me and the mountains of Afghanistan jagged against a royal blue sky on the eastern horizon. The air feels like silk as a little breeze moves among the birch trees that enclose two sides of the courtyard. The town’s electricity supply has broken down and the tall pillars of the verandah look very lovely by moonlight. Actually I shouldn’t be here – on arrival the proprietor told me that no women are allowed
and we started out at 5 a.m. We covered 118 miles today over a level metalled road, through pleasant but not exciting scenery. There was heavy traffic for the last sixty-six miles, once we joined the grand trunk road, where water-buffalo carts make cycling conditions almost as unpleasantly dangerous as in Teheran. I’ve evolved a new technique of cycling in this sort of weather. Instead of taking a three-hour midday break I experimented yesterday and today with quarter-hour rests every twelve or
be necessary: which just shows how little central authorities know about outlying areas. Though I must admit that this village is very outlying – if the path and my permit hadn’t petered out here we’d soon be in China! I was also told that there are no snakes in Gilgit and consequently I have been happily sleeping on the ground all over the place – yet this afternoon I met two thin, black-and-yellow eighteen inchers within an hour; they hissed at us from beside the track and Rob got very
citizen. Everywhere I’ve made good friends, and this country, of all those so far travelled through, has become a true home from home. Beside me in the bus sat a jubilant young man returning to his village to celebrate the birth of his first son. He told me that two perfect goat kids, of uniform colour and without blemish, would be sacrificed as part of the celebrations and their meat given to the poor of the village. (It’s only one kid for a girl.) I asked him how many children he would like to
Aurang Zeb through moderately well-off professional men to destitute representatives of the city slums; from men who spoke flawless Oxford English through men whose grammar and pronunciation were questionable to men who could only speak pidgin-English. And in the restaurant at the 11 a.m. interval the air was chaotic with Pushto, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi and English, while the members (clad as variously as they spoke) sat arguing over their tea or coffee. Theoretically the unifying element here