I just completed a charming travel narrative by Danny Bent. Its available on Kindle at Amazon for $0.00, so the price is right. I have reviewed it at Amazon and given it four stars.
Have you ever woken up in the sultry heat of the morning, your hair and beard teeming with maggots, and then had potatoes picked out of your ears?
Have you ever felt the cold barrel of a semi automatic gun against your forehead?
When Danny Bent cycled 15,000 kilometres from the UK to India to raise money for ActionAid, it was a decision that took twenty years and one minute. For twenty years he had wanted to do something to raise money for charity. The one minute was when as their teacher he was put on the spot by his pupils and declared that the means was by bike, and he was going to India.
What he had signed up for was slogging along roads with trucks bearing down on him, unable to see and choking in the smog; shooting down treacherous descents with 100 foot drops, shaking with cold and too numb to brake; muscle burn and saddle sores; delirium and food poisoning; thirst and malnutrition; foul and insanitary conditions; life-threatening crises; obstructive border guards, crazed dogs and inquisitive passers-by.
'You've Gone Too Far This Time, Sir!' is a real and compelling blow-by-blow account of Danny's trip across Europe, the former Soviet Republics, Russia, China, Pakistan and India.
And what people he met! They are the true delight of this book, mostly charming, sometimes reckless, occasionally threatening, always unpredictable, and forever inviting Danny to be up for the challenge of entertaining them, in one instance by dancing in front of a packed stadium, in another by eating sheep's brains in a local night market.
Danny turns the wheels, you turn the pages. The pace is relentless. The story is both heart-stopping and heart-warming. The arrival is breakdown-and-cry emotional. And there's loads of fun and wonderment along the way too.
What a book! What a ride! Live your dream.
Go for it, Danny.
About the Author
Danny Bent was born near Buxton in the Peak District into a very loving and supportive family. His father was an international athlete and Danny was necessarily introduced to the attractions and rigours of sport at a very early age, and to cycling (down steps) not long afterwards. He is an international tri-athlete and a bog diver, and has an aptitude for the sort of adventures which require major endurance and a great deal of luck to survive. Fortunately for us, he is also an excellent raconteur, loves life and hugs people whenever possible, which means he gets access to a host of excellent stories and escapades he can roll around his tongue, and entertain us thoroughly, all at the same time.
Yet another eccentric Englishman goes a-traveling. This time thousands of miles, by bicycle, from southeastern England to a village in India. Truly an epic bike ride, as told by an engaging narrator. In pursuit of his quest, Mr. Bent meets interesting people, undergoes many hardships, and endures levels of un-hygiene that would have felled anyone with a weak immune system. I for one will never take for granted clean toilets and running water again. Through all this, Mr. Bent maintains a cheerful disposition and a genuine interest in the people, foods, and customs he encounters. He also finds a measure of spiritual fulfillment at the end.
There are a few spelling errors and at least one indecipherable sentence, but on the whole, this is a well-written book. Kudos to Mr. Bent for pursuing his dream and for telling us about it.