🏕’I’m looking forward to dipping my toes into this pathway’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Memoir The Salt Path by @raynor_winn #TuesdayBookBlog

The Salt PathThe Salt Path by Raynor Winn

4 stars

The Salt Path is a memoir about walking the South West Coastal Pathway, a route that goes between Minehead on the northern Somerset coast to Poole on the south Dorset coastline. Two people, homeless, one terminally ill, walking and finding the beauty in the rawness of life.

Ray and Moth are a middle aged couple; after a bad business investment and years fighting through courts they find themselves homeless with less than £50 a week to live on. On top of that Moth has been diagnosed with CBD ( corticobasal degeneration). With nowhere to live, they decide to walk the coastal pathway, wild camping and living as frugally as they can.

This is a beautiful story; harrowing and painful, but also full of hope. It highlights homelessness in the UK and how the homeless are treated. It also shines a light on the kindness of strangers.

Walking parts of this coastline is on my bucket list and I have an opportunity to walk it with a friend. She gave me this book to read; I’m looking forward to dipping my toes into the salty pathway that others have travelled and finding more than just the views along the way.

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Book description

Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

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🚲A Year-Long Cycling #Travelogue. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Bicycle Odyssey by Carla Fountain.🚲#cyclinglife #yearlongtravel #travellingthroughtheworld #travellingchallenge

Bicycle Odyssey: An Around-The-World Journey of Inner and Outer DiscoveryBicycle Odyssey: An Around-The-World Journey of Inner and Outer Discovery by Carla Fountain

4 stars

Bicycle Odyssey is a travelogue from American husband and wife cycling duo Carla and Dermot, who took off cycling around parts of the world for eleven months in the 1990s. They focused on Europe, Africa, India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Bali.

Although they used aircraft and some public transport to get to destinations, the main focus was on travelling by bike. At the end of the book Carla listed miles cycled, alongside a budget and packing advice for others thinking about this style of travel.

Occasionally their plan was to visit friends and family, but mainly they wanted to get a real feel for a country and its people. They particularly enjoyed interacting with the locals and staying in places away from the main tourist trails. The slow pace of cycling also allowed them to see places that could easily be missed when rushing past in a car, train or plane.

Cycling in cities was often the hardest with all the fumes and traffic; their safety at these times became paramount. Remember, this was thirty years ago; many of these cities will now be even more congested.

Other aspects have also changed; place names and tourism as a whole are different now in some areas. For instance, Carla and Dermot entered Vietnam at a time when there were no diplomatic relations between America and Vietnam; it was a risk. However, you could argue that all travel is a risk.

There is a basic map at the beginning of each new country, but the pair visited so many tiny unknown places that it was often hard to follow. I quite enjoyed this nostalgic armchair travel experience, but I am aware that much has changed in the years since their trip.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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When author Carla Fountain set off on her year-long cycling journey, she expected new discoveries about the world. But she hadn’t anticipated a shocking rediscovery of herself.
Bicycle Odyssey, a travel memoir, follows Carla and her husband, Dermot, as they embark on a challenging bicycling adventure that not only tests their survival skills, but ultimately their relationship. Armed with a will to persevere, they face unexpected danger and a cultural learning curve that nearly costs one of them their lives.
In a time before modern conveniences, these two travelers off the beaten path lived disconnected from all communication. No cell phones to call home. No ATM for quick cash. No internet cafes to send a message. Relying solely on themselves, and a few helpful angels along the way, they experienced the lush beauty of Uganda, the welcoming people of Vietnam, the isolated mountains and hill tribes of Thailand, the terror of traffic in India, and the magic of Bali.
Their journey did not end the moment they stepped foot at home. In fact, it continued for almost three decades as the couple digested the trip and acted on the lessons they learned. By telling their story, they hope to inspire and give confidence to others in pursuing dreams. Told with vivid observation about the world and the people in it, Bicycle Odyssey shares the story of a rich and enlightening pilgrimage.

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Solo Travel Through West Africa. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #Travelogue A New Day Dawns by Terry Lister #TuesdayBookBlog

A New Day Dawns (Travels With Terry, #2)A New Day Dawns by Terry Lister

4 stars

A New Day Dawns is the second book in the Travels with Terry, a series of travelogues from West Africa. In this book Terry travels alone through Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Having read and enjoyed the first book in the series I was very happy to return to Africa under Terry’s guidance. An experienced solo traveler, Terry’s book is sprinkled with photos of his trip. I know very little about Africa and Terry fills that knowledge with his historical and economic findings.

Some of the slave trade history was hard to read about, but there were lessons here for us all. I was also interested in how many Africans who came back after slavery was abolished, chose to live as ‘masters’ themselves and built houses similar to the mansions of the deep American South.

It was also frustrating to hear of the poverty in some of the countries while Terry discovered how much governments spent on a handful of prestigious buildings. As often as possible Terry travels using local transportation and these included mini vans, sept-place cars (7-seater cars)  and motorbikes. Road conditions are often appalling and there are nearly always more people in or on any of the taxis and motorbikes than Western travelers might expect. I really admire Terry’s acceptance of what is ‘normal’ in Africa and also how he refuses to be charged high tourist fees.

Another entertaining book.

View all my reviews on Goodreads


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He’s Back!

In his first book, Immersed in West Africa, Terry Lister took readers on a harrowing West African adventure in Senegal, Mauritania, the Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. In A New Day Dawning, the second installment of the Travels With Terry Series, he takes us to the edge as he ventures into Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

This highly anticipated release is both amusing and historical, as Terry guides curious explorers beyond the tourist traps and pushes the proverbial and literal boundaries in search of adventure. Old and new experiences collide to create the perfect maelstrom of confidence and trepidation as he navigates the African coast. 

From pristine beaches and hectic markets to dense forests and ancient castles, Terry delivers an unforgettable adventure that is guaranteed to spark a soul-stirring experience for his readers.

If you are ready, let’s step into this adventure – again!

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Memoir Viking Voyager by @Sverrir_Sigurds

Today’s team review is from Frank. Find out more about Frank here https://franklparker.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Frank has been reading Viking Voyager by Sverrir Sigurdsson

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If you are seeking proof of the old adage that travel broadens the mind, look no further than this informative memoir. Sverrir Sigurdsson is an Icelander. For him and his fellow countrymen travel is in their DNA, from their Viking ancestors who colonised most of Northern Europe and parts of North America long before Columbus.

Sigurdsson begins his story with the history of each of his parents. Like most of their generation of Icelanders in the early ears of the twentieth century, they were self-sufficient, dependent upon farming and/or fishing for their livelihoods. Both are of course subject to the vagaries of climate, especially so for a small country close to the Arctic Circle where winter can last for half of each year. Having thus provided a brief but comprehensive overview of the history and geography of Iceland, he describes the two educational institutions he attended in the 1940s.

Like many of his fellow countrymen he completed his education in a neighbouring country. In this case Finland. Once again we are given an insight into the history of that nation and its relationship with Russia. Sigurdsson studied architecture. He began his career as an architectural draughtsman, designing details of windows, staircases and doors for apartment blocks whilst studying in the Finish capital, Helsinki.

After graduation he received an offer of a job in Kuwait. I won’t spoil the story for readers by continuing with the details of his career and travels. Suffice to say that he secured a number of roles within the World Bank, overseeing the construction and provisioning of schools and colleges in several developing countries. Each gave him the opportunity to explore his surroundings and absorb local history and culture. And it brought him to his ultimate destination, the USA – specifically Washington DC, location of the Bank’s headquarters.

Following retirement he designed and built his own house on the shores of Chesapeake Bay.

The writing style makes this book easy to read. No doubt this is down to his co-author, his second wife, the journalist and novelist Veronica Li (there is a chapter devoted to a frank account of the breakdown of his first marriage). At the end of the book is a handy guide to pronunciation of the Icelandic language.

There is a great deal of difference between travel, as exemplified here, in which the traveller gains new insights and knowledge about the places he or she visits, and tourism. All too often the latter involves returning repeatedly to a familiar place in order to luxuriate in pleasant surroundings. In Sigurdsson’s case, the former is a by-product of a life dedicated to improving the opportunities of others.

 On television Michael Palin, Joanna Lumley, and others share their travels with us. In this book Sigurdsson and Li have done the same. Until we are once again able to travel as freely as we did before the advent of Covid 19,  we have the joy of books like Viking Voyager to entertain and inform us.

Book description

This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander’s success. Spurred by this favourable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world. Join him on his roaring adventures!

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