Most of us have read novels about emigrating to France or travelling the length of the country on a canal boat, or even taking the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Who doesn’t love a book that takes us to sunnier climates and interesting places? Yet there are also the epic journeys; travel through strange and sometimes dangerous countries, travellers who give up their jobs to deliberately seek out areas that would never be visited by the ordinary tourist. Here are three books that will not only fill you with awe, but also take you to parts of the world most of us would never dream of venturing into.
Sailing Suleika by Dennis Krebs
We met Dennis Krebs and his wife, Sally, when we borrowed their motorhome in New Zealand. Dennis lent us his book about the epic voyage they undertook on their yacht, Suleika, sailing from New Zealand to England. They tackle storms, prepare for a pirate attack, deal with engine problems and the challenge of stocking the right food for days at sea. Finally, the pair pull up the keel and navigate the canals and rivers of France to arrive on the south coast of England. Dennis describes hair-raising and at times, beautiful moments about their time on the ocean.
The Places In Between by Rory Stewart
You may remember Rory Stewart as a contender in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership contest. How different things might have been if he had won! In January 2002, he walked across Afghanistan and the story of that gruelling journey is detailed in his book. Travelling on foot through snow-covered mountains, he follows the route once taken by Babur, the Mogul Emperor. His ability to immerse himself in the culture of this distant and beautiful land along the way is inspirational. Prepare for an emotional ending.
With The Sun On Our Right by Tim Moss
I love a day out on my bike, but this account of a cycle ride covering 13000 miles encircling the globe is an incredible and often joyous tale. Tim and Laura Moss give up their jobs and set off from London with a tent and the rest of their basic needs packed in panniers. They ride across deserts, over mountains, through jungles and brave climatic extremes from blizzards to sweltering heat.
All three books are about people who are unafraid of tackling huge physical and mental challenges. Their journeys are not without hardship and danger, yet emerging from each tale is the overwhelming kindness of strangers, which is a reminder of the common humanity linking people the world over.
Enjoy your summer reading and let us know if you have undertaken any epic journeys of your own.