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.
bacha is of course out on the road, walking backwards shouting instructions to the driver. The average speed of forward progression is 15 m.p.h. and allowing for frequent reversings, and for one puncture or other breakdown every two hours, it takes four hours to cover forty miles – at this rate I’ll be in Mazar for Christmas! But these Afghan drivers are really magnificent – good-humoured about their hardships, brilliantly resourceful when mechanical improvisations are required, and very
a gastronomic experience and on that course I made a pig of myself. Then we had hot cow’s milk with lots of sugar in it and finally green tea, and the more I filled my tummy the sorer my rib got – from expansion! PUL-I-KHUMRI, 27 APRIL I slept very little last night and couldn’t stand up without help this morning; I was in too much pain to eat an elaborate breakfast. While drinking my tea I coughed involuntarily and at once fainted clean away because of the agony. When I had come to, my host
saw that the Morava River was now flowing on my left, parallel to and level with the road. From the near distance came a dull, booming sound, as soldiers blew up the gigantic accumulations of rock-hard snow which, unless artificially loosened, would have dammed the river and sent its overflow rushing through the nearby town of Cuprija. It was awe-inspiring to see the wide, angry Morava swiftly sweeping its tremendous burden of ice and snow-chunks through the vast wilderness of sullen, brown
was to keep the ball from going into the ravine rather than to kick it between the posts. Of course it frequently did go over the edge and then followed a ten-minute interval, while the ‘linesmen’ stationed down there retrieved it, and during this pause everyone lay about in attitudes of utter exhaustion, as though they’d been playing their hearts out. What fascinated me was the way they avoided the ball if someone occasionally (to his own evident astonishment) kicked it hard – both teams showed
was a stirring of many bodies on the floor outside my room and a few sleepy mutterings – then quiet. Obviously gunshots in the small hours are not regarded locally as signs of an emergency. By now I had finally escaped from snow and ice and on the following morning came one of the most glorious experiences of the entire journey – a fifteen-mile cycle-run in perfect weather around the base of Mount Ararat. This extraordinary mountain, which inspires the most complex emotions in the least