Sam Manicom set off from the UK aiming to spend a year riding the length of Africa on a motorcycle; as told in his first book, Into Africa. This challenging first year was such fun that, in spite of a 17-bone fracture accident, being arrested, and being shot at, he decided not to head for home as planned. He finds passage on a container ship from South Africa to Australia, and a new adventure begins.
In Sam’s second book, Under Asian Skies, you'll find yourself immersed in an enchanting mix of drama, majesty, laughter, mystery, love, and his usual disasters. Sometimes a traveller's plans simply don't work out as intended, but for Sam every mishap is the beginning of a unique adventure; silver linings do exist. You'll travel on a journey across the vastness of Australia, through the twists and turns of New Zealand, and on up into the exotic lands of Southeast Asia. You'll ride dusty back roads, ease along rugged dramatic coastlines, and through history and cultures. Work with fruit pickers, sit under the desert stars with a blond-haired aborigine, and cross paths with a runaway from the police. How is Sam's life saved by a Thai prostitute? And smugglers? Did he really find relatives in the steamy Sumatran jungle? Soak up the magical scents and sounds as the journey continues on through India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Iran. This heartwarming tale will take you on Himalayan mountain roads and paddling through the orange glow of the dawn on the River Ganges. Meet the people who live in villages little changed since the Middle Ages, and share chai with strangers. You'll explore the dramatic organised chaos of the grand cites of India, and ride the historic Grand Trunk Road. This is a two-year journey where every day really is an adventure.
©2007 Sam Manicom (P)2014 Sam Manicom
I chose this book out of boredom and past interests. Because I have listened to or read most other modern travel narratives, this popped up on my recommended list. I am certainly glad it did as it is a real sleeper.
I have read the other motorcycle distance travel books from Ted Simon, Helge Pedersen, Glen Heggstad, Allen Noren and of course the ubiquitous Long Way Down/Round (among others). Ted Simon set the bar for me but this book is in second place. Distance riders can get too caught up in the task of riding and forget or gloss over the experiences, people, and food they encounter. Mr. Manicom is more about the experiences than the journey and will often hop off his bike, even for weeks at a time, to experience things. Many other writers instill a sense of urgency, like they must keep the bike pointed at the end of the journey, not so here. He does a very good job of describing the things you see and the reader is often sucked in and experiences it with the author. There are great descriptions of sights, smells, people, social mores and customs. The food descriptions are the only thing lacking but, as a chef, food is more important to me than many others so its a small niggle.
Its a bit different than other motorcycle books. The majority of the other narratives take place in Africa, so one feels like that route has been done to death. I realize Africa is a fascinating and diverse continent but I have literally read 6 motorcycle adventure travel books based there. The Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, etc journey was a nice twist not seen in other books of the genre. Its nice to see variety.
He does a great job with the performance, I was actually surprised the author was such a good narrator. He has a pleasant voice and was very professional in his performance.
Certainly.... With one exception. The print version contains illustrations and photos of some of the people and places Sam describes in this book.
Since the author is reading the narration, there is a lot of subtleties in his tone to emphasize a certain point. Other times humor can be injected where it doesn't quite jump out on the written page.
As with Sam Manicom's other audio book, Into Africa, the listener can pick up sam actually smiling as he reads and recalls certain moments offered up in this book.
This is non-fiction, so Sam remains the primary and most interesting character. The other people jump into imagination as Sam is able to present them with humanity and color.
Sam, himself, is the author. It is like Sam is sitting with you chatting about this rich and colorful journey.
Many parts made me laugh. I feel much closer to a world I know little about from this narrative.
Though it is not necessary, it is recommended that you enjoy 'Into Afrcia' first as a means to gain context and the backstory.
The book holds up perfectly on it's own, but I believe the experience is more complete enjoying the books, in order.
"a great riding adventure."
Yes. It is great to hear Sams adventures and close calls and how he gets through them.
Roding through India and problems with getting boat passage for his bike.
Into Africa... Both are really good.
Yes and no. I use Audio books while travelling on public transport.
Sam is a brilliant story teller who makes you feel like you are travelling with him. The fact he narrates his own books makes it more personal.
While this is about a man riding his motorcycle the bike itself is only the vehicle. .. bit he metaphorically and literally and allows for the adventure.
This book is great for both people who love bikes as well as those who have never been near one.
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