Cycling Home from Siberia is a gripping story of endurance and adventure: Rob Lilwall’s epic journey back to England via the forbidding jungles of Papua New Guinea, an Australian cyclone, and Afghanistan’s war-torn Hindu Kush.
“It is late October, and the temperature is already –40 degrees . . . My thoughts are filled with frozen rivers that may or may not hold my weight; empty, forgotten valleys haunted by emaciated ghosts; and packs of ravenous, merciless wolves.”
Having left his job as a high-school geography teacher, Rob Lilwall arrived in Siberia equipped only with a bike and a healthy dose of fear. Cycling Home from Siberia recounts his epic three-and-a-half-year, 30,000-mile journey back to England via the foreboding jungles of Papua New Guinea, an Australian cyclone, and Afghanistan’s war-torn Hindu Kush. A gripping story of endurance and adventure, this is also a spiritual journey, providing poignant insight into life on the road in some of the world’s toughest corners.
Simon & Schuster
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful story of a man who decides to bike around a large part of the world. It turns into a three year saga that is fascinating for several reasons. He is not overly concerned about the technical details of cycling such as the kind of bike he uses, the time spent making the journey, or competing with others in some way. What is so interesting are his observations and experiences of the cultures and countries he travels through, the people he meets along the way, and the inner wrestling he endures as he battles extreme weather, loneliness, dangers in countries such as Afghanistan, and so forth. He is a great story teller and keeps the reader interested in his experiences and in what is waiting for him around the next bend.
Excellent read. I was worried that it would a long list of places visited. Fortunately, the book is much more. In fact, I liked the writing style, because it includes both cultural bits, as well as a personal story line. The story takes you from Siberia back to England, however the details are not equally distributed. Siberia and Papua New Guinea are described in more detail, for example. I was curious about Vietnam, but there was only one paragraph. Also, the last part of the journey goes by rather quickly. I liked the little maps and I enjoyed the details about locations and their descriptions.
I'm a sucker for good adventure books and every once in a while one comes along that I want to share with everybody. This is one I couldn't stop talking about. I think I particularly enjoyed the author's writing style and his willingness to share the good, bad and the ugly. I've been on long bike rides and experienced the full range of emotions of the course of 100+ miles. When I think about the author experiencing such rides for over three years, I'm insanely envious.
This book absolutely encouraged my adventure fantasies. For now I'll have to wait for my three kids to grow up and hopefully we can walk/ride in Rob's footsteps in the future!
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