Wearing just underwear emblazoned with the British flag, George Mahood and his buddy left Land’s End in southwest England without a penny, determined to bicycle to the northern tip of Great Britain. They would rely on the generosity and good hearts of the people, from pub owners and accommodation hosts to the police.
They would not solicit cash, but would accept meals, rooms, clothes, old bicycles and whatever else they needed. They would offer to wash dishes and do other work. They were out to prove that people are good.
If you have not read a book by George Mahood, you are in for a treat. His writing in Free Country is even more entertaining than his story’s premise and is powered by humor and down-to-earth human touches.
I doubt it will be the last George Mahood book you read.
Get out your drum and give it a roll; my blog has a new name, Books and My Backpack. I offer you spoiler-free reviews of books that will take you on adventures around the world. Selections include the Pacific Crest Trail, Costa Rica, the Silk Road, and Mont Blanc.
If journeys of the mind are your thing, authors include the Dalai Lama, Thoreau, Hesse, and Seneca. See the drop-down menu for a list of book titles (and quick links to each review).
There’s much more coming from the trails and pages ahead, so stay tuned.
Where am I in my wife Sue’s photo? In the Alps, taking a break from the Tour du Mont Blanc, which will be part of my next book. My first book is Camino Sunrise: Walking With My Shadows.
I hope you like my blog’s new name. Have a suggestion for a book or a trail? Please send it along.
Michael Tyler and his wife walked more than 40 times as far as Dan Karmi, but distance is not necessarily the defining measure of their accomplishments.
In Walking Thru, Tyler recreates his journey of more than 2,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. I am pulled to the PCT because of its incredible challenges in the desert of Southern California, over peaks more than 13,000 feet high in the Sierra Nevada, and through two more states, Oregon and Washington. Sue and I have walked five European distance treks, but none compare to the length and difficulty of the PCT.
Karmi, from Israel, walked 60 miles of the 110-mile Tour du Mont Blanc, but I have to give him credit for attempting something unlike anything he had ever done. Sue and I had done two other treks by the time we walked around Mont Blanc, something we could not have done without experience. Karmi’s story, My Journey Around Mont Blanc, is an honest sharing of his unusual experience.
Neither book was a gripping account, but I was drawn to their stories. Their adventures were so unalike, but distance walkers will find value in their words.