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Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle (1965)

af Dervla Murphy

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Shortly after her tenth birthday, Dervla Murphy decided to cycle to India. Almost 20 years later, she set out to achieve her ambition. Her epic journey began during the coldest winter in memory, taking her through Europe, Persia, Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan, and into India. This captivating account--Murphy’s first--is an enchantment that holds the reader to the final page.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
A fascinating account from one of my favourite travel writers. He later work is a bit overly political but this is her first and its her journal entries she made this crazy trip. ( )
  CharlotteBurt | Feb 1, 2021 |
Fascinating travelogue. Woman, traveling alone, mostly by bicycle and on foot from Ireland to India in the mid 60s. Talk about adventure. Focused mostly on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Interesting to contemplate in light of current geopolitics. ( )
  Grace.Van.Moer | Mar 6, 2018 |
In 1963, Dervla Murphy traveled from Ireland to India by bicycle – in fact, the writer and the painter from The Way of the World (see Bouvier) are briefly mentioned in her book “Full Tilt” (1965), in which she describes her journey, quickly through Europe, Turkey and Iran, and it much more detail afterwards. The book is fascinating for the insight it provides in the countries she traveled through in those days, quite different from what I suppose it is now. Funny enough, she is not that impressed by the Iranians - Persians, in her vocabulary, which is what they were, of course, back then. Persia is full of ‘physical dirt and moral corruption’, as she puts it, although she does recognize the elegance and dignity of some of the people. Perhaps she didn’t see take enough time; she cycled from Tabriz via Teheran and Meshid to Herat in Afghanistan in some 30 days. Or perhaps she just had some bad experiences, with over-attentive policemen and male guests of an inn she stayed in, which coloured her judgement. Which does in no way diminish the achievement, both the physical journey and the entertaining write-up. ( )
  theonearmedcrab | May 16, 2016 |
This intrepid cyclists trip from her home country to India completed in the early 60s (1963). One cannot help but feel a deep sense of ennui while reading some of the passages especially her observations in Afghanistan. Here is one about Herat "This is a city of absolute enchantment in the literal sense of the world. Herat is as old as history and as moving as a great epic poem". I am sure it certainly will not evoke such sentiments today after the total devstation of the Soviets and it's destruction by the mujahedeen.

On Kabul. "Kabul, though so much of it has been recently rebuilt is an attractive little city.... Beyond a doubt today's run up the Ghorbhand valley was the most beautiful cycle-ride of my life. Surely this must have been the garden of eden ... High hills look down on paddy-fields and vivid patches of young wheat and neat vine-yards; on orchards of apricot, peach, almond, apple and cherry trees smothered in blossom...".

All of this beauty and wonder now vanished after the Soviets, Mujahedeen and Taliban have succeeded in bombing this ancient and beautiful land back to the stone age.

Did I mention that she is extremely funny, several passages put me in stitches. One complain I have, out of a total of about 230 pages, less than 10 are devoted to India. Was expecting to read a more extended description of the country in the 60s.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
This intrepid cyclists trip from her home country to India completed in the early 60s (1963). One cannot help but feel a deep sense of ennui while reading some of the passages especially her observations in Afghanistan. Here is one about Herat "This is a city of absolute enchantment in the literal sense of the world. Herat is as old as history and as moving as a great epic poem". I am sure it certainly will not evoke such sentiments today after the total devstation of the Soviets and it's destruction by the mujahedeen.

On Kabul. "Kabul, though so much of it has been recently rebuilt is an attractive little city.... Beyond a doubt today's run up the Ghorbhand valley was the most beautiful cycle-ride of my life. Surely this must have been the garden of eden ... High hills look down on paddy-fields and vivid patches of young wheat and neat vine-yards; on orchards of apricot, peach, almond, apple and cherry trees smothered in blossom...".

All of this beauty and wonder now vanished after the Soviets, Mujahedeen and Taliban have succeeded in bombing this ancient and beautiful land back to the stone age.

Did I mention that she is extremely funny, several passages put me in stitches. One complain I have, out of a total of about 230 pages, less than 10 are devoted to India. Was expecting to read a more extended description of the country in the 60s.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
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For my part I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move, to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly, to come down off the feather-bed of civilization and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints.
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To the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan
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On my tenth birthday a bicycle and an atlas coincided as presents and a few days later I decided to cycle to India.
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Shortly after her tenth birthday, Dervla Murphy decided to cycle to India. Almost 20 years later, she set out to achieve her ambition. Her epic journey began during the coldest winter in memory, taking her through Europe, Persia, Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan, and into India. This captivating account--Murphy’s first--is an enchantment that holds the reader to the final page.

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