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Through Sand and Snow By Charlie Walker

Release date: 10th December, 2017
Publisher: Charlie Walker

List Price: £12.05
Our Price: £9.99
You Save: £2.06 (17%)
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Does there come a time when we stop making new year resolutions? When the fact that we failed miserably last year to maintain our new exercise regime beyond February, cut down on our alcohol intake, or start that novel convince us that putting together a new list of targets prior to New Year’s Eve is a waste of time?

Let’s hope not. That would be giving up. Instead, as we make our first tentative steps into 2018, surely it makes more sense to welcome the new year with a renewed sense of purpose, not leasy because most people harbour ambitions to achieve one goal or another, however modest, but what to do?

Reading Through Sand and Snow will provide plenty of food for thought.

The book chronicles the author’s adventures as he cycles more than 43,000 miles across the Earth, leaving Wiltshire in July 2010, aged 22, with his parents and almost every other family member wiping away the tears.

Such an adventure must, you imagine, have been years in the planning, but Walker admits he did little training and had few definite plans beyond getting as far away from home as possible. “If a mountaineer deals in the vertical and aims for the highest point, a cyclist, who deals in the horizontal, should aim for the furthest point,” he writes.

What passes for a loose travel plan comprises an aim to reach Europe’s northern-most settlement, Norkapp in Norway, followed by a trip across land to Singapore before doubling back to cycle south along Africa’s eastern flank towards Cape Town. It’s an itinerary many 22-year-olds have thought about, but Walker did more than dream – he took decisive action.

His tale, more travelogue than genuine sports book, is a well-observed, compelling page-turner and many of the characters he meets, similar souls who have also decided to make the break, mostly from the comfort of western Europe, prove that you don’t need much money to go off and see the world. The only prerequisites are ambition and drive – and a bike, of course.

Mark Twain said that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness” and Charlie Walker’s exploits, whether it be enjoying the company and hospitality of strangers, eating everything from the mundane to cooking on a fire of cow dung, prove there is still considerable merit in making new year resolutions. Emulating Charlie Walker is a tad more difficult, but eminently do-able.


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