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Riding the Mountains Down
Bettina Selby, mother of three grown-up children, decided at the age of 47 to undertake an adventurous project and cycle alone from Karachi to Khatmandu.
The journey took five months and was full of hazards. Although she enjoyed much kindness and hospitality, the reaction of some local men to an unaccompanied Western woman on their roads was intensely curious, at times brusque, sometimes escalating to dangerous violence Bettina Selby also had to face the intense physical stresses of keeping going in broiling heat on dust blown and treacherous roads shared with ancient busses, speeding trucks driven by maniacs, farm carts and herds of quadrupeds. In the mountains the ride became even more dangerous (avalanches, floods, dacoits, stone throwing children), but Bettina survived it all, logging some 5000 miles in the process.
She had no backup, and no possibility of being in touch with home for weeks at a time. This book is a remarkable account of her journey and gives a very different picture of the Indian sub-continent from what today’s tourist sees.
A travel book of extraordinary fascination and charm.
Richard West Sunday Telegraph