25 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Tracks and Horizons: 26 Countries on a Motorcycle by Carlos A Caggiani

I read a good number of memoirs. I enjoy reading about other’s lives and what they have learned or the adventure they go on. I always walk away with something. I kept waiting to see what I would walk away with from this book. While, there was a definite sense of adventure, I felt it lacked something. I’m not 100% sure what was missing – I think perhaps some sort of redemption or a sense of how he changed. Perhaps there was none of that and it was simply an adventure. I mean, he did make a large change after, but I’m just not sure.

I did enjoy hearing about his adventure, but I felt the emotion was missing from the author’s voice. It was kind of flat in places. Perhaps this was lost in the translation, I’m not sure. I think it really needed more of what was going on with the author’s mind and perhaps it would have also done well with a more fleshed-out epilogue, giving us less of the travel and more of what happened in his life after.

I did really enjoy learning about the places he visited and people he met, it was a nicely written travel journal. For that reason, I’d recommend this book more for people looking to read an adventurous travel journal.

From 1964 to 1966, Carlos Caggiani travelled to 26 countries on a 1947 Indian Chief motorcycle with hardly a penny to his name. At 24 years of age, he embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. He spent time with everyone from poor natives in the Andes mountains, to rich families in the United States. He crossed rivers without bridges, suffered famine, intense heat and cold, guided his motorcycle through rain and snow storms, rode on dirt and cobblestone roads, was chased by the FBI, was shot at in Bolivia during a revolutionary war, and had a serious accident due to a mechanical failure in Panama that left him hospitalized for 17 days. The experiences in this book demonstrate a human being’s tenacity and triumph in the face of adversity, and shows that anything is possible. There is always something more just beyond the horizon…and as the horizon expands, our limits disappear.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Book count for 2011: 2

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