In January 1992, Dervla Murphy prescribed herself several carefree months and embarked on a cycle tour (pedalling and pushing) from Kenya to Zimbabwe via Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia on the cyclist's equivalent of a Rolls Royce called Lear. Before long, she realized that for travellers who wish to remain stress-free, Africa is the wrong continent. Inevitably she was caught up in the harrowing problems of the peoples she met; the devastating effects of AIDS (ukimwi is Swahili for AIDS), drought and economic collapse; scepticism about Western "aid schemes"; and corruption and incompetence, both white and black.
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Tells of Dervla Murphy's cycle journey through sub-Saharan Africa. She describes the beauty and ruggedness of the countries she visited, but also offers her own view of the concern of the people with Western development projects, AIDS, and the return of communities to traditional ways.From the Back Cover:
FOR TRAVELLERS WHO WISH TO REMAIN CAREFREE, AFRICA IS THE WRONG CONTINENT
Embarking on a three-thousand mile solo cycle ride across sub-Saharan Africa, Dervla Murphy, at sixty 'the toughest female travel writer of our age', had hoped to escape from the mental and emotional shackles of home. But as she pedalled and pushed her bicycle over some of the roughest roads from Kenya through Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia to Zimbabwe, inevitably the harrowing problems of the peoples among whom she travelled rose up to take their place. In particular, the mysterious threat of AIDS ('ukimwi' in Swahili) was talked about wherever she went, by both men and women.
Finding comfort in the beauty of the contrasting landscapes of the countries she passed through, in the space and the solitude, and entertained by the talkative, welcoming local people, Murphy survived starvation, a beating by paramilitaries and a bout of malaria. As ever, she was sustained by her extraordinary compassion, humour and sense of adventure. What emerges from her journey along the Ukimwi Road is a personal, often controversial, always compelling view of Africa, its peoples and its future.
''The Ukimwi Road' is at times a grim work. It is also illuminating and clear-headed'
MARK COCKER, 'Daily Telegraph'
'[Dervla Murphy] belongs firmly to that fine tradition of eccentric women travellers…endearingly self-deprecating'
ANTHONY DANIELS, 'Spectator'
'Wonderful descriptions of the varied landscapes spanning her six-country tour … the reader is given a flavour of the African sense of humour not normally found in travel literature'
JARLATH DOLAN, 'Irish Times'
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Book Description 1994-10-24., 1994. Book Condition: New. Flamingo. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 288pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1708916
Book Description Flamingo, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006548024