Cleopatra's Needle: Two Wheels by the Water to Cairo by Anne Mustoe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The inspiration behind this journey is for Anne Mustoe to travel from the site of Cleopatra’s Needle on the Thames in London to the place in Egypt where the original monument came from, Heliopolis. Once again she would travel alone on her bike and to add to the challenge would follow the course of rivers and seas where possible. Her journey will take through four European countries and across the Alps before crossing the Adriatic and heading down towards where Europe meets Aisa; Turkey. The last part of her ride takes her through what is now a very troubled area of the world, as she passes Syria, Lebanon and into Egypt.
This is the first of Anne Mustoe’s books that I have read. She is a pragmatic, no nonsense type of character, who does not let most things phase her. She suffers from a knee injury, is robbed, cycles up and over the Alps and runs out of whisky and gets very wet more times than she cares to remember. She cycles solo most of the time but is joined on occasions by friends. As she rolls along the route, we are told about the people she meets and learns about the history of places that she passes through. The prose is quite matter of fact as Mustoe writes in a straightforward and competent way. It is not the best cycling travel book I have read but makes for enjoyable light reading. Will be reading some of her others, as this was one of three I picked up at the same time. 2.5 Stars
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