Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

The writer on why Full Tilt (1965) is her favourite travel book

August 09 , 2017
Less than 1 Min Read

My favourite travel book is Full Tilt, Irish travel writer Dervla Murphy’s account of her 1963 bicycle ride from Ireland to Delhi. Setting off in January, through one of Europe’s coldest winters, the indomitable Murphy, now 85, endures blizzards and wolves, fighting off the latter with a pistol she’d been trained to use by the Irish police. Later, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, she bravely pedals her faithful steed, Rozinante, across scorching deserts and barren mountains, enduring it all with characteristic fortitude and good humour. In Pakistan, Dervla portrays a way of life seemingly unchanged for centuries. Not only is her writing exemplary, but there’s a freshness to the book, and a sense that she was cycling through a world that would soon vanish. And the whole journey cost just £66—what a contrast to the heavily-sponsored long-distance cyclists of today! Dervla is everything a travel writer should be: interesting, interested, observant, humorous, compassionate, brave and endearingly humble. Still writing at 85, I can’t think of a more inspiring woman or travel writer.

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent’s latest book is Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains

Related Articles

Talking Body

Sharmistha Chaudhuri May 24 , 2020

Book Review: The Black...

Nayanika Mukherjee January 01 , 2020

Book Review: Stories of...

Manidipa Mandal March 30 , 2020

Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
Got a question?Ask Marco
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe