Mission Mongolia : Two Men, One Van, No Turning Back Paperback
It was an empty landscape now with huge horizons in every direction, a compressed, steam-rollered desert where man had no place.
We lacked the skills to carry out even basic fixes. If the van stopped working we were really stuck. No one knew where we were and our last mobile phone signal had been 150 miles ago.
Fifty-something and tired of arguing with John Humphrys over the day's headlines, BBC journalists Geoff and David found themselves eagerly volunteering for redundancy.
But rather than easing into retirement with the odd round of golf, they decided to buy a van and drive off to Mongolia.
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time...In an epic journey through Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Siberia and across the Gobi Desert, they discover more about each other in a few weeks than they did sharing an office for years.
Lying in wait are crooked cops, bent border guards and terrible roads, but also welcoming and curious locals, eager to help the pair on their mission.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages, col. Illustrations, map
- Publisher: Summersdale Publishers
- Publication Date: 05/07/2010
- Category: Travel writing
- ISBN: 9781849530590
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by Spex
This is the sort of book that people stare at you when you're reading it -- because you're laughing so much. It's an account of a charity drive to Mongolia by two middle aged blokes -- coping with cops and border guards trying to part them from their cash and getting lost in mountain ranges and desert tracks. Along with a daily search for beer! Self deprecating and funny -- but with a serious edge too in the descriptions of the lives of people and places they pass through. Highly recommended.
Review by paperdust
David tells it as it is: frank, unpretentious and down-to-earth, this is what I like best about the British way. Hilarious accounts of moments with dodgy border guards and even dodgier hotels. Interesting facts along the way about the mysterious landscape of Mongolia, and Kazakhstan - used as a nuclear testing ground by the Russians in the '40s, where radiation affected half a million inhabitants of Semipalatinsk. This book reminds me of my own youthful traveling days/daze. No matter how well-prepared (or under-prepared) you are, it's the little tales of mishap and lucky escapades that stick out. And you just have to fend for yourself the best you can (call it instinct, gutsiness and luck), that no amount of reading or warning can prepare you for. The beautiful landscape is the icing on the cake; the proof of the pudding is in the travel companion.