Ad Hoc through Afghanistan
The Way of the World suggests that the most fulfilling journeys are only vaguely planned; wise travellers, using intuition as their compass, leave themselves free to be deflected by chance events and encounters. This book also suggests that cycling to India is far less stressful than motoring; not much can go wrong with a gearless bicycle, even on the rough tracks that preceded today’s intercontinental highways. Our heroes’ vehicle faltered frequently, demanding patient ingenuity first to diagnose and then to cure its multiple ailments. In extremis, muscle power had to replace an engine that refused the fearsome gradients around Ararat and the Luz desert’s formidable sand-barriers. Typically, Nicolas makes little of such episodes, treating them not as exhausting dramas but as the amusing, trivial side-effects of dependence on a tiny Fiat long past its use-by date.