Annotations for Where the Pavement Ends : One Woman's Bicycle Trip Through Mongolia, China & Vietnam
Blackwell North Amer
Mongolia. It was Erika Warmbrunn's dream. To escape deep into parts of Asia inaccessible to tours and guidebooks, to abandon herself to the risks of the unknown. And so, with only a bicycle named Greene for a traveling companion, she set off on an eight-month, 8,000-kilometer trek that stretched across the steppes of this ancient land, on through China, and down the length of Vietnam. Freed by Greene's two wheels from the tyranny of discrete points on a map, she found that the true merit of travel was not in the simple seeing, but in flowing with the unexpected adventure or invitation, in savoring the moments in between - the daily challenges of new worlds and customs, the tiny triumphs of learning a new way of life, the daunting thrill of never knowing what the next day would bring. Wanting to ride a Mongolian horse and finding herself in the saddle for four hours, herding fifty head of cattle. Asking for a hotel in a Chinese village and being taken into a family's home to share their grandmother's bed for the night. Pedaling into the Vietnamese highlands and being stopped along the muddy road by a father asking that she join his two-year-old son's birthday party. Accepting a Mongolian village's invitation to stop pedaling and stay for a while, to live with them and teach them English. In the doing and the telling, Where the Pavement Ends is a much richer experience than any line on a map can show.
Warmbrunn's account of an eight-month, 8,000 kilometer journey describes parts of Asia inaccessible to tourists. She recounts her encounters with the people and cultures of Mongolia, Arshaant, China, and Vietnam, as well as the sense of freedom and adventure she discovered while traveling. The narrative is intensely personal, focusing on the experience of traveling. Black-and-white and color photographs are featured. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)