Round Ireland in Low Gear

Eric Newby, Author Viking Books $18.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-670-82244-7
Touring Ireland by bicycle in the winter is a daunting prospect even for the most seasoned backpackers, but Newby and his wife Wanda weathered it with good humor and resilience. The author of such classics of travel literature as A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush and Slowly Down the Ganges takes the armchair traveler with him as he and his companion contend with misleading signposts, lonely roads, torrential rain, gale-force winds and unhelpful natives who describe any destination as ""up the road a bit'' although it may be circular miles away. As a result, the Newbys fall upon many culturally significant points by absolute chance. Trips to remote castles, holy wells and splendid ruins in the west of Ireland are enlivened by lashings of Guinness and tea, and by the often antic behavior of the locals met in omnipresent pubs. The Newbys, who live in England, returned to Ireland in the summer, when travelers are more expansively welcomed and more places are open, but it is their winter tour that captures the essence of the country and its delightfully idiosyncratic populace. Illustrations. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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