When Craig Harrison spent a year traveling on a shoestring within the fabric of African societies in 1971-1972, he avoided safe, well-trodden routes. Instead, he depended on decrepit trains, cargo trucks, rattletrap buses, jammed bush taxis, dugout canoes, and ferries. Arriving in Spanish Sahara on a cargo ship from the Canary Islands, he trekked through Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Upper Volta, and Ghana. From Accra, he took a freighter to the Congo to journey overland to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. After five months in East Africa, he returned to Europe via Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. During his journey, he dealt with delays and dismaying circumstances, enjoying colorful encounters with ordinary Africans and fellow adventurers. He also met obnoxious public officials and faced obstacles that would have sent most others home.