When Dervla Murphy was ten, she was given a bicycle and an atlas, and within days she was secretly planning a trip to India. At the age of thirty-one, in 1963, she finally set off and this book is based on the daily diary she kept while riding through Persia, Afghanistan and over the Himalayas to Pakistan and India. A lone woman on a bicycle (with a revolver in her trouser pocket) was an almost unknown occurrence and a focus of enormous interest wherever she went. Undaunted by snow in alarming quantities, and using her .25 pistol on starving wolves in Bulgaria and to scare lecherous Kurds in Persia, her resourcefulness and the blind eye she turned to personal danger and extreme discomfort were remarkable.
Here is the first American appearance of a book by Irish travel writer Murphy. Originally published in 1965, it is the diary of her bicycle trek from Dunkirk, across Europe, through Iran and Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan and India. Murphy's immediate rapport with the people she alights among is vibrant and appealing and makes her travelogue unique. Venturing aloneaccompanied only by her bicycle, which she dubs Rozthe indomitable Murphy not only survives daunting physical rigors but gleans considerable enjoyment in getting to know peoples who were then even more remote than they are now. Overlook will also soon publish in uniform editions Murphy's Eight Feet in the Andes, The Waiting Land and On a Shoestring to Coorg.