The Lead Goat Veered Off by Neil Anderson.
( copyright (c) Neil Anderson 2005)
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I purchased both of Neil Anderson's books at the same time using the handy "buy both books at once" button on his web site to do so. As a result I suspect that unlike most of his readers I actually read his books in the order that makes sense in terms of his tour but the reverse to the order they were published.
It was interesting to note the differences in the two books. At the beginning of "Partners in Grime" you can sense and feel the excitement and anticipation that Neil and Sharon are sharing as their world tour begins. In the "Lead Goat Veered Off" the initial parts of the book reveal the couple attempting to overcome cold weather, fatigue and language barriers as they set off on their journey around Sardinia.
As time elapses you read about their adventures finding places to camp and food to eat at local grocery stores. It seems like every arrival at a town includes a race to make sure that you arrive at the grocery store before it either closes at noon or the baked bread runs out! The descriptions of the scenery with towering mountains, abandoned castles and dramatic landscape help to paint a very striking picture in your mind.
For me the book becomes even better as Sharon and Neil begin to learn the language and be able to get to know the local people. At this point you begin to hear about their visits to people's homes, the excitement of visiting complete strangers who become friends and of course the moments of incredible kindness as the islanders invite them into their society. You also hear about the odd encounter that initially makes them nervous but leaves them safe, unharmed and with another adventure behind them.
As was the case with Neil's other book, Partners in Grime, this book also has it's share of humour mixed in. One of the funniest moments for me was when Neil and Sharon decided to camp inside an old barn while the wind was howling around them. It seemed like as soon as they zipped up the tent then the wind made every effort to demolish the barn so that it could get at them.
Although the humour was enjoyable what made this book special, interesting and a keeper for me was that it allowed you to get a glimpse of the people and the culture they encountered during their adventure. For me, bicycle touring is all about meeting people and seeing new places so it was quite enjoyable to be able to read about events like the Sartiglia festival as well as their many experiences meeting the people.
One of the most enjoyable people sections described in the book was their encounter with a shepherd named Francesco. Apparently shepherds have a bit of a bad reputation on the island so Neil and Sharon were understandably nervous about spending time with one. It was even more nerve-racking when they arrived at his home to see pictures of naked women adorning the walls. They ended up staying for several days and in that time they rapidly came to appreciate their host who made every effort to make them comfortable, feed them well, show them the local sites and include them in his group of friends.
The Lead Goat Veered Off is another excellent book by Neil Anderson. It has a different feel than Partners in Grime but in a very positive way. I believe that a bicycle touring adventure is more than just getting on a bicycle and going from one point to another. A good bicycle tour contains lots of little adventures along the way. Reading this book allows you to see that this is indeed the way that the Anderson's tour together and it makes for a very enjoyable reading experience indeed!
|Title:||The Lead Goat Veered Off|
Direct link to the book on Neil's web site (An excerpt from his book is available further down this page)
|Cycle Logic Press ( Check out the incredibly scenic photos )|
|How Sharon and Neil originally met - An excellent and enjoyable tale|
|Bicycle Touring 101 reviews of his other books:||Partners in Grime by Neil Anderson|
|I paid:||$24.98 Canadian / $ 18.95 US + shipping|
I've placed the reference to Neil's web site here for two reasons.
The first is so that you can go to the site and check out his excellent pictures as well as read some excerpts from his various books and decide for yourself.
The second reason is that I've heard from other authors that often the author makes more money from direct sales than when it's purchased through third parties. Since I enjoyed reading his book I would like him to be sufficiently rewarded so that he can write some more! :)
Comments and quotes from other tourers that have also read Neil's book:
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