- across the Sahara by bicycle -
Morocco | Western Sahara | Mauritania | Senegal | Gambia
"On the surface, the book deals with a bicycle trip from Morocco to the Gambia, but that is just the background to a beautifully written account on the Sahara and its history... His ability to observe keenly and to gain so much from the people he met, make for fascinating reading."
Bekoum hela, as the Moors say by way of greeting, which means 'radiance on you'. Welcome!
On these pages, you'll find the full version of my first book, which describes a journey I took years back in 1988 across the Sahara by bicycle (and on foot when the sand got too deep to cycle through). The book, as much as the journey itself, was a passionate work of folly, and in the words of my wholly unbiased sister who was fed-up with having to read academic books at the time, it's "the best book I've ever read!" For somewhat more believeable reviews, see below.
The book was first published in 1996 as a paperback. Sadly, the publisher is no more, but fret not: if you can't face the prospect of reading it all online, or wrecking your printer (the original weighs in at 346 pages), you can always get the book directly from me in exchange for a CD...
Incidentally, if you're a publisher, note that this book is out of contract and therefore available for republication - I'll be happy sending you a copy of the original book, or a PDF file containing this digital version.
Lastly, you might also want to have a look at my latest project - the world's largest (also known as only) website dedicated to the Traditional Music & Cultures of Kenya. It's now up to five hundred pages, plus images and soundclips, and I'm still only one third of the way through...
Enjoy the journey,
Dedication | Glossary | Bibliography | Maps
Reviews | Copyright | Get the book
The Rif Mountains
"a thunderingly good read" (The Rough Guides)
"I enjoyed it" (Wilfred Thesiger)
"The book gives a vivid account of people, places, history and Finkes personal sufferings. A remarkable story." (TNT Magazine, Book of the Week)
"remarkable book ... extraordinary ... A vivid observation of people and places with a wealth of detail about a region that is rich in history and legend - delightful!" (SPANA)
"On the surface, the book deals with a bicycle trip from Morocco to the Gambia, but that is just the background to a beautifully written account on the Sahara and its history... His ability to observe keenly and to gain so much from the people he met, make for fascinating reading. Travelling as a teenager with little money, he enters areas of towns that few of us would dare, giving us a remarkable insight into the living conditions of our poorer cousins... very moving ... brings the desert alive.
Settle down with Michelin 169 and 953 and enjoy a beautifully written description of the Sahara and the experience of travel. You will learn much, I promise you." (153 Club)