Sunday, 28 October 2012

Book Review - Venture Into Russia

Venture Into Russia: Three Motorcycle Journeys by Lawrence Bransby (Kindle edition, £1.74 from Amazon)


Lawrence Bransby is a South Africian living in England who made three trips to Russia between 2006-11. All the trips were to the north western ports of Arkhangel & Murmansk.


The first trip was made on a 1971 BMW R50/5 with a route through Poland. The bike proved unreliable (electrical problems) and the trip had to be curtained at the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. The subsequent journeys travelled through Norway to the Russian Arctric. Bransby is an experienced traveller in the wild area of the world having riding through his native Africa. This shows in his writing where he copes well with the difficulties he encounters on his travels. He is easy to read because, in part, he remains cheerful in the face of adversity. An example was when he was detained by the authorities in a restricted military area. In a Kafkaesque twist these areas are not marked on maps or sign posts so you cannot know if you have broken the rules.


He also draws interesting contracts between the Russian people (friendly, generous, eccentric) and Russian officials (hostile, obstructive) and Norway (wealthy, clean, efficient, social but dull) to Russia (poor, chaotic, ramshackle, authoritarian but memorable)


A recommended read and a cut above the usual "what I did on my holidays" bike book. Only available on Kindle as far as I can see.   







1 comment:

  1. Just bought this and another by the same author. I'll let you know how I get on with them.