East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The Singing Bowl

I was in need of adventure, and thanks to one of those very mysterious book promotions Amazon Italy sometimes does (why? How? Based on what? It’s a mystery) I got myself a stack of books by the Long Riders Guild, livening up my growing collection of books about the Silk Road and environs. I am going through them in the evening, when I am too tired to write and the countryside is dark, cold and unforgiving.
If I can’t travel, my mind can.

Last night I finished Alistair Carr’s slim The Singing Bowl – Journey through Inner Asia (2006), the chronicle of the author’s visit to Mongolia and the Silk Road in the early 2000s.
It is a crisp, concise story of an adventure -a travel started because the author woke up one morning “with Mongolia in his head.” An apt way to describe the lure of far-off lands, the urge that animated travelers for centuries.

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An interview with Christina Dodwell

So, I am opening this 2018 with a something big, and of which I’m very proud and happy.
And here’s a little introduction…
147XChristina Dodwell’s been one of my real-life heroes for the last 25 years, ever since I discovered her books in a London bookstore (Hatchard’s, if you really must know).
My personal favorites are An Explorer’s Handbook (great fun, and a great resource for a writer) and A Traveller in China (because of my old fascination with China and all that — we discussed this already), followed suit by A Traveler on Horseback in Eastern Turkey and Iran.

Now, the great news: I was granted permission to reprint an interview that was originally posted on the website of the Long Riders’ Guild, in which Miss Dodwell talks about her experiences as a traveler and an explorer.

I am extremely grateful to Christina Dodwell, to Basha O’Reilly who conducted the original interview, and everybody at the Long Riders’ Guild, for this great opportunity.

So, here goes. I’m sure you guys will enjoy the ride. Continue reading