Fifty Miles Wide: Cycling Through Israel and Palestine
Ten years after breaking a world record for cycling around the world, award-winning travel writer Julian Sayarer returns to two wheels on the roads of Israel and occupied Palestine.
His route weaves from the ancient hills of Galilee, along the blockaded walls of the Gaza Strip and down to the Bedouin villages of the Naqab Desert. He speaks with Palestinian hip-hop artists who wonder if music can change their world, Israelis hoping that kibbutz life can, and Palestinian cycling clubs determined to keep on riding despite the army checkpoints and settlers that bar their way.
Pedalling through a military occupation, in the chance encounters of the roadside, a bicycle becomes a vehicle of more than just travel, and cuts through the tension to find a few simple truths, and some hope. As the miles pass, the journey becomes a meditation on making change – how people in dark times keep their spirit, and go on believing that a different world is possible.
'Sayarer’s thoughtful, meditative travelogue actually feels very important. This is less a personal adventure than an exploration of how people persevere in the darkest of circumstances.' Ben East, The Guardian
'Vivid and meditative...Hope is found, again and again, nowhere more so than in this wonderful book.' Buzz Magazine
'A great read by a great travel author. Takes me right back to some very special places' Levison Wood