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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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Old 4 Jan 2014
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Some new reading for 2014...

In case some of you missed it, a superb new book appeared last October:



In Libyan Sands Ralph Bagnold wrote in 1935:

"...in 1916 a tiny force of Light Car Patrols ... covered great distances of unknown waterless and lifeless country as a normal routine, ...they succeeded in mapping, with the aid of speedometer readings and compass bearings , a great part of the northern desert, with its ranges of sand dunes, between the Nile and Siwa. Their exploits, with the crude vehicles they had, were astonishing... As far as I can trace, no one has ever written up the history of the of the Light Car Patrols. It is a pity, for there was nothing like them before..."

It took nearly 80 years from the time these words were written, and almost a hundred since the events themselves, that this remarkable story (commemorated by place names like "Australia pass" which we regularly use on our way south from Dakhla to Uweinat) is told in its entirety. The book by Russel McGuirk is in a large part a first hand account of the events by Captain Claud H. Wlliams, the commanding officer of No. 5. Light Car Patrol, which have resided forgotten and unappreciated in the archives of the Royal Geographical Society among the W.B.K. Shaw papers. The book provides the historical context to the Memoirs of Williams, and is supplemented with an amazing array of original photographs from the Wiliams family archives. It is an absolute must read for anyone interested in the history of exploration of the Libyan Desert (available at most major UK and international booksellers).
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Old 4 Jan 2014
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Speaking of Bagnold, there is a very little known interview with him posted on YouTube, recorded at the Faculty of Science at Aarhus University, on the occasion of Bagnold being awarded an honorary doctorate in connection with the Fiftieth Anniversary of the University in 1978. Thanks to Kuno Gross for spotting it !



In case your browser does not support embedded videos, here is the direct link:
Blown Sand - YouTube
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