Notes From The Road Vol IV

Notes From The Road Vol IV
HorizonsUnlimited description:


Just occasionally a book arrives on the motorcycle travel scene that is different, brave, sure to cause controversy and perhaps be forever known as ‘marmite’. Dan Walsh’s ‘These are the days…’ is one such book and I think that Derek Mansfield’s ‘Volume 4’ is destined to be another; love it or hate it.

It’s not a big book, but then neither was Steinbeck’s ‘Of mice and men’ and that made something of an impact, so it’s only the size of the punch that matters. Yes there’s political and social comment, but how could any contemporary tour of the former Soviet Republics fail to contain some? In Mansfield’s case this is well-informed commentary, as he’s worked and ridden here many times, and as far east as Mongolia, but never blasting across landscapes in search of way-markers. In Vol 4 he meanders again, immersing himself briefly in the lives of others and being touched by them all in return.

People interest him, psychologically and physically. His notes of the human aesthetic are at times frank, at others esoteric, and yet the constant in his writing is its staccato delivery. There is plenty of space between sentences to fill in the blanks, to use your own cultural and geographical knowledge, and it’s refreshing to be involved as a reader and to join the dots.

He doesn’t lead you by the nose and in fact only once spells out which country he is in. It takes ages to discover he’s riding a Moto Guzzi Stelvio, which should tell you something about his left-field approach. Surprisingly, it’s not that frustrating and instead permits your reading to embrace the same vagrancy. You enjoy the moment he’s recounting on the page in front of you and to hell with the plan. Join him as a sober observer in a drug-addled bar, or travel to a forest on the promise of a four-poster bed but discover only communal Jacuzzi’s and a tent share with Baltic princesses.

Odd? Yes, and definitely intriguing. Will you enjoy it? Well therein of course, lies the controversy which makes so much literature worthwhile. Take a chance. Taste it and see.

Review by Paddy Tyson
Overland Magazine

We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.


Member login

Are you an Overland Adventure Traveller?

Does the smell of spices wafting through the air make you think of Zanzibar, a cacophony of honking horns is Cairo, or a swirl of brilliantly patterned clothing Guatemala? Then this is the site for you!
Hosted by Grant and Susan Johnson, RTW 1987-1998

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.



  • Queensland is back! Date TBC - May?

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details


HU Achievable Dream is Online
and available now to stream on Vimeo!

ALL 15 chapters of the HU Achievable Dream Guide are available to download on Vimeo!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Binge watch over 18 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers!

"a cross between entertaining stories, tech tips, and reference guide"

"A timeless introduction to Motorcycle Adventure Travel!"

Originally launched as a 7 DVD set, The Achievable Dream series can now be downloaded anywhere. OVER 18 hours of solid info take up zero space in your panniers. How convenient!



All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
NOTE: As an Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases - thanks for your help supporting HU when you start from an HU Amazon link!